Grants to help bridge digital divide awarded to 11 organizations in Minneapolis

The Digital Inclusion Fund has awarded 11 grants totaling $100,000 to organizations across the city for programs to promote technology access and technology literacy. These are the third set of grants awarded from the Digital Inclusion Fund, which was created in 2007 as part of the "Wireless Minneapolis" contract between the City of Minneapolis and US Internet Wireless, the company that owns, built and manages the citywide wireless network. The "Wireless Minneapolis" contract included a Community Benefits Agreement that was the first of its kind in the country, and the Digital Inclusion Fund is a key component of the agreement.

The Digital Inclusion Fund provides financial resources to organizations in Minneapolis that increase technology access and skills among low-income people, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants and refugees, displaced workers, seniors and others in order to bridge the digital divide. The fund is managed by The Minneapolis Foundation.

To date, USI Wireless has provided more than $500,000 to the Digital Inclusion Fund. In the years to come, a percentage of USI Wireless’ revenue from wireless subscriptions will go into the fund.  

The 11 grant awardees were chosen from 30 proposals received in 2010. A diverse group of nine community members along with Council Member Elizabeth Glidden and a representative from USI Wireless were chosen to serve as Fund Advisors by the task force that helped negotiate the Community Benefits Agreement. During 2011, the fund will seek more applications for a new round of grant funding.

For more information about "Wireless Minneapolis," visit Wireless Minneapolis.

The Digital Inclusion Fund is acharitable fund of The Minneapolis Foundation.The Minneapolis Foundation helps people support their community and causes they care about and invests in efforts to ensure every person in Minneapolis has an opportunity to thrive. Established in 1915, The Minneapolis Foundationnowmanages more than $600 million in assets, administers more than 1,100 charitable funds and distributes approximately $36 million in grants each year. In addition, The Minneapolis Foundation works with other community leaders to improve the quality of life in our region and serve as a catalyst for discussion and action on critical issues. For more information, visit www.MinneapolisFoundation.org.

Published Dec. 10, 2010