CONWAY, N.H., Sept. 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Digitunity, a national nonprofit organization that connects low-income people with the computer donations they need, today announced that Onepak has signed The Corporate Pledge to End the Digital Divide as a Cornerstone Partner in the quest to improve digital equity throughout the country.
Since the mid-1980s, Digitunity, its predecessor organization, and community partners have placed hundreds of thousands of computers with people in need. Providing that technology is essential for helping people to succeed in school, participate in the economy, and improve their communities.
“We’re thrilled to have an organization like Onepak, with its foresight, social consciousness, and reach, join us in our mission to close the digital divide,” said Scot Henley, Executive Director of Digitunity. “With Onepak as a partner, we’ll be able to elevate the issue, accelerate our efforts, and help more community-based organizations obtain the technology they need for their constituents.”
Onepak is a logistics technology company whose software platform and services facilitate the return, reuse, and recycling of IT and other hardware assets. As organizations of all sizes focus increasingly on sustainability, Onepak can track and report the impact of ESG efforts and help facilitate Digitunity’s mission at the same time. Onepak is uniquely positioned to redirect the flow of used IT assets toward organizations that address digital equity in the U.S.
“As a company committed to bending the supply chain into a circle with sustainability at the core of our mission, partnering with Digitunity not only makes sense as a business but aligns with our values entirely,” said Steve Andon, CEO and Co-founder of Onepak. “We’re eager to turn this pledge into genuine action to close the digital divide in our society to the betterment of everyone involved.”
An estimated 36 million people in the U.S. don’t have a computer at home, and tens of millions of households lack access to basic technology most people take for granted, including reliable internet access, a computer, and the skills to use digitally-connected devices. The problem disproportionately affects communities of color, but persists across all boundaries.
This disparity between resourced and under-resourced communities is known as the “digital divide.” It permeates into every aspect of life, creating educational, economic, and career disenfranchisement. Children are unable to complete homework. Parents cannot search for and apply for jobs. Families are cut off from access to community services.
Through the Corporate Pledge to End the Digital Divide, Digitunity hopes to align the support and collective voice of influential, resourceful organizations in business, government, education, philanthropy, and community organizations with the passion and dedication of their Digital Opportunity Network, which includes nearly 1,500 frontline, community-level groups.
“The solution to expanding device ownership cannot be to simply buy new devices. Instead, a sustainable, long-term solution is to shift the way corporate IT assets are handled at end of life,” according to Susan Krautbauer, Senior Director of Strategy and Development at Digitunity. “This decommissioned technology, repurposed for community support, can make owning a computer more attainable for more people. Technology reuse is a practical, environmentally friendly solution for expanding device ownership.”
This national-scale gap in opportunity is multi-faceted and pervasive. It results from a number of interwoven, systemic issues. Solving it will require building and expanding collaborations on a similar scale. It is the reason Digitunity launched the Corporate Pledge to End the Digital Divide.
“Because of the nature of this issue, we believe fostering collaboration and relationships between entities throughout the community, businesses, service providers, community leaders, volunteers, government representatives, academics, and the media is critical for creating an inclusive future,” said Krautbauer. “No one organization can do this alone. But together, we can ensure underrepresented, marginalized people have access to the technology they need to thrive in the modern economy.”
The four pillars of Digitunity’s pledge are:
- Access to Technology – People must have access to secure, reliable, and connected large-screen devices to work, learn, and develop the skills they need.
- Digital Skills & Education – Digital literacy is fundamental to education, finance, employment, telehealth, communication, security, community, and efficiency.
- Community Engagement & Impact – Those in need benefit most from engaged people and organizations in their communities. Those systems need to enable and sustain impact.
- Achieving Change – There is a direct line from racial inequity to poverty, and poverty to the digital divide. The corporate sector is a critical partner in developing innovative solutions that can benefit marginalized communities while having broad societal beneﬁts.
Each organization that commits to the Corporate Pledge to End the Digital Divide is:
- -Provided ongoing opportunities for active participation and engagement to bolster desired outcomes.
- -Receiving access to a variety of tools, resources, research, and thought-leadership opportunities.
- -Recognized by name and organization on the Corporate Pledge webpage on the Digitunity website.
- -Included in a quarterly press release announcing new organizations that join.
- -Featured in promotional and media campaigns to promote overall participation and adoption.
“We’re thrilled with the commitments we’ve received so far. We welcome everyone who wants to join in the coming months,” adds Krautbauer. “Together, we can move beyond incremental change to create a future where everyone can thrive in education, employment, and connectedness.”
Digitunity is in discussion with a number of leading businesses and other organizations and will be announcing new partners in the weeks to come. Please visit Digitunity.org to learn more about Digitunity and the Corporate Pledge to End the Digital Divide. Sign the pledge today at Digitunity.org/sign-the-pledge.
Since the 1980s, Digitunity has advanced digital inclusion by connecting donors of technology with organizations serving people in need. Our mission is to ensure everyone who needs a computer has one, along with robust internet connectivity and digital literacy skills. To learn more about our mission, visit Digitunity.org.
Onepak bends the traditional linear supply chain into a sustainable circle. ReturnCenter, the company’s online carbon-neutral logistics platform, connects shippers, receivers, carriers, and their enterprise management tools on one scalable system. The platform delivers complete visibility into the chain of custody, access to a flexible network of over 400 trained logistics partners covering every U.S. zip code, and numerous tracking and reporting capabilities.
As a demonstration of Onepak’s focus on being an authentic ESG-driven company, the company has sustainably executed more than two billion pounds of product returns for a global customer base that features leading organizations like Dell, IBM, United Technologies, Carrier, Diebold, General Motors, Toyota, US Bank and DLL Group. For more information, please visit Onepak.com.