Richard Hicks is all about leveling the playing field. The CEO of Inspiredu’s entire goal is to help bring digital equity to underserved communities.
Recently, Comcast announced $110,000 grants to two nonprofits in the Atlanta area, Raising Expectations and Inspiredu, to support the launch of Connect 404, a digital navigator program. The announcement took place at the Inspiredu headquarters, and after the press conference, Hicks spoke to rolling out.
You spoke to rolling out 15 years ago when Inspiredu started. What has happened in those 15 years since, and what are your thoughts on receiving this latest grant from Comcast?
This has been wonderful. And thank you, rolling out, for having us again be a focal point where we can tell our story.
It’s humbling to be able to come into this space of digital equity in a more amplified way. We continue to bridge the digital divide by providing those technology resources and training. I think [digital] work has amplified even more so since the pandemic. It has always been a conversation, but now it’s more of a movement.
What we want to be able to do is make sure digital equity is consistent in our community because we need that. Going back to rolling out, the article we had talked about around bridging the digital divide, you guys did a great job covering it. Inspiredu is going to be a beacon to the community in making sure we provide this sort of training and these sorts of resources now consistently. This [grant] will allow us to support our community, even giving them a pathway to adopt broadband through the ACP program or any other initiative, so they can see we care about their well-being, care about having the resource, and care about our children’s education.
What is one technical skill every Black person needs to have?
Every Black person needs to know how to navigate the Internet. A lot of resources that are coming out there via the Internet and broadband will feature you being able to access those resources like telehealth, financial education, and being able to connect with your children’s education; it’s just vital.
I think we’ve created a necessity of broadband, just like we created the whole necessity around food.