The Faith Community is a cornerstone, trusted advocate, and provider of resources for communities throughout this country. These institutions not only raise the human spirit, but also provide a centralized location for the ongoing connection of people groups, informational setting, civil engagement and all that is pertinent to its municipal surroundings. For this reason, Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Push Coalition has launched FAITHTECH aimed at supporting churches that serve the African American community in becoming beacons of digital inclusion. Located in many of the most digitally marginalized communities in the US, churches are uniquely positioned to provide digital literacy training and resources to their members and broader community. This initiative seeks to empower them with advanced tools and innovative strategies to better position them in bringing digital equity to their communities.
In 2015, PUSHTech2020, in conjunction with Rainbow Push 1000 Churches connected, coordinate the FaithTech2020 technology lab & digital inclusion program. The FaithTech2020 tech labs can connect the faith community with schools and educators, community based organizations, the business community, and the home, that can serve youth, entrepreneurs and community members and bring the broader community into the digital economy. HP assisted the initial launch with a donation of 100 laptops for distribution to churches within the RPC network in 2016. Then in 2017, we began a significant partnership with Google to build a robust programmatic platform to fully engage with the faith community and beyond to effectively and efficiently support and provide resources to those who have been underserved and undersupported.
Hence, the primary feature of our FAITHTECH work is the CONNECTED CHURCH Program and Toolkit in partnership with Google. This program has been successfully launched with the objective of providing specific digital programming for congregations to benefit their ministries as well as individual members.
CONNECTED CHURCHES seeks to empower underrepresented communities through the church by making technology accessible in a trusted, proximate, and familiar environment in hopes of bridging the digital divide and driving opportunities for communities underrepresented in tech.
“The church is still the place where we gather together in a trusted environment to help bring change and benefit people from 8 to 98 years old. Technology is a key to that reality, and we must all work to bridge the DIGITAL DIVIDE so that EVERYONE can benefit, and NO ONE is left out.”
– Rev. Jesse Jackson
THE DIGITAL DIVIDE IS REAL
So Is Our Commitment To Bridging It
When communities have access to technology, the possibilities are limitless. We created Connected Churches to ensure that communities of faith have access to technology and information on how to use it at places of worship and at home.
When young people, seniors, and others look for resources, they often find them in places of worship. Connected Churches builds on Google's commitment to Digital Inclusion by providing digital, in-person, and self-guided learning opportunities; available in local communities, at events, and at home.
Seniors can learn to use technology to keep in touch with friends and family
Churches can organize their businesses processes
Students can learn to use GSuite and to train others
Churches can start their own technology programs
Digital Inclusion Specialists provide support to local communities
How Did We Get Here
For generations, houses of worship have been the soul of local communities; providing fellowship, inspiration, and resources. Google’s commitment stretches to the beginnings of the company, as does the commitment of partners Rainbow PUSH and Values Partnerships to community impact.
We began building relationships to better understand how worship centers and their members use technology with the goal of combining Google's expertise with the reach of local worship centers in communities around the nation.
In 2016, we led learning sessions at church conferences and meetings to take the pulse of their members on technology. What we learned informed the development of the Connected Churches Toolkit. In 2017, we launched the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jr. Digital Inclusion Fellowship program, embedding digital experts in Atlanta, GA and Oakland, CA. We also used the toolkit to hold in-person technology trainings at conferences and local worship centers with thousands of participants in 10 states.
We Can Provide
Connected Churches Toolkit
A simple, step-by-step guide on how to use 11 GSuite and other technology tools, including: Gmail, Google Hangouts, YouTube, The Bible App, Google Forms, Google Sheets, Google Docs, Ridesharing apps including Uber and Lyft, Google Slides, Genius, and MailChimp.
Connected Churches Training Guide
Provides guidance on using the Connected Churches Toolkit to host technology learning sessions in your community. Use the Connected Churches Training Guide to take the first step in creating a local technology program.
Connected Churches Website
Self-guided training on digital tools for work, worship, and home available on the web from your computer or mobile device.
Technology training sessions with experts from Google in your community. Currently available in:
Bay Area, CA
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Ann Arbor/Detroit, MI
Contact us for more information or to explore ways to work together to empower communities of faith to close the Digital Divide