SoLa Impact hosted LA’s largest event in recognition of Digital Inclusion Week at The Beehive in South Los Angeles, in partnership with Human-I-T, Los Angeles Public Library and the Pillars to Prosperity Foundation. Special guest Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti returned to The Beehive to speak to attendees of the event and stayed to distribute Chromebooks to 120 residents of SoLa Rentals, all of whom received personal invitations to the event.
“To Martin Muoto, Sherri Francois, and everybody here at SoLa Impact, this is an amazing space and a place that I certainly look forward to coming back to year after year,” Mayor Garcetti said of The Beehive in his opening remarks.
Mayor Garcetti encouraged attendees—middle and high school students and residents of SoLa Impact’s affordable housing communities—to dream big and see themselves as tech leaders of the future.
“All that matters in LA is what you want to do,” he said.
The event featured a digital resource fair providing digital literacy training and home internet solutions, keynote remarks, and refreshments. SoLa residents received Google Chromebooks, each with a one year warranty and tech support from Human-I-T, as well as five-year WiFi hotspots. Chromebook donations were facilitated by the Pillars to Prosperity Foundation presented by Leap Theory, and the Angeleno Connectivity Trust.
Digital Inclusion Week is an annual, nationwide campaign to promote digital equity through engaging events, celebrations, and civic action. COVID-19 continues to exacerbate the digital divide in South Los Angeles, with one in five families unable to afford adequate internet connectivity and 42% of students lacking resources needed to complete digital learning. In LA County, as many as 250,000 families lack access to a household computer or high-speed internet. In partnership with organizations such as Human-I-T that have distributed over 168,000 devices, SoLa Impact is working to bridge the digital divide and create access for Angelenos.
“We care deeply about opening access to education by working to close the digital divide in South LA because as many of you know, South LA is a technology desert. Last year, through our 1000 for 1000 campaign, we provided 1000 South LA families with internet hotspots for 1000 days during the height of the pandemic,” said Director of Social Impact Teree Henderson during her remarks.
SoLa has also built South LA’s first state-of-the-art Technology and Entrepreneurship Center, which held a six-week Tech Camp series in Summer 2021 and will open its doors permanently to the community in early 2022. The Tech Center’s mission is to train and inspire the next generation of Black and brown technology professionals, leaders and entrepreneurs from South LA.
SoLa thanks Mayor Garcetti, Deputy Mayor Holm, Human-I-T, the LA Public Library, Leap Theory, and Pillars to Prosperity Foundation for this opportunity to uplift residents in the South Los Angeles community.