History The Freedom Rings Partnership was formed in 2010 to take a cross-sector, collaborative, and focused approach to improving computer literacy and internet access for the most disenfranchised and low-income Philadelphia residents. The partnership received two federal grants totaling $18.1M under the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), a part of the federal stimulus funding. Leveraged with matching support, this represented an infusion of $26.5M of federal and non-federal funds focused on a community-based approach to the problem of digital inequity in Philadelphia. Led by the Urban Affairs Coalition and the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Innovation and Technology, the partnership was comprised of over 50 organizations, including Drexel University, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department, People’s Emergency Center, Philadelphia FIGHT, Media Mobilizing Project, the Free Library of Philadelphia, Philadelphia OIC, One Day at a Time, and YOACAP. Celebrating Success In less than three years, the partnership: Launched over 80 KEYSPOTS, or public computer centers, throughout Philadelphia,Provided free computer and internet access to Philadelphians who made more than 430,000 visits to the KEYSPOTS,Provided over 230,000 hours of computer training to over 25,000 participants,Connected over 6,000 low-income families to internet access in their homes, and Reached over 5M people with broadband adoption awareness impressions through an extensive branding and marketing campaign. For more information about this program: Executive Summary: Coming Together to Create a More Connected Philadelphia Workforce Development Spotlight: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs Education Spotlight: Building Digital Fluency in the Next Generation Nonprofit Capacity Building Spotlight: A Network of Stronger Partners KEYSPOT Success Stories: Why We Do What We Do Highlights from Research The KEYSPOT Model: A Home Away from HomeFinal Evaluation Report from the Open Technology Institute “What the evaluation does show is a complex portrait of an innovative digital inclusion program in one of the country’s largest and poorest cities. The FRP has uniquely embedded public computer access and digital literacy programs within a network of social services and community-based work. With this approach, the FRP has helped bring Philadelphians online and helped them harness broadband’s positive socioeconomic effects.” “KEYSPOTS provide critical access points to the Internet for participants, helping them overcome fear of technology and increase their digital literacy skills with the help of supportive frontline staff who create a safe, welcoming, and engaging space for new Internet and computer learners.” “The Freedom Rings Partnership has increased the IT capacity of partner organizations; supported professional development of its digital literacy trainers; and improved service delivery through extensive collaboration inside and outside the partnership” “The FRP’s experience with BTOP resulted in the creation of an innovative model for broadband adoption, bringing broadband and its benefits to Philadelphia’s most underserved communities.” Read the Full Report Techno-Social Infrastructure: Poverty, Inequality and Broadband Adoption in Urban AmericaResearch Report from Rutgers University “Philadelphia’s KEYSPOT Program is a meaningful response to Philadelphia’s urban crisis. In particular, KEYSPOT has evolved into what we call a techno-social infrastructure that aims to address many of Philadelphia’s social and economic problems from unemployment to truancy and social isolation.” “Through our initial analysis, we contend that KEYSPOTS is a critical component of a novel Philadelphia, helping forge new spaces and practices that speak to the problems of poverty, un/underemployment, truancy and social isolation.” Read the Executive Summary Survey of Philadelphia Housing Authority Participants from Drexel University The results of a survey Drexel University conducted with a small subset of program beneficiaries—Philadelphia Housing Authority residents who completed an 8-hour training program and received a free netbook. The survey looks at immediate impact of the training and netbook on the lives of recipients. Read the Survey Report
Partners & Programs
The Coalition provides Fiscal Sponsorship and Shared Services to a network of 75 partner organizations and programs that offer services throughout the region, reaching more than 150,000 children, youth, and adults. Through the Power of the Coalition, we address the issues most important to families and communities: building wealth in urban communities, improving life chances for youth and young adults, and strengthening the nonprofit sector. We work in the areas of positive youth development, adult education and job training, health-related services, economic education, housing support, advocacy, and economic inclusion. You may browse or search the complete list of program partners below to learn more.
To promote and advance health equity for all by conducting health promotion and prevention programs that address the prevalence of diseases in vulnerable and underserved populations.
To honor the service and sacrifice of The American First Responder by publishing stories of their heroism and exceptional service and by creating distinct awards to recognize their accomplishments, and to endow the Homeland Heroes Fund to provide for the immediate financial needs of the familes of our fallen heroes.
The Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society (PBPRS), which is part of the National Black Public Relations Society (NBPRS), is committed to providing public relations and communications practitioners throughout the Greater Philadelphia region with a venue for professional support. The organization accomplishes this by fostering a network between members and other professionals that enable growth and development.
To be a productive, not-for-profit community development corporation (CDC), and to develop plans and implement projects that will result in high quality, long term affordable housing.
Center for H.O.P.E. provides support services, life skills training, and other transitional resources to single men aged 18 and older who are without homes and have referred through the City.
To provide a one-stop center to assist parents in overcoming barriers toward family reunification.
To improve quality of life for the disadvantaged and underprivileged, contribute to the social and economic empowerment of African American communities throughout the state, and encourage cooperation with other charitable organizations and institutions with similar goals.
To help facilitate the end of the AIDS crisis by advocating for HIV-cure research and supporting services for people with AIDS.
To provide culturally-sensitive and language-appropriate HIV and other related health services to Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs) and their partners, family members, friends, and service providers in the Philadelphia area.