Making the right connections

There is no overstating how the pandemic has increased both reliance on technology and the technology gap for those already facing systemic inequities. A new pilot program that connects McMaster University and community partners is working to address this need.

As part of its environmental stewardship plan, McMaster’s Academic Sustainability Programs Office was exploring ways to donate tech devices in the community. At the same time, community organizations working with racialized communities, including newcomers and immigrants, expressed a critical need for technology, particularly as the pandemic disproportionately affects these communities.

The Foundation helped connect McMaster with a group of local non-profits, including the Afro Canadian Caribbean Association, Empowerment Squared, Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion, Immigrants Working Centre, Munar Learning Centre, and Refuge: Hamilton Centre for Newcomer Health. Up to 100 high-quality tech devices will be available for re-use each semester. An HCF grant is also supporting Empowerment Squared to acquire software licenses and refurbish the donated devices for distribution.

“This pilot is an example of community coming together to address a significant challenge for many communities in remote working and learning environments,” says Rudi Wallace, Vice-President, Grants & Community Initiatives.

Excerpt from 2021 Fall Legacy newsletter