Believe Portland Initiative Helps Community Gain Equal Access to Technology
AT&T* is committed to building a digitally inclusive tomorrow by easing access to technology and providing underserved Portlanders the education and tools they need to harness its power. We’re doing that through Believe Portland℠, a new initiative shining a light on and proposing solutions to digital inequity.
Toward this goal, AT&T will support events in collaboration with local organizations, including a hackathon competition, a panel and volunteer opportunities for employees during National Digital Inclusion Week, which runs Oct. 7-11.
“As we have conversations about digital inclusion, it is important that the tech community in Portland comes together to be part of the solution, it is important that the tech community in Portland comes together to be part of the solution,” said Skip Newberry, President and CEO, The Technology Association of Oregon (TAO). “We applaud AT&T’s support of digital inclusion and, by working together, we are helping to empower a more inclusive local community.”
Kicking off the week on Oct. 4, TAO is hosting an “un-hackathon” in a community-driven, collaborative design sprint called Breaking the Code. AT&T is proud to be the event presenting sponsor, whose purpose is to remove the barriers between non-profit organizations serving people of color and the broader tech community.
Three non-profits, Blueprint Foundation, Self Enhancement Inc. and The Numberz, were chosen to benefit from the design sprint, with each identifying a key technology opportunity that could help them improve how they serve the community. Local technologists will compete to develop the best technology solution.
Later in the week, TAO and AT&T host a Digital Inclusion Panel with community agencies discussing digital inclusion in Portland, the region and state. Panelists from non-profits, iUrban Teen & Black Women in STEM 2.0, Free Geek and New Avenues for Youth, will discuss where Portland is leading conversations and what non-profits are seeing in terms of direct impact within the community.
With volunteer events as a major focus for the week, AT&T and Free Geek, a non-profit organization committed to sustainably reusing technology, will support underserved device ownership during a group volunteer event. After the launch, local AT&T teams will continue to work together to identify additional volunteer opportunities.
To create a lasting impact, Believe Portland will continue to connect AT&T employees to volunteer opportunities with local nonprofits in an effort to encourage digital inclusion.