Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Look Ahead: Gary Bonner, executive director of PCs for People Maryland

In the latest episode of our video series exploring lessons from the pandemic year, Bonner discusses how digital equity is more than just devices and internet connections. Plus, government's role and other solutions to closing the digital divide.

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PCs for People, a nonprofit dedicated to digital access, came to Baltimore during the height of the pandemic in summer 2020. Why? It saw a need and had the resources to fill it.

Gary Bonner is the executive director of the org’s Maryland branch. Bonner himself is a Baltimore native and said he was happy to return home to bring free or low-cost computers and affordable broadband internet to the city’s residents. PCs for People’s office space at 2901 E. Biddle Street neighborhood has grown from an operation of two to now having 21 employees and a slew of volunteers.

“Closing the digital divide is not just about getting people computers and access to the internet,” Bonner said. “What we’re experiencing in the United States and across the world is a need for people to understand how to be competitive in a digital world — how to be competitive economically, be creative, self expressive and self actualize in a digital world using digital tools that they master.”

Quick tip if you get nothing else from the conversation: Donate those computers and tech you’re not using. It helps more than you think.

Watch our conversation here:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOyXJoUFKVM]

Here’s the audio version:

Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.
Companies: PCs for People
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