Last night I had the pleasure of attending Community Network Technology’s Digital Leaders Awards. Senator Mark Leno, local non-profit CEO’s, and some of the tech industry’s leading philanthropically inclined members, and business people celebrated the people who are working to bring digital literacy and access to our most underserved communities. Wine flowed and excellent food was consumed amid the all the networking in Twitter’s thoroughly modern and edgy event space. A lovely evening by all accounts.
As the speeches unfolded and awards were given, a theme emerged and was touched on again and again throughout the evening: while politicians, community based organizations (non-profit and non-government), businesses, board members are key players in bridging the digital divide, it is the teachers who make the biggest difference. These are the committed, intelligent and innovative change-makers sitting side by side with learners, sharing knowledge and encouragement, making the digital landscape inclusive. Teachers directly impact people’s lives. Indeed, they were the most important people in the room that night, and by day – essential to the work of digital justice.
When I consider Maria Cleary, the Tenderloin Technology Lab lead computer skills teacher and the many volunteers who give their time as teachers, teaching assistants and tutors in the Tech Lab at St. Anthony’s, I am inspired by their amazing gifts. Each and every one helps lead the way towards Digital Justice for the community. So here’s a heartfelt THANK YOU to our teaching volunteers. Where would digital justice be without you?