Training and Affordable Computers under One Roof - Byte Back

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Training and Affordable Computers under One Roof

Author: Yvette Scorse
Published: February 6, 2017

Byte Back Partners with Project Reboot and DC Government at Revived Frederick Douglass Community Center

The Frederick Douglass Community Center was full with supporters, partners, and community members celebrating its opening February 3.

Byte Back staff attended the grand opening of the Center.

By Yvette Scorse, Communications Manager

Community partners revived the Frederick Douglass Community Center in Ward 8 as a tech hub, where Byte Back’s digital training and Project Reboot‘s affordable computers come together.

The Center has been vacant for about 10 years. Owned by the DC government, they had considered tearing the facility down several times. That was until John Capozzi of the DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) had a different idea for the building.

John Capozzi worked to open the center as a digital inclusion hub.

Capozzi is DC digital inclusion leader and supporter of Byte Back and Project Reboot. He sees the digital divide separating Southeast DC and sees the need for digital equity – a need the Frederick Douglass Community Center will help fill.

The DC Housing Authority, Office of the State Superintendent of Education, OCTO, Byte Back, and Project Reboot came together to make it happen.

OCTO and Project Reboot’s map of computer access shows an intense divide between Wards 7 and 8 and the rest of the District.

This building “serves the community in the way it needs to be served” and is going to be a “viable part of the community,” said Nathan Bovelle of the DC Housing Authority at an open house celebrating its reopening.

DC leaders stressed the uniqueness of the space and how it will benefit the community.

“This is one of just a few places in the country where you can find affordable computers and training under one roof,” said Elizabeth Lindsey, executive director of Byte Back.

“It’s not just enough to have literacy of the printed page, we also need digital literacy,” said the State Superintendent Hanseul Kang.

“The chains of race are broken, the fountains of knowledge are open … the means of advancement are accessible.” – Frederick Douglass

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