June 29, 2021
At First Meeting of New Digital Equity Coalition, Local Leaders Envision New Reality

On June 1, 2021, 65 members of a new coalition that will work together to advance digital equity in Essex County met for the first time to jumpstart the collaborative work to get every resident online and engaged in the digital world.

Legislators, community organizers, nonprofit and business leaders, educators, residents and more gathered virtually to participate in breakout sessions designed to create a framework for finding solutions to the digital inequities that have long existed but were severely exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know that the ecosystem of people working together is going to help us all find solutions by the community, for the community and from the community,” said Kate Machet, ECCF’s director of strategic initiatives. “We anticipate that this coalition will generate new ideas, help form new collaborations, share vital information, give us an informed perspective and create the resiliency required to face Essex County’s next challenges.”

During the meeting, participants discussed the players that should be involved in the work; the knowledge gaps that exist and where we want to see Essex County in three years. Anticipated headlines included:

  • Internet Para Todos!
  • Digital Capacity Minimizes Poverty
  • New Ecosystem Gives Access, Education and Devices to 5,000 People

“The group of people we have assembled is going to be an incredible asset to this work in Essex County,” said ECCF Executive Vice President and CEO Stratton Lloyd. “They are knowledgeable, engaged and ready to roll up their sleeves, and we are incredibly honored and excited to be a part of this new ecosystem of support.”

The next meeting of the Digital Equity Coalition will take place on Sept. 15, 2021. Contact Kate Machet, Director of Strategic Initiatives at k.machet@eccf.org to get involved.

 

Column: Systems of support help local students make gains

Column: Systems of support help local students make gains

Though the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students is not yet fully known, what we do know – and what the early data confirms – is that learning has suffered, equity gaps have widened and the time to come together to create systems that work for all students is now.

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