MADISON, Wis. – Sept. 24, 2020 – Spectrum today announced two Madison-area nonprofits, Urban League of Greater Madison and 100 Black Men, will receive a cumulative total of $45,000 in Spectrum Digital Education Grants. Spectrum’s grants aim to further digital literacy in underserved populations within the Madison area. These grants are part of the company’s multi-year, $6 million cash and in-kind national commitment to digital education in Spectrum communities across the country.
“We thank Urban League of Greater Madison and 100 Black Men for being instrumental in helping us provide support for digital education in the Madison community,” said Rahman Khan, Vice President of Community Impact for Charter Communications, Inc., which operates the Spectrum brand of TV, Internet, Voice and Mobile products. “Through these organizations, we can continue to provide those in need with the resources to navigate the challenges of the digital age.”
Recipients of this year’s Spectrum Digital Education Grants range from long-standing nonprofits that continue to make a difference in local communities, to newer organizations meeting educational needs for children, including those experiencing homelessness and remote learning challenges.
Urban League of Greater Madison Starts Workforce Relief & Recovery Initiative
For a second straight year, Urban League of Greater Madison will receive a Spectrum Digital Education Grant. This year’s funds will help the organization respond to COVID-19 through the newly instituted Workforce Relief & Recovery Initiative aimed to help low-income job seekers and individuals who have experienced layoffs, furloughs, or other challenges finding or retaining work. The grant will help the Urban League expand the digital capacity of its employment programs and redesign some of its in-person programming for delivery in a virtual format. The resulting services will include digital work readiness combined with vocational skills training that leads to careers in high-demand, technology-driven industries
“The workforce displacement that has resulted from COVID-19 has been unprecedented, and its impact on the African American community has been disproportionate,” said Rueben L. Anthony, President & CEO for The Urban League of Greater Madison. “Spectrum’s support will allow us to help hundreds of individuals and families who have been impacted find their way back into the workforce, while simultaneously helping employers find work-ready, diverse talent.”
100 Black Men Aims to Connect 3,000 Families to Internet in Response to COVID-19
The Spectrum Digital Education Grant will provide 100 Black Men technical and conventional solutions that will assure that a targeted three thousand limited-income families will be able to reliably connect to the internet.
“The 100 Black Men of Madison, Inc. is honored and humbled by this demonstration of support and partnership,” said Floyd Rose, President of 100 Black Men. “The Spectrum Digital Education Grant will provide 100 Black Men technical and conventional solutions to ensure that limited-income families will be poised to reliably connect to the internet.”
Spectrum Digital Education Commitment Totals $6 Million
Spectrum Digital Education aims to help local community members across Charter’s 41-state service area to improve their lives through digital education. Since launching the program in 2017, Charter has committed to award $6 million in cash grants and in-kind commitments, including PSAs and technical assistance, to support broadband education, training and technology. Spectrum Digital Education has benefitted 41,706 individuals in 17 states and Washington, D.C. through July 2020.
Spectrum Digital Education is one of several philanthropic programs developed by Charter to support the communities in which Charter provides service and where its employees both live and work. Additionally, Spectrum Housing Assist, launched in 2015 to make homes safer and healthier, has resulted in improvements to more than 44,000 homes to date and is on track to meet its goal of improving 50,000 homes by the end of 2020. Charter’s Spectrum Employee Community Grants program, launched in 2019 to support employees’ volunteer activities at local social and human services organizations, has already resulted in donations to 164 organizations across 25 states.
This year, Charter announced the launch of the Spectrum Community Investment Loan Fund, which will invest $10 million in capital by the end of 2021, making loans up to $1 million to community development financial institutions (CDFIs) in the company’s footprint. In June, Charter announced additional investment partnerships with the National Urban League and National Action Network to support Black and other minority-owned small businesses. The addition of those partnerships increased Charter’s Loan Fund commitment to $13 million. Finally, this spring, Charter introduced Spectrum Scholars, a two-year educational program for eligible rising juniors in financial need, that will award a total of $400,000 in scholarship aid, provide company mentors for students, as well as connecting them with potential internship opportunities at Charter.