North Carolina (NC) Fair Share CDC is a statewide, multi-issue membership, advocacy and leadership development organization. They combine leadership identification and cultivation, community organizing and interdependent community development to address current issues and systemic problems in North Carolina. They provide a vehicle for change. Before change can happen, communication must. And much of NC Fair Share CDC’s communication happens because of technology, specifically the Internet. The organization relies heavily on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology which runs the large mobile phone banks that connects them with the community and requires a significant amount of digital bandwidth. The real work, however, happens when staff leave the office and connect with constituents — poor disenfranchised African Americans who have voices that are not being heard because of the digital divide. They lack the skills and the tools needed to contribute to change.

“Our goal is to get more candidates in the pipeline and more people into the online voter database,” said Akiba Byrd, NC Fair Share CDC’s Executive Director. “We win when we get the disengaged to participate. Getting them access to all of the resources the Internet provides, both for information and for leadership development, is part of the solution.”

Like many organizations, the digital divide has kept them from achieving their mission in the past. To see how NC Fair Share CDC uses mobile internet to reach audiences on both ends of the age spectrum, each with their own unique access challenges, read the rest of NC Fair Share CDC’s story on our news.