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CN & AUTMHQ — Non-profits can work best when they work together

(Austin, TX – March 2, 2023) When Connected Nation (CN) is asked to host a Digital Literacy and Learning Workshop, it is often in partnership with libraries, community colleges, or community centers.

During CN’s trip to Austin, Texas in January, the Austin Urban Technology Movement (AUTMHQ) lent their time and resources to support our shared missions to close the Digital Divide. AUTMHQ is an Austin area nonprofit that “bridges the gap between the Black and Hispanic communities and the technology industry through job placement, career development, and networking opportunities.”

Prior to the workshop, AUTMHQ and Connected Nation spent time canvassing the local area to spread awareness about their work together and promote this unique opportunity for free digital skills training to local residents. AUTMHQ CEO Michael Ward Jr. feels strongly that there is a “diverse ecosystem” of people who need digital skills and access to technology.

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AUTMHQ staff, CN staff, and DLL workshop participants

Recruited by tech giant Oracle while still in college, Ward “experienced the benefits the tech industry had to offer, but soon realized not many people from my background, similar neighborhood, or economic status were able to participate.” This impassioned him to find ways to share his skills with the members of diverse and underserved communities. 

Much like CN, AUTMHQ thrives when everyone has the opportunity to succeed in the digital space. During our canvassing efforts with AUTMHQ, we reached out to transitional housing centers, local libraries, and charitable organizations to ensure that the opportunity to hone digital skills was made available to the individuals who needed it.

During this workshop, CN’s course facilitators Melissa Anderson and Alek Argueta led a small group of adults through the basics of e-mail, web conferences, and cyber security.

“It’s vital to connect one on one with participants and partners by doing the work together,” said Alejandra Alcaraz, AUTMHQ’s Director of Community Engagement and Outreach. “I connect with clients on a personal level to build trust not just in me, but in AUTMHQ’s mission and the digital equity initiatives in Austin.”

Build lasting relationships with community partners with similar goals is key to furthering CN’s mission. The same is true for AUTMHQ. 

“Both AUTMHQ and CN work to remove barriers that prevent community members from adapting and thriving in our digital economy,” Ward said. “We give people the skills they need to improve their quality of life. We go to them and guide them every step of the way.”

To host a Digital Literacy and Learning Workshop in your area, visit