Students in a multicultural elementary school classroom work together on tablet devices.
The Digital Inclusion and Access Taskforce has its roots at the start of the 2020 pandemic. As organizations and collaboratives across Nashville rushed to address the need for laptops, devices, and internet service for students and families, founders Dr. Fallon Wilson and Dr. Samantha Perez wondered what work was being done to interrogate the root causes of the digital divide. Looking to exit the pandemic a stronger community than when it started, they convened a group of organizations and key experts with a vested interest in dissolving digital inequities to dig deeper. So began the taskforce.
There was already a roadmap to help. In 2017, the community had come together to craft Connected Nashville, a comprehensive strategy and vision for creating a smarter city. One recommendation from this work was to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment that would provide greater insight into how individuals utilized technology, what access they had to the services they needed, and how they aspired to use these tools. This is where the taskforce began its work.