Detroit appoints director of digital inclusion

The City of Detroit has appointed a director of digital inclusion, responsible for reducing the digital divide by developing strategies to expand access to computers and the internet to more citizens.

Joshua Edmonds previously oversaw deployment of more than $1.5 million in digital-inclusion investments for Cleveland, Ohio, through The Cleveland Foundation, the major community foundation for that city.

He will work with Detroit’s Department of Innovation and Technology to develop a city-wide strategy and develop methods to track and evaluate progress of the city’s efforts.

The city currently has among the nation’s highest rates of residents who lack access to computers and the Internet. Studies have shown that as many as 40 per cent of Detroit residents don’t have access to broadband internet, even as broadband has become essential to employment opportunities, education, health care, news and information, shopping and social life.