A Message from Connect 313 Director
Connect 313 exists to ensure all Detroit residents have access to the digital skills, devices, and connectivity they need to engage with the digital world and the opportunity it brings. Our mission – to bridge the digital divide in our city – is a bold undertaking that involves many partners, volunteers, residents, and a dedicated team. As we begin the new year, I want to take a moment to recognize the courageous people who have joined with Connect 313 and are advocating for a fully digitally inclusive Detroit.
Since its inception, Connect 313 has helped 147,803 Detroiters get connected to the internet through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and served more than 29,000 residents through our network of Neighborhood Tech Hubs which provide 352 workstations with broadband internet and high-quality devices across Detroit’s seven districts. Through these efforts and more, Detroit has grown from being the least connected city in 2020 to a city with a nationally recognized digital inclusion model that is making an impact.
In the 21st century, digital access and literacy are a basic human right. The Connect 313 team works tirelessly to translate our plans, policies and advocacy into actions and programs. This diverse group serves as our organization’s core staff responsible for project management and execution, planning and development, digital communications, research, funding, key infrastructure and more. A true public-private partnership, Connect 313 includes talented professionals from the City of Detroit, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, Rocket Community Fund, Wayne State University, Human-I-T and more.
Our staff and partners have provided invaluable operational structure, ongoing funding, 75,000+ devices, and a variety of established channels through which we execute our vision and advance our mission. They include:
- Connect 313 Board & Committees: The Connect 313 board and our committees (Digital Literacy & Skilling, Devices & Connectivity, Special Projects & Shared Resources, Policy, Advocacy & Ecosystem, and Structure & Operations) help connect our data-driven approach with efforts toward meaningful impact. Both the board and our working committees help to steer funding, program development and the direction of the organization.
- Community Ambassadors: Our community ambassadors represent each of Detroit’s seven districts and are the foundation of Connect 313’s community-based philosophy. This team directly engages with residents and brings our services where they are needed most.
- Ecosystem Heroes: A rich and varied ecosystem of people, places and organizations dedicated to closing the digital divide exists in Detroit. Our 22 neighborhood tech hubs, Connect 313’s nearly 800 members, and a wide variety of supporters combine to form a network that provides Connect 313 with the knowledge to stay on top the dynamic world of connectivity, in the city and within our neighborhoods.
Connect 313 is data-driven. From the start, the City of Detroit and Wayne State University have collected and analyzed digital inclusion information that we use to guide our efforts. As we look ahead to 2024, we intend to take what we’ve learned from the last three years and implement a stronger, more focused strategic plan, expand Connect 313’s outreach, make our operations more efficient, and further focus our mission to produce even broader and more dramatic results.
I am grateful to the incredible team of people, partners and organizations helping us along the way. I encourage you to get connected and join our mission by clicking on any of the links below.
- Find a host of information at resources at: connect313.org.
- Become a member at: connect313.org/membership.
- Learn more about our tech hubs here.
- Learn more about our community ambassadors.
- Make a suggestion here.
Have questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.