Meet the Digital Equity Accelerator’s First-Ever Cohort!
It’s an exciting day for our Digital Equity Accelerator, a new initiative providing hands-on support for global communities as they work to close the digital divide. After a several-months-long application and careful review process, our team at Aspen Digital has selected a stellar group of nonprofits to form the Accelerator’s first-ever cohort. With over 170 phenomenal applications from around the world, getting down to seven members was an inspiring challenge, and we are so grateful to the dozens of organizations that took the time to share with us their groundbreaking projects.
We couldn’t be more proud of our first-ever cohort. As we just announced on a LinkedIn Livestream that we co-hosted with HP Inc., these organizations from the United States, India, and Morocco are serving their communities in truly innovative ways, addressing a wide range of needs and impacted populations.
So, without further ado, please welcome them!
e4 Youth engages young people who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, empowers them with digital tools to tell their community’s stories on their own terms, and levels the playing field when it comes to economic opportunities in the digital world.
Mobile Pathways leverages an innovative and evolving mobile platform to uplift immigrants seeking critical legal assistance and other forms of aid on their path to equity.
Oasis Institute is expanding a new virtual platform to educate and assist aging adults as they take charge of their health and give back to their communities.
Digital Empowerment Foundation provides women from rural communities with critical digital literacy skills, tools to fight back against disinformation and online harassment, and the support needed to help many more families do the same.
Fourth Wave Foundation empowers children with disabilities and special needs to find their own spaces within the education system through the use of innovative technologies.
Douar Tech helps strengthen the resilience of youth from rural and peri-urban areas, particularly women, by expanding digital access and delivering trainings on digital literacy, social entrepreneurship, and app development.
eSTEM Morocco provides women and girls with tools to help them pursue careers in science and technology, reaching more than 950 people and catalyzing the development of over 70 mobile applications by Moroccan girls.
Each member will receive cash funding of over $100,000 and a tailored package of technology solutions from HP that will directly support their work. And, starting next week, they will participate in a robust 4-month program that will give the cohort the opportunity to work with and learn from one another, be matched with dedicated mentors, and refine their innovative approaches to strengthen education, healthcare, and economic opportunity for their communities.
We can’t wait to continue this journey to #AccelerateDigitalEquity. Coming up, our team will share updates on the culminating Demo Day, during which the cohort will pitch their projects to potential funders and global leaders, and other exciting milestones. In the meantime, a heartfelt congratulations from our entire team to the seven nonprofits of the Summer 2022 Digital Equity Accelerator Cohort!
Zaki Barzinji is a Program Director for Aspen Digital, where he oversees a range of projects at the intersection of tech, policy, equity, and justice for underrepresented communities. Zaki is a public affairs leader with a decade of experience in political campaigns, public service, and policy change at the state and federal level. He served in the White House as Senior Associate Director of Public Engagement and President Obama’s liaison to Arab-Americans, Muslims, Sikhs, and other minority faiths, where he worked to amplify voices and narratives seldom represented at the highest levels of government. Before joining the White House, Zaki served as tech policy advisor and Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for Governor Terry McAuliffe, where he helped direct the launch of Virginia’s first open data portal and managed Governor McAuliffe’s national cybersecurity initiative for the National Governors Association. Just prior to joining The Aspen Institute, Zaki worked as the head of state & local government affairs for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, where he partnered with Governors and Mayors across the country to close the digital divide, modernize tech policy, and leverage emerging technology to rebuild a more resilient and equitable digital infrastructure for all communities in a post-pandemic world.