Education policy wonks, lawmakers, philanthropy community and companies involved in education technology joined the One Economy Corporation for its recent 11th annual gala at the Newseum in Washington, DC. One Economy, a multi-national, DC-based nonprofit, connects underserved and unserved communities around the globe with technology and innovative tools to compete in a global economy.
As with tradition during its annual gala, the organization took time-out to gather attendees in the Newseum’s Annenberg Theater to share its accomplishments for the year. By year’s end, the organization would have connected 100,000 residents with low cost broadband access and trained 6,000 young people in its digital connectors program. Through that effort, trained youth serve as ambassadors and leaders at community centers and educational centers providing computer literacy training using One Economy’s online resource, the Beehive.
The organization received the largest broadband stimulus grant, and with that funding has been able to expand its program. It formed an online television network producing web series featuring positive stories of people of color not often seen in mainstream, broadcast and cable. It partly funded Robert Townsend’s new film “In the Hive” which will be released next year and focuses on one of One Economy’s digital connectors usage of “the Beehive” to connect a group of troubled teen boys who had been kicked out of school. The movie chronicles the growth of the program and the achievement of the kids. A movie trailer was included in the annual presentation video.
It also gave awards to corporate partner AT&T which has helped it provide low cost broadband access to thousands of low-income and rural homes. The Department of Education also received an award as outstanding government partner supporting its efforts and programs.
Following the formal presentation and during dinner, guests got to stop by at the stations of eleven software and hardware manufacturers, non profits and other education related entities. There was quite a bit of sharing with attendees – and showing off of innovative and inventive programs. By close, participants were able to see a plethora of devices and services that help bridge the digital and academic performance divide, giving underperforming schools and the students they serve a leg up.