Posted April 23, 20212:21 pm
Funds will address closing the digital divide
The National Football League (NFL) Foundation and Cisco, an Official Technology Partner of the NFL, are jointly donating $150,000 to an exciting new digital justice partnership between The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland (Legal Aid) and the Cleveland Public Library Foundation. The gift was announced during the lead-up to the 2021 NFL Draft.
This funding will:
- support technology upgrades for children's programming at the Cleveland Public Library;
- create spaces for virtual legal meetings (such as sessions with attorneys and court hearings) so people can access Legal Aid's services while at library branches; and
- expand Legal Aid’s new laptop lending initiative for families.
Efforts to bridge the digital divide have become even more urgent during the coronavirus pandemic, as reliable internet and familiarity with technology are now essential for so many day-to-day activities.
“We’re proud to support The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and the Cleveland Public Library Foundation along with our partner Cisco as part of this year’s Draft in Cleveland,” said Alexia Gallagher, NFL Vice President of Philanthropy and Executive Director, NFL Foundation. “Giving families access to technology and digital resources are a necessity, now more than ever, and we look forward to seeing the lasting impact of these organization’s work in the Cleveland community”
This investment in Legal Aid and commitment to closing the digital divide is part of the NFL’s Inspire Change initiative, which launched in 2018. Inspire Change supports programs that reduce barriers to opportunity for low-income communities with a focus on four areas: education; economic advancement; police and community relations; and criminal justice reform.
“We are grateful to the NFL Foundation and Cisco for their generous support of Legal Aid’s new and innovative technology programs, which are addressing the urgent needs of our neighbors and community members,” says Colleen Cotter, Esq., Executive Director of Legal Aid. “By removing barriers to digital connectivity, we are promoting equal access to justice for all.”