Qumisha Goss is Building Connect 313’s Digital Literacy Playbook

Qumisha Goss is Building Connect 313’s Digital Literacy Playbook

If you’re wondering how these blog posts get on Connect 313’s website, Qumisha Goss is the person who makes it happen. Qumisha is Connect 313’s Digital Literacy Subject Matter Expert and the Management Lead of the Digital Literacy and Skilling Committee.

Before joining Connect 313, Qumisha was a librarian at the Detroit Public Library Parkman branch where she created and ran information and digital literacy programming for the community. Now, she is working hard to create resources for people interested in digital literacy training, including building Connect 313’s Digital Literacy Playbook.

“The Digital Literacy Playbook will include a digital literacy curriculum, and user guides to help people get started with finding a device or internet service and get started with video calling,” she explains. “It will also include user tips for learners, educators, and organizations to help them utilize the playbook.”

Watch our website and social media channels for more details on the playbook soon.

Qumisha was motivated to help bridge the digital divide in part because she loves Detroiters and is passionate about setting them up for success in the digital world.

“Detroiters are resilient and hardworking and its always amazing to see how people make a way for themselves, even with limited funds and resources,” she says. “Learning people’s stories really makes me feel passionately about helping them to demystify technology so they can continue to do great things. Technology is just a tool, and it should feel helpful and not like a burden to people.”

“The work of bridging the digital divide has been and continues to be done by several grassroots initiatives and local organizations and churches throughout the city,” Qumisha adds. “At Connect 313, we want to be a convener and unifier of those different entities so that we can quickly and efficiently bridge the digital divide together.”

As Qumisha works with the team to build new tools and resources for residents, says she would love to see Connect 313 model replicated in other places.

“It’s rare that we have an opportunity for the suggestions and needs of everyday citizens to be supported by the knowledge and financial backing of experts and philanthropist,” she says. “It really is a dynamic relationship.”

To contact Qumisha, email qumisha@connect313.org.

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Naimah Wade Helps Cultivate ‘The Genius Within’

Naimah Wade Helps Cultivate ‘The Genius Within’

Naimah Wade enjoys helping people cultivate the genius within themselves, which is why she joined the Connect 313 team.

“What the most impactful people in my world did for me was reduce barriers or eliminate them all together,” Naimah says. “I am a part of this work to try to eliminate that vast hole between those that are engaging digitally and those who are not.”

Naimah is Connect 313’s Director of Research and Learning as well as the management lead for the Special Projects and Shared Resources Committee, which plans projects and initiatives such as neighborhood tech hubs, community ambassadors, and Connect 313 storytelling.

“Connect 313 is yet another example of innovative problem solving in the form of an organizational coalition that is making an incredible impact to move Detroiters from a position of being digitally divided to one of being digitally empowered,” she says.

Supporting digital empowerment is also Naimah’s focus at Wayne State University where she’s the Manager of Digital Inclusion. Naimah says many people don’t use technology because they fear the unknown – and that’s a barrier she’s working to break.

“It’s not that they don’t want to be involved, it’s that they’re afraid of not knowing,” she says. “Give yourself permission to make mistakes… jump in even though you’re nervous about not knowing. You may be wonderfully surprised.”

Wade is currently working on Connect 313’s inaugural research symposium, which will bring academic professionals in the digital research and teaching space to Detroit for the city’s annual Digital Inclusion Week in October.

Naimah is excited for the future of Detroit and its residents and, when asked what she loves most about the city, Naimah quotes Jeanette Pierce from the Detroit Experience Factory: “Detroit is big enough to matter in the world, but small enough that you matter in it.”

“This is what I love about Detroit,” she says. “You can reach out to practically anyone and begin to impart change in the way that you want to see your city evolve and I think that’s really powerful and magical, and I think it’s rare.”

To reach Naimah email naimah.wade@wayne.edu.

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