The Rocket Community Fund is committed to creating equitable opportunities for residents in our communities. One critical area of focus is bridging the digital divide and ensuring that all residents have access to the devices, connectivity and digital literacy training they need to thrive.
Over the past two years, we have proudly supported wide-ranging digital inclusion efforts in Detroit, from the Rocket Mortgage Classic’s “Changing the Course” initiative to ”Connecting Seniors,” which provided low-income seniors with digital devices. We also launched the “EBB 313” campaign to raise awareness of the Emergency Broadband Benefit, a resource we will also highlight in Cleveland through the recent expansion of our Neighbor to Neighbor initiative.
At the core of all this work is collaboration, or, put another way, connectivity. To ensure that our communities are digitally connected, we must first connect with each other and have a shared vision. That means public, private and nonprofit partners all moving in the same direction under one coordinated strategy. This approach is the vision of Connect 313, which was launched in 2020 with funding from the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Through Connect 313, we have made great strides in bringing diverse organizations together to understand the needs of the community and implement the right solutions. One example is the growth of Brilliant Detroit, a beloved Detroit organization that is dedicated to building kid success families and neighborhoods where families with children 0-8 have what they need to be school ready, healthy and stable.
Brilliant Detroit maintains a neighborhood-based model with locations that are built from existing homes within the community. From each Brilliant Detroit home, community members can access a wide range of services, including tutoring, financial literacy, exercise, STEM training and more. The fact that Brilliant Detroit homes were already acting as resource hubs within neighborhoods across the city made them a made them a perfect fit for Connect 313.
In April, Connect 313 launched its first four neighborhood technology hubs in collaboration with Brilliant Detroit, located at Cody Rouge, Southwest, Morningside and Dexter-Linwood. At these technology hubs, residents have access to the devices, technology and digital literacy training they need for online education, telemedicine, employment resources and more. Brilliant Detroit is also offering support for residents to sign up for the Emergency Broadband Benefit from its locations.
Cindy Eggleton, Founder and CEO of Brilliant Detroit, is excited about the organization’s alignment with Connect 313 and ongoing support from the Rocket Community Fund and Rocket Mortgage Classic.
“This ‘Changing the Course’ is about transformation,” says Eggleton. “It is about equality. It is about making sure that everybody has not just the basic tools, but that they can thrive using the digital environment.”
We couldn’t agree more and are excited to continue supporting Connect 313 and organizations like Brilliant Detroit, who are helping unlock opportunity in our communities and giving residents the tools, resources and pathways to thrive.