Knight Blog

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

Knight Neighborhood Challenge supports everyday leaders

March 31, 2012, 9:02 a.m., Posted by Beverly Blake

Eight projects were recently announced as fifth-round winners of Macon's Knight Neighborhood Challenge, which seeks to improve the College Hill neighborhood between Mercer University and the city's downtown. Program Director Beverly Blake provides an update:

In 2009, Knight Foundation and the Community Foundation of Central Georgia partnered to create a five-year, $3 million Knight Neighborhood Challenge, a new type of grantmaking that funds the ideas of individuals and organizations to improve College Hill and nurture new and existing community leadership at all levels.


Read more here: http://www.macon.com/2012/03/29/1967637/new-knight-neighborhood-challenge.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy#storylink=cpIn 2009, Knight Foundation and the Community Foundation of Central Georgia partnered to create a five-year, $3 million Knight Neighborhood Challenge, a new type of grantmaking that funds the ideas of individuals and organizations to improve College Hill and nurture new and existing community leadership at all levels.

The Knight Neighborhood Challenge has been a catalyst to support “everyday leaders,” to fund great ideas that have probably always been here but lacked investment. More importantly, it has allowed us to create the opportunities to build new friendships through the common goal of improving Macon.

We’re halfway through the initiative, and the community foundation has awarded $1.3 million to 70 projects.  Two of the recent grantees exemplify Knight’s aspirations for Macon and Maconites:

Friends of Tattnall Square Park’s Cooling the Square project will plant 100 trees in our “shared living room,” Tattnall Square Park.  This is the first planting of trees in this historic urban park in 100 years. What is so gratifying about this effort is that the friends group was formed just a few months ago by people who know that it is those of us who use the park that are the stewards of its continued vibrancy.  The "friends" have already painted the gazebo, have a strong and positive relationship with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and will be the catalysts to bring people together to nurture the park for generations to come.

Interactive map reveals insights into community broadband adoption

March 30, 2012, 10:48 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

A new, interactive map reveals interesting data about broadband adoption rates in communities across the country.

The map describes what it calls “the poverty divide:” data illustrates that wealthier households subscribe to broadband at a rate of 80 to 100 percent, while low-income areas of cities (some which exceed a 50 percent poverty rate) subscribe at much lower rates of 40 to 60 percent.

Produced by The Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, the map is based on government data collected from 2008-10. It reveals which specific metro areas had the highest and lowest broadband subscription rates and provides insight into why people in certain communities either can’t or choose not to connect.

In a blog post “Poverty stretches the digital divide,” the project’s director, John Dunbar, highlights the findings from the survey which concluded that 40 percent of households did not have a broadband connection as of December 2010.

Code for America recruits for 2013 fellowship program

March 29, 2012, 11:29 a.m., Posted by Abhi Nemani

What can possums and fire hydrants teach us about government and citizenship? Ask Jennifer Pahlka, founder and executive director of Code for America, a Knight-supported organization working to bring the people and power of the Internet into government.

In her recent TED talk, featured below, Pahlka gave some insight into the Code for America fellowship program, which pairs startup-style teams of developers with cities throughout the country to help them engage with citizens. 

The first fellowship class built over 20 apps, hosted over 50 events and worked with hundreds of civic leaders. The fellowship is currently in its in its second year, with 26 fellows and eight cities, including three Knight communities: Detroit, Philadelphia and Macon.