What’s Connect Your Community?

Connect Your Community is a nonprofit organization, based in Cleveland, working to to develop sustainable strategies to help disconnected people and communities to overcome their “digital exclusion” and join the digital mainstream.

Between 2010 and 2013, CYC and many of our community partners were part of a groundbreaking Federally-funded “sustainable broadband adoption” effort called the Connect Your Community Project, anchored by nonprofit broadband provider OneCommunity. With those Federal funds (from the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program) we were able to recruit, train and equip more than 13,000 Greater Cleveland and Detroit residents to connect to the Internet and use it to make their lives better.

Connect Your Community 1.0 was a big step in the right direction. But the Federal support that made it possible ended in 2013.

CYC 2.0 was our next step — not a new organization or program, but a collaborative effort from 2013 through 2016 to keep our communities moving toward digital literacy and access for 100% of our neighbors. During this period we helped create the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, advocated Federal initiatives like the FCC’s Lifeline broadband program, organized a multi-community effort to win digital inclusion commitments in connection with a major cable merger, conducted ongoing research on community broadband access (see here and here, for example), and worked to develop innovative local training partnerships like this one around personal health records.

Now we’ve moved on to create “CYC 3.0” — a new nonprofit organization, incorporated in January 2017, called the “Connect Your Community Institute.”  

The CYC Institute is designed to create a stronger foundation for CYC to carry on our work of training, research, advocacy and program development — all in the service of “digital literacy and access for all our neighbors and neighborhoods”.