A large and growing number of
Americaís Black Families are making technology an important
part of their daily lives. They regularly use the technologies
that affect most facets of their lives. In fact, nearly 50% of
Black Families are actively using computers in their homes and
close to 30% have access to the Internet at home. These
numbers are encouraging but when compared to White
non-Hispanic families with computers in over 85% of their
homes and home Internet access approaching 60%, the gap is
serious, important, and not closing.
The Black Family Technology Awareness
Week campaign is aimed at helping those Black Families who
arenít taking full advantage of todayís technologies.
Technologies that can significantly improve their quality of
life. The campaignís goal is to eliminate the Digital Divide
for those families by exciting them about the importance of
having a personal computer and Internet access at home and by
explaining how they can and why they should make that a
reality in their lives.
Focus on the Digital Divide?
So what can eliminating the Digital
Divide do to make a difference?
Obviously, it canít solve all of the issues being
faced by Black Families in the lower earnings quartile but if
we can establish this technology groundswell, we can make a
major difference in these familiesí futures.
Success in the 21st century is about
leveraging technology in school, at work, at home, in
communications, and in almost every area of our lives. The
competency gap in many important
areas of life is growing between those with access and
the skills to use a personal computer and the Internet and
those who donít understand its vital importance and how to
take the needed steps to realize the advantages it offers. By
providing this opportunity in communities across America, we
will have helped them take a much needed and challenging step.
All Black families in America will have access
to a personal computer and the Internet in their homes with
the training to take full advantage of these tools in many key
aspects of their lives.
Black family members will use these tools to
enhance their education, health, nutrition, job opportunities,
communications, entertainment, and quality of life.
Black family members will be able to connect
electronically with mentors who will provide support and
encouragement and use the examples set by a broad set of
electronic role models as motivation for their future and how
they can better manage their time on a day-to-day basis.
Having access to a personal computer
and the Internet a few hours per week is of value but having
access at home 8,760 hours per year can provide the impetus
for a major quality of life transition. To fully utilize the
power of the personal computer and the Internet takes training
and the development of confidence and skills that require far
more time then a few isolated hours on a weekly basis at
This isnít about generating revenue
for computer manufacturers, software companies, or Internet
service providers. Itís about using their powerful tools to
make a major positive change in the lives of millions of
capable, deserving Black Families who need the leverage that
technology provides to change their quality of life.
Until this Digital Divide no longer
exists, Black Family Technology Awareness Week, 2006 and
beyond, is committed to ensuring that:
Families currently unable to take full advantage of the power
of the personal computer and the Internet clearly understand
the importance of these tools and the reasons why they must
make a family commitment as soon as possible to acquire:
A personal computer for use in their home
Access to the Internet and
The training for all family members to fully
utilize and exploit these technologies
From this point forward, CCG intends to
do the following to support these most important goals:
Significantly increase the participation of K-12
schools, community based organizations, corporations,
government, foundations, national Black Family support
organizations, the ethnic and mainstream media, and other
Provide the presentations and supporting
information to participating organizations that will lighten
the preparation needed to get Black Families excited about:
The many uses they can make of the computer and
an Internet connection
Acquiring their own computer and access to the
The value proposition that shows the
affordability, the continuing decrease in prices, and the many
options for acquiring a computer and access to the Internet
The opportunity to get training and help to
install their system, if needed, in the community from
The increasing successes of the
previous 5 national campaigns is due to the growing support of
hundreds of participating organizations - community and
faith based organizations, public schools, and a variety of
other concerned organizations. They are the ones who have made
the plans and presented the programs that have interested
participants in eliminating their familyís digital divide.
We still have a long way to go. With
the 2006 campaign, we will increase the focus on the
importance of families having 24/7 use of a personal computer
with access to the Internet at home. New presentations and
materials will be available online for participating
organizations to include in their local programs. These
resources will help to explain the value of having these tools
in the home for each member of the family. They will address a
variety of topics including K-12 education and lifelong
learning support, health and nutrition, money management,
jobs, training, communications, and the cost and return on
With the campaignís new website, we
are encouraging an ongoing dialogue with participating
organizations. We are looking for suggestions and requirements
to improve the quality and impact of the campaign. We want to
contact each organization via e-mail and also have the correct
address for mailings of program support. Please enroll your
organization, post your event(s), and let us hear from you.
We are excited about this yearís
campaign and look forward to continuing to work with you on
this most important initiative.
Role of Participating Organizations
Black Family Technology Awareness Week
2006 is committed to alerting organizations and businesses
like yours that we must accelerate the effort to remove this
digital divide. Our efforts have to be focused on
communicating to Black Families on the negative side of the
Digital Divide that these technologies have the power to
change their lives. They need to know that if
these technologies are understood and embraced that
they can provide significant help to open the doors that have
been closed to them to this point in their lives. We must
convince this very important segment of our society that by
taking proactive steps, they can build a technology path to a
much fuller, healthier, and happier life. This is a great
opportunity but it will only happen with a lot of effort on
their part with support from organizations like yours.
The digital divide appears to have a
high correlation to income and level of education that is no
great surprise but the exciting thing about crossing the
digital divide and having families make this commitment to
technology in their homes and lives and rearranging how they
spend some of their time, is that it can put them on a new and
positive path that can make a dramatic difference in their
future and quality of life.
Your organization needs to discuss
making the commitment to host a 2006 Black Family Technology
Awareness Week program. To learn how to proceed and find the
support that will help you make a major Digital Divide impact
in your community, select
Family Technology Awareness Week Participating Organizations
||For children 3-17
years old, 24.7% of Black children had Internet access
at home while 50.2% of White non-Hispanic children had
Internet access at home.
||Schools struggle to provide
even basic skills in reading and math.
||The plight of urban school systems
is a major issue.
Access to computers and the Internet, and the ability to
effectively use this technology, is becoming increasingly
important for full participation in America's economic, political
and social life. But there is strong evidence of a gap between
individuals who have access to technology and those who don't.
The Digital Divide.
To be on the less fortunate side of the divide means there
is less opportunity to take part in this information-based
economy in which many more jobs will be related to computers.
It also means that there is less opportunity to take part
in the vast opportunities available online in education, shopping,
entertainment, information and communication.
National Black Family Technology Awareness Week wants the
Black families and youth be a part of the technological revolution.
Seven Reasons African Americans Should Use the Internet