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Report from Cleveland

The Chicago Digital Access Alliance is working to connect Chicago neighborhoods. Our five-year initiative, anemia “Technology In The Hood”, more about and its campaign, “Connecting Chicago Neighborhoods To Digital Excellence”, focuses on bringing technology to neighborhoods and neighborhoods to technology. We have two projects under the “Technology In The Hood” Initiative: (1) Our CTC/PCC Development Program, under which we are developing and establishing thirty (30) new community technology/public computing centers; and (2) the 10,000 Digital Kids Campaign, where we are helping provide 10,000 urban youth with resources, training and software to allow them to create their own software development solutions.

On Monday, October 3, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. at the AKARAMA Foundation Community Center, 6220 South Ingleside Avenue, we’re launching our initiative with a focus on the AKARAMA Cafe, a 30-station community technology center which offers access to laptop computers and Internet technology, at a press conference where we will also introduce CTC managers from ten (10) different community technology centers who will share their stories and insights.

At 11:00 a.m., at the AKARAMA Cafe, seniors will participate in a digital literacy workshop presented by Connected Living Inc., a BTOP Award grantee which provides training and technology resources to seniors.

The thirty (30) community technology centers we are establishing will be located in ten (10) different communities on the South, West and North Sides.

We’re also partnering with community entities in establishing our CTCS, including Connect Woodlawn Inc. in Woodlawn, Digital Englewood Inc. in Englewood, and the Southside Technology Cooperative NFP in Brozeville/Kenwood.

For more information or to learn how to get involved, call us at 312-970-0249 or 312-473-0373.
June 27 and 28 brought program partners of One Community and other BTOP PCC/SBA grantees together at #CBAIS (Community Broadband Adoption Impact & Sustainability Conference).

Veterans of the movement assembled with new practitioners under the BTOP banner. The feel was very much reminiscent of the vibrant CTCNet conferences of old and underscored the need for us to work to rebuild and reboot the institutional capacity of the field. Toward that end numerous discussions are building upon the work of the Rebuild-Reboot retreat convened on the heels of the Digital Excellence Conference.

It has been slow going, men’s health
but we remain committed and are putting together a steering committee to advance this work on the national front, grounded in the long standing vision and legacy of our field.

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Starting The Next Chapter

On Friday, October 29 we open the next chapter in the Community Technology, mind Networking and Community Empowerment Movement at the Digital Excellence Conference in Chicago at DePaul University:

  • Invitation — attend the most important event in the Community Technology/Digital Empowerment Sector in a decade – we’re rebuilding a movement – and we need your commitment and enthusiasm.
  • Invitation — spread the word – Let us know who is up and coming but who may have never connected to the national/global movement and Invite them! Help fund their travel! No one is late to the party!
  • Invitation — help us (re)build the movement in any way you can! If you are coming from out of town – let us know!

Three tracks:

  • Broadband: Expansion & Inclusion
  • Tools and Platforms
  • Collaboration Models and Community Building

Special Honorees: Carl Davidson, buy Julia Stasch and Rep. Constance Howard
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Nicol Turner-Lee


As a recognition of our common heritage, past members of the network are eligible for the early bird rate.

For more information or to donate/volunteer contact Pierre Clark. (312) 473-0373 or

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Accelerate innovation and the movement – locally, globally

Charlie Havens recommended this video on the basis of the vision we have for Chicago and for a “working session to establish an organization and network in service to the field encompassing Community Technology, help Community Media and Community Networking, hospital
addressing and inviting all who have gathered to remediate Digital and Social Divides under banners of Literacy, traumatologist
Access, Inclusion, Excellence and Justice.” Local and Global. Can we accelerate the change we need? Chris Anderson starts his TED conversation (below) with a focus on the field of Dance. What deliberate changes can we effect in our respective fields? What would the conversation and sharing look like? How can we step up our game?

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Rebuild and Reboot – Movement and Network


Do you know these people?

Thom Clark. Michael Maranda. Lowry Taylor. Bruce Montgomery, skincare Nicol Turner Lee. Shaz Rasul. Vincent Caskill. Nichole Pinkard. Sandee Kastrul. Rose Mabwa.

Now, these may not be names you see every day in the paper, but to the foundation executives, non-profit agencies and city officials in the know, these are some of the people who make it happen in Chicago’s neighborhoods, bringing resources, training and capacity-building support to hundreds of Chicago non-profits and hundreds of thousands of local residents in every underserved community in Chicago.

CHICAGO: The Neighborhood Technology Leader.

Whether you know it or not, Chicago leads the way in neighborhood technology and digital inclusion activities, as the recent first-in-the-country broadband grants given to the city totalling over $21.7 million dollars proved conclusively. Yet who are the people who behind the scenes and out of the public spotlight for 20 years created more than 600 technology centers, 100 training programs, 300+ non-profit agencies and more? Who coined and popularized the terms “digital excellence, digital demonstration communities” that got the attention of federal officials?

On Friday, October 29, 2010, Meet The People Leading The Neighborhood Digital Excellence Movement!

Well, you can find out on Friday, October 29, 2010! Some of the most talented and creative people creating the innovative programs and initiatives on the neighborhood technology scene – the people who defined and coined the term “digital excellence” – are just some of the more than two dozen speakers and presenters, from both the local and national scene, that will be present on Friday, October 29, 2010, as the Chicago Digital Access Alliance Inc. presents the 1st Chicago Neighborhood Digital Excellence Conference and Technology Fair (DexCon2010).


This unique first-of-its-kind in the country one-day conference will be held at the DePaul University Egan Center in downtown Chicago, 1 East Jackson Boulevard, Lower Level, between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.


The day-long conference, focused on digital excellence activities, practitioners and learning opportunities, is expected to draw several hundred people from throughout metropolitan Chicago. Activities include morning workshops, a luncheon with a nationally-known keynote speaker, afternoon discussion sessions and a digital excellence roadshow recognition reception honoring digital excellence practitioners and advocates from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the lower level.


We expect 200 individuals, 50 non-profits, representatives from 25 foundations and people from around the Midwest to be in attendance at the conference. WE HOPE YOU WILL JOIN US.


All the conference details are contained here. Check here and on our Facebook page and Twitter feed #DexCon2010 @cdaadigital for all the details. And you can officially register for the conference here via Paypal and Google Checkout.

Keep checking here for details on the conference and all the activities of the Chicago Digital Access Alliance Inc. – Neighborhoods Connected, Citizens Empowered(tm)

On October 30, purchase following upon the Digital Excellence Conference convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance, we are holding a working session to establish an organization and network in service to the field encompassing Community Technology, Community Media and Community Networking, addressing and inviting all who have gathered to remediate Digital and Social Divides under banners of Literacy, Access, Inclusion, Excellence and Justice.

We believe that a new way of working together is emerging and that our message to our communities is more pertinent than ever, and that we are stronger when we establish resources in common and share solutions freely across the network.

This is not a relaunch.  It is something more profound.  We honor the heritage of our field by finding a way forward, one suited to our present situation, one that builds upon what we have learned.

We have much experience in this community, and we are clearly ready to refactor, rebuild and reboot the movement and the network.  We will determine the functions, services and capacities we need and desire for the field, and we will coordinate efforts to bring them online in a manner that serves the field as a whole, building upon capacities already under development when possible and operating from a perspective of shared, open stewardship.

We’re looking to grow our field, and to demonstrate it’s relevance to every facet of community and civic life.  Many are engaged in the work and have not found us, their peer-community.  We’re looking to establish a way for them to find us as we found each other, and for all to find a way to take up a meaningful share of the work.

We would love for all who wish to come to be there.  This is an open call to everyone serving our field.   You are invited to join the working meeting on October 30, or to step up in any way that may support this effort.  (All are likewise invited to attend the Digital Excellence Conference, October 29.)

Many have already expressed support for this endeavor, but not all are able to attend.  For some, the obstacle is scheduling, for others there are fiscal constraints.  Perhaps we can find creative ways to address the latter.

There will be several channels for involvement leading up to and following the meeting.  

First among them is a discussion list: All who wish to attend or otherwise support the work should subscribe and participate.  Please signify on that list whether you plan to join us for the meeting or if you can support this effort in some other way.

Please also spread the word on this meeting and the conference.  Tell us who you think should be there.  Better yet, tell them.

Michael Maranda
Rebuild-Reboot Committee

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