The Community Technology Empowerment Project (CTEP) AmeriCorps bridges the “digital divide” for new Immigrants and low-income communities in Minneapolis and St. Paul. CTEP AmeriCorps members help youth and adults use technology to better access social, civic, educational and economic opportunities. (OK I borrowed that from their website.)
They are folks who tackle social tech issues in small groups. In the last two years, one group has tackled broadband access, primarily in Minneapolis, but they broadened much of their work to result in tools that will help rural and urban areas.
If you came to the fall broadband conference last year and noticed anyone that wasn’t me livestreaming a session – it was either Katie or Gus. They both have been great about helping out Blandin and soaking up as much broadband knowledge as they can.
In July, I attended an information session they held in Minneapolis drumming up interest in digital equity through improved access.
In Minneapolis, it’s more about affordability or in the case of some apartments – making sure that the landlord has not locked residents into a single provider without considering their needs.
Below is a fun video they created to help attendees of the meeting (and other meetings) understand the gradations of broadband. It was a big hit at an Open Streets fest and could draw a crowd at a county fair. There are some other tools they have created too – and are sharing with anyone tasked with explaining and promoting better broadband.
Here are some of the other tools they have made available:
- Annotated Bibliography
- Slides for Hosting Community Meetings
- FAQ Handout
- Filling in the Gaps (short documentary)
- Guess the WiFi Speed (short video on varying internet speeds)
- Blog Post: Year One of Civic Engagement Project
- Blog Post: Year Two of Civic Engagement Project