2017 Charles Benton Digital Equity Champion Award

submissions are now closed for 2017

Charles BentonThe second Charles Benton Digital Equity Champion Award will be presented in May at Net Inclusion 2017 in St. Paul, Minnesota by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA).  This is a call for nominations for candidates for the award.  Please publicize widely. The awardee will receive $500 for travel reimbursement plus Net Inclusion registration. 

Digital Equity is a condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity they need for full participation in our society, democracy and economy. Digital Equity is necessary for civic and cultural participation, employment, lifelong learning, and access to essential services.

Named for Charles Benton, the founder of the Benton Foundation, the award was created by NDIA to recognize leadership and dedication in advancing digital equity:  from promoting the ideal of accessible and affordable communications technology for all Americans, to crafting programs and policies that make it a reality.

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance is a unified voice for home broadband access, public broadband access, personal devices and local technology training and support programs.  We work collaboratively to craft, identify and disseminate financial and operational resources for digital inclusion programs while serving as a bridge to policymakers and the general public.

The Net Inclusion 2017 conference will be held May 16-17 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Register before April 20 to receive the early bird discount.  We welcome practitioners, policy makers, academics, public officials, students and others engaged in creating a more equitable society.


The nomination form asks for descriptions of the following:

  • Sustained commitment to digital inclusion programs, practices, and/or policy work.
  • Innovative approaches to solving problems and bridging gaps.
  • Thoughtful use of data to shape programs and/or policies.
  • Demonstrated leadership at the local, regional and/or national level.
  • History of collaboration with other people and organizations that can advance digital inclusion.
  • Additional personal or professional characteristics or accomplishments you wish to note.
David Keyes

Meet the 2016 Champion

Over nearly 20 years of public service in Seattle, David Keyes has used data to document community needs and direct programs, been committed to racial and social justice, and built a movement over time by engaging local elected officials, businesses, education partners, and community organizations in solutions. Read More…

Eligibility for this award is limited to U.S. residents. NDIA Staff, Consultants and Directing Council Members are not eligible.

The nomination form can be completed here.

The deadline for nominations for this year’s award is midnight (Eastern Daylight Time) Friday, April 20, 2017.

The Champion will be selected by a committee representing diverse constituencies, geographies, and sectors with an interest in digital inclusion, including NDIA and the Benton Foundation.