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Comcast helping bridge digital divide for Black, Hispanic Hoosiers

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Bridging the digital divide is growing more important. As Black and Hispanic households still continue to struggle to access to devices and internet. Comcast is continuing a decade of work, by taking more steps to fight the disparity.

Just a couple years shy of retiring from working at the Women’s Prison. Beverly Campbell, after she got too sick to do the job, is planning to start brand new career.

“I’m just trying to learn lingo so I can be efficient when I am able to go back to work hopefully in February,” Campbell said.

She’s just one of the many people participating in the 38th Street Library’s Northstart Digital Literacy training program. Up until now she didn’t quite know how to navigate digital spaces.

“Out of the four months, I’ve kept every paper that we have gotten at this place,” Campbell said.

Campbell is one of 20 people to receive laptops through Comcast’s work to bridge the digital divide. A problem impacting major cities around the country. Thousands of households don’t have devices and even more don’t have internet access or the know-how to navigate it all if they did.

“Since COVID people have a much better understanding of what the impact was. How vital the Internet is to people’s lives, to career development, college education,” Mike Wilson with Comcast said.

Black and Hispanic Hoosiers are most disproportionately impacted. Black people make up about half of those in Marion County without internet access, according to Comcast representatives. Half of the laptops will go to the Latino Coalition, an agency for domestic violence survivors.

“These computers that Comcast is offering us now helps us to develop their job skills,” Vanessa Alcantara with the Latino Coalition said.

They are rolling out a digital technology program to help set them up for success, through digital literacy and empowerment.

“We know that 85% of the victims of domestic violence go back to their abusers because they don’t have any way economically or financially to move forward,” Alcantara said.

Comcast says this is the latest leg in a non-stop journey. For people like Campbell, she really has the tool she needs.

“Hopefully by then I can work in anybody’s office,” Campbell said.

Comcast says with millions available to find the affordable connectivity program. They urge you to check to see if you qualify.