Home Local News Metro Nashville/Davidson County named one of nation’s Digital Inclusion Trailblazers

Metro Nashville/Davidson County named one of nation’s Digital Inclusion Trailblazers

by PRIDE Newsdesk

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) named Metro Nashville/Davidson County as a 2023 Visionary Digital Inclusion Trailblazer, recognizing ongoing efforts to close the digital divide.

There are two levels of achievement: The Digital Inclusion Trailblazer level recognizes excellent digital inclusion work. The top level of achievement, Visionary Digital Inclusion Trailblazer, recognizes communities that are leading the way in digital inclusion innovation and have deeply integrated digital inclusion throughout their government. In the first year of being recognized, Metro Nashville/Davidson County has been named a Visionary Digital Inclusion Trailblazer in recognition of excellence in the areas of strategy, policy, community engagement, and programming.

In 2022, Metro Nashville/Davidson County hired its first Digital Inclusion Officer, Pearl Amanfu, to set strategic goals and grow the program. Metro has achieved Visionary Trailblazer status by prioritizing digital inclusion for residents through:

  • Publishing Metro Nashville and Davidson County’s first three-year digital inclusion strategic roadmap
  • Securing three grants to support digital inclusion work
  • Providing direct support with the new ‘hubNashville 311’ affordable internet request option
  • Conducting the county’s first digital inclusion asset inventory to help identify existing resources across Davidson County
  • Developing an interactive map to help residents easily find digital inclusion services like technical support and training

“In our ever-evolving digital landscape, access to technology is not a luxury. It’s a necessity,” said Metro Chief Information Officer Keith Durbin. Our award-winning digital inclusion program stands as a testament to our commitment to bridging the digital divide in Nashville. This recognition is a validation of the hard work shared by our dedicated Metro team and the community, and it reinforces the importance of ensuring that every resident has the opportunity to thrive in our digitally connected world.”

This year, Metro Nashville is one of just 22 cities awarded in the top category.

“Nonprofits, libraries, churches, and other community organizations can’t reach digital equity on their own. For everyone to thrive in today’s digital world, we need all hands on deck,” said Angela Siefer, NDIA executive director. “NDIA’s Digital Inclusion Trailblazers exemplify the key role local governments have in building connected communities for all of their residents.”

Metro Nashville/Davidson County continues to raise the bar, empowering trusted local nonprofits to weave digital inclusion into services they already provide through a Digital Navigator program, launching in January of 2024.

NDIA revised the seven-year-old Trailblazer program this year, identifying seven categories of current best practices. Each applicant’s materials are verified for accuracy, assessed for community impact, and posted in an interactive map and searchable database on NDIA’s website. By sharing materials with open-sourcing, NDIA provides community advocates and local governments ways to continue learning, connect with trailblazing peers, and plan their own digital inclusion solutions.

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