Thanks to the 687 people and 503 organizations who took action October 2-6, we just celebrated the biggest Digital Inclusion Week (DIW) in history. It wasn’t just the largest but also probably the most meaningful.
Held every first week in October, DIW2023 marked the seventh national celebration, originally launched and still organized by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance and a committee of members (see who these awesome folks were).
DIW2023 stood out for the volume of participation but also for some new actions and trends:
- State governments participated in new ways. Some released their State Digital Equity Plans for public comment during the week, including Hawai’i, while others, like Arizona and Kansas, released proclamations declaring Digital Inclusion Week throughout the state. We also saw the first proclamation from the Northern Mariana Islands. While cities and counties have done so in the past, 2023 marked the first year for states/territories to take these actions.
- We saw record media coverage, with 967 media mentions and a reach of 950 million in broadcast TV, podcasts, blogs, and other news outlets, highlighting the need for digital inclusion. With a strong reach and impact, local broadcast TV news highlighted organizations, events, and digital inclusion solutions in Detroit, Youngstown, OH, Clayton County, GA, and Austin, among others.
- We tracked new data to better understand what work was going on during Digital Inclusion Week. Some interesting findings: Organizers offered materials and/or programming in an astounding 37 languages, including Native languages. We also saw DIW participation this year in 14 countries, including several in Africa, where the newly formed Africa Digital Inclusion Alliance celebrated DIW for the first time.
Scrolling through social media and the NDIA listserv, I was overwhelmed and inspired by innovative events, touching stories, and fabulous leaders sharing their work during Digital Inclusion Week. Every time I hit “Refresh” on the #DIW2023 stream, I saw dozens more posts, showing the amazing growth in conversation and the impact of the week of action.
The creativity, dedication, and passion this community put into Digital Inclusion Week was also mind-blowing. In Rhode Island, folks organized outreach and sign-ups for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) at a Friday night high school football game. On the Jemez Pueblo, digital navigators offered programming combining technology use with their Tribal traditions. In Dallas, the city organized a digital equity art contest with some cool results.
You built momentum this Digital Inclusion Week. Keep it going.
- See what you missed: We gathered videos from affiliates and DIW 2023 events so you can take a look back.
- Follow up with your new DIW connections or anyone in your ecosystem who recognized action for digital inclusion, including corporate supporters, volunteers, donors, journalists, local officials, organizational partners, and lawmakers. In fact, now is the perfect time to continue your ACP advocacy, as we’re one step closer to seeing the program re-funded.
- Register for Net Inclusion! Come hang out in Philly with hundreds of people from this active movement at the premier digital inclusion conference in the country. Early bird pricing ends October 31. You do not want to miss it.
Oh, one more thing: Check out the map below, and remember that you’re not alone in this work. You’re part of something really big. Take pride in the movement, in this community, and in your contribution to advancing digital equity every day! Thanks for the best DIW yet!