When the COVID-19 pandemic struck Minnesota, we pivoted our programming to provide even more computers to students who were stuck at home distance learning. The pandemic hit those at the margins the hardest, and without access to technology, many were unable to apply for unemployment, move to online learning, and stay connected.
Ivery was one of those students. As a single parent, first-generation college student, and person of color, he faced many systemic challenges as the pandemic changed how our society functioned. With the help of his professor, Ruthanne C. Kim, he heard about our program and was able to receive a computer.
He said: “The gift of a laptop is more than just a means for me to continue my education and find employment. It has given me a voice and a platform to speak for forgotten and overlooked communities. It is a vehicle for connection and change in these turbulent times, that ensures that MN cares for ALL of its communities, not just those with privilege.“
To create digital equity in Minnesota, we need to center those at the margins and care for all of our communities. By providing technology and IT course training for free, we aim to do just that, so people can change their lives and communities for the better.