August 6: Joining the Digital Workforce in Kansas City

The Digital Workforce Development Initiative (DWDI) is coming to town, bringing the promise of upskilling, freelance education, and accessibility to Kansas City!

Created by founding partners Fiverr, Samaschool, and Udemy, this DWDI kick-off event will introduce you to the tools you need to build a successful freelance career, and help you with the building blocks necessary to turn your talent and knowledge into income.

Join us on Monday, August 6th in Kansas City to learn more and get valuable resources from your local community. Hear from Mayor Sly James, get your questions answered at a panel discussion on the modern digital economy, and attend a Freelancing 101 workshop presented by Samaschool. You'll also be able to register for free additional online skills classes and workshops!

Panelists include Dr. Mark Bedell, Superintendent of Kansas City Public Schools, Clyde McQueen, CEO/President of the Full Employment Council, Sheri Gonzales Warren, Community and Economic Development Program Director of Mid-America Regional Council, and Julie Cortés, Founder of the Freelance Exchange.

Sign Up Here >

The Tech Access hotline will open for live calls to celebrate National Digital Inclusion Week, May 7-11.

Members of the Kansas City Coalition for Digital Inclusion will answer your calls between 10 a.m.-noon, Monday-Friday, May 7-11, 2018. They will help callers find out about low cost home internet options available in the area, where to get low cost refurbished computers and where to find the closest or most convenient computer classes and training sessions.

Where can you purchase a home computer for as low as $60, learn about using their smartphone, learn how to use the internet to find what you’re looking for, get help filling out online applications for jobs, healthcare or social services? Whatever you need, we're here to direct you to the resources available.

You can still get help outside the hotline hours and beyond National Digital Inclusion Week by leaving a message. Calls will be returned in 2 business days or less.

Tech Access Hotline: 816-701-3606

You can also fill out the online form found at and chose to receive a response via text or email.

Community STEaM Day & Book Launch

aSTEAM Village NSBE Jr. Chapter on Saturday, Oct. 7 will sponsor Community STEaM Day and Book Signing to continue efforts to inspire students and families to pursue education and career pathways in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM), through community-based project learning and innovative programs. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at aSTEAM Village located on the St. Monica’s Parish Campus, 1600 the Paseo Blvd.

The event is free and open to the public. The Community STEaM Day and Book Signing will include:

  • Dr. H2O — Dr. H2O (AKA: Wilbur Dunnell) is the super hero of science and a master at artfully explaining the exciting science of water quality. Dunnell has been conducting water quality science lessons in classrooms for almost a decade, and recently made a stop at FOX 4 Morning News to talk about National Drinking Water Week.
  • KC DigiStory — The Digital Storytelling Center of Kansas City (digiSTORY KC) provides workshops and other educational resources to advance digital media skills for those who wish to tell their stories through the fascinating capabilities of digital media. Through our KCdigiKids program we promote digital literacy for kids in the urban core through experiential, hands-on learning activities that will encourage them to pursue rewarding careers in STEM/STEAM occupations.
  • Microsoft — The Microsoft Store at Oak Park Mall will be bringing its suite of virtual reality products and teaching a computer coding workshop to students.
  • H3TV — “Rappin” Roy Scott is one-half of the influential dynamic duo H3TV from Kansas City. The two young entrepreneurs came together to develop an innovative program that carries a mission to empower young audiences to make positive changes to their everyday lives. H3TV has created a new genre of children’s music titled H3 “Healthy Hip Hop!” Also using spoken word, and live action entertainment to reach their viewers on both a national, and international scale.
  • A book discussion/signing by Royale Boy Blue, also known as Madden Tanner, who will be releasing his second book titled Royale Boy Blue Becomes a Master Builder and Lewis Diuguid, a former longtime columnist with The Kansas City Star, whose third book is Our Fathers: Making Black Men.

The Facebook Event Link is:

Startup's Goal: Texting Your Way To Literacy

"Texting as a tool to teach literacy. Such is the idea behind startup Cell-Ed. It's tapping the vast number of people who have access to basic cell phones and, therefore, can send text messages, using that ability to teach adults how to read."

Read the rest >

Digital Inclusion Awareness Day - July 15

Join us for a community event to sign up for low-cost internet, computer classes and affordable computers. Find out how the power of the internet can change your life.

Resource providers: Register here to reserve a table for your organization »

July 15, 2017
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Mohart Multipurpose Center
Room #121
3200 Wayne Avenue
Kansas City, MO

Event Agenda:
9am-9:15am - Mayor to provide opening remarks
9:20am-10:20am - Panel Discussion and Q&A of Relevancy and Resources

  • Panel Moderator - Aaron Deacon, KC Digital Drive
  • Debby Ballard, Sprint
  • Tom Esselman, Connecting for Good
  • Carrie Coogan, KC Library
  • Sheridin Jones, HAKC Resident (pending confirmation)
  • Ron Farmer, CHES, Inc.

10:25am-10:30am - Raffle Giveaways
10:30am-12pm - Table set ups by Digital Inclusion Coalition Members

Please share this invitation with your networks.Feel free to share and/or print the flyer for this event (PDF).
If you have any questions please contact: Joseph at

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May 12 - Equity and Infrastructure: A Discussion on the State of Digital Inclusion in KC

National Digital Inclusion Week is an opportunity to raise awareness about digital inequities and nationwide efforts to close those gaps. Throughout the week, May 8-13, organizations will host events and awareness efforts around different themes of digital inclusion, ramping up to a virtual panel discussion on May 12 with some of the national leaders in digital inclusion.

The Kansas City Coalition for Digital Inclusion is moving their monthly meeting to May 12 to host Equity and Infrastructure: A Discussion on the State of Digital Inclusion in KC a local panel discussion around questions of digital equity in our city and to watch the national panel discussion together. Kansas City's local panel will have two parts. Panel one will be practitioners and individuals on the ground who can speak to the needs and gaps still present in our community and what to consider for future digital equity efforts. Panel two will be executives and policymakers responding to the themes of panel one and considering future digital equity efforts from a broader, big-picture perspective.

After the local panel discussion Google Fiber has graciously offered to sponsor lunch for attendees, and then everyone will tune in to watch the national panel discussion at noon.

The local panel discussion will be from 10-11:30, lunch break will be from 11:30-12:00, and the national panel will be from noon to 1:00. All events will take place in Helzberg Auditorium, on the 5th floor of the Kansas City Public Library's Central Branch. This event and lunch is free but please RSVP to ensure we can accommodate everyone!

Local KC panelists include
Ina Montgomery—Urban TEC
Kelvin Patterson—Housing Authority of Kansas City
Sheridin Jones – resident and volunteer of HAKC
Roosevelt Lyons—Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department
Brent Schondelmeyer—LINC
Rachel Merlo—Google Fiber

KCMO Digital Equity Plan

Coalition members Rick Usher and McClain Bryant presented a Digital Equity Plan to the City Council on Feb. 2. The City is currently accepting comments on the plan which is comprised of the following elements:

  1. Access to Affordable Broadband, Devices and Digital Literacy Training
  2. Internet Use for Education
  3. Internet Use to Promote Civic Responsibility
  4. Internet Use to Promote Employment
  5. Internet Use for Business and Job Creation
  6. Collaboration to Promote Digital Equity Priorities

You can read and comment on the six program elements on My Sidewalk.

Interview with John Horrigan of the Pew Research Center

The Public Libraries podcast recently posted on episode closely tied to our work on digital readiness:

"PLA Deputy Executive Director Larra Clark talks with John B. Horrigan of the Pew Research Center about his report, "Digital Readiness Gaps," which finds that just over half of American adults have low levels of readiness to use digital tools as they pursue lifelong learning."

Sprint's New 1MillionProject

Sprint recently announced that it was stepping up in a big way to provide connectivity and devices to a million low-income students who lack a home internet connection. Working with anchor institutions in cities across the country, they will provide free devices and a free 3GB data plan to eligible children. While most digital inclusion practitioners have expressed some concern about the data cap and the reliance on nonprofits to manage them program locally, there is near universal acknowledgement that this is a step in the right direction for our hometown provider.

Read the New York Times article here »