Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

A massive group effort to unlock the full potential of 30 million lives

March 21, 2013, 7:20 a.m., Posted by Susan Patterson

Zachary Leverenz, CEO, Connect2Compete from Knight Foundation on Vimeo.

Today Charlotte, N.C. joins the kick-off of the EveryoneOn campaign. It’s a nationwide effort led by Connect2Compete, a Knight Foundation grantee. Connect2Compete is a nonprofit organization that brings together leaders from communities, the private sector and leading foundations. The goal is to improve the lives of Americans by connecting them with digital literacy training.

We’re talking about improving the life of the job seeker who goes from having access to a couple of job postings to having hundreds at their fingertips; about the grandmother who uses Skype to make contact with a relative she’s never met before. Digital literacy can be as fundamental as knowing how to use a mouse to navigate a Web site; or how to create a Gmail account to receive responses to a job application.

From my point of view, one thing truly stands out about EveryoneOn: its collective impact approach.

What does this mean?

It means that EveryoneOn primarily works through collaborations between nonprofits, Internet access providers, companies, libraries and many other organizations. Connect2Compete “only” serves as a facilitator. What’s been happening in Charlotte is a case in point: prodded by Connect2Compete, we’ve formed a local network that includes the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont, Knight School of Communication at Queens University, Project L.I.F.T. and Urban League of Central Carolinas.  We have volunteers, students, schools, libraries, as well as city government, local industry and community service providers.

Many of these groups provide digital literacy training in one form or another. But EveryoneOn got us to create one place where Charlotte residents can now find out about all these offerings at once. That place is digitalcharlotte.org, a site created by the Knight School of Communication at Queens.

You can learn more at www.EveryoneOn.org or through the 1-855-EVRY1ON help line. The website and the toll free number also allow people to enter their zip code to get a list of nearby digital literacy training resources, including those in Charlotte.

Over the next three years, EveryoneOn aims to give 30 million Americans new skills and tools that Knight Foundation believes are essential for unlocking one’s full potential in life.

To find out more visit www.digitalcharlotte.org and www.everyoneon.org.

By Susan Patterson, program director/Charlotte at Knight Foundation

Related: "Reaching Those on the Wrong Side of the Digital Divide" in the New York Times