“Adobe and the City of San José share a commitment to improving digital literacy in the Bay Area, and the donation will be dedicated to the Fund’s digital literacy efforts, which are just as critical to closing the digital divide as connectivity and devices,” the mayor’s office said in a July 1 press release.
“We must create a future where all San José residents can access the tools necessary to be competitive in a 21st century digital world,” said Liccardo in a statement. “Access doesn’t simply mean connectivity and availability of devices—we must also provide the education to use technology. We greatly appreciate the AdobeFoundation’s investments in our community.”
Research has shown that digital literacy is necessary in closing the digital divide; providing a device and offering connectivity only gets users part of the way.
The Adobe Foundation said its grant will go towards supporting digital literacy in the community and enabling a “green tech ecosystem” that will include volunteers and interns who can help answer residents’ questions and troubleshoot as necessary, essentially serving as the community’s on-call IT support team.
“At Adobe, we believe that everyone should have equitable access to the resources, opportunities and support they need to open doors to a brighter future,” said Adobe VP Marketing Strategy and Communications, and Adobe Foundation Board member, Stacy Martinet. “Digital literacy is paramount to the democratization of creativity, a critical skill that is nurtured in the classroom and workplace, but only with access to the right technology and tools. Adobe is proud to support the City of San Jose’s important mission to close the digital divide and enable digital literacy for all.”
In August 2020, the City of San José launched SJ Access, a citywide initiative to connect residents to all things digital, including access to devices, broadband internet, and digital literacy opportunities. Since the launch of SJ Access, and through other city programs, San Jose is on track to connect over 300,000 residents to the digital world by the end of 2022, serving a population the size of St. Louis, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, according to city staff.
The Digital Inclusion Fund is a $24 million public/private partnership that aims to close the digital divide in San José through private donations and a unique funding structure that accelerates 5G deployment. During the pandemic, the Fund helped connect thousands of San José students.
“The California Emerging Technology Fund, San José’s partner in managing digital inclusion grants, would like to commend the Adobe Foundation for their support of digital literacy efforts to ensure residents have a positive user experience and remain connected,” said Sunne Wright McPeak, President and CEO of the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF).