Our Wonderful Month of May & Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month 🌺 🌸

We must uplift marginalized voices, continue educating ourselves, and help #StopAAPIHate.

To our united community:

This Memorial Day, our team asks that you take time to reflect on your own life stories and empathize to hear those of others. What I am reminded of from my previous conversations with veterans at the local VA hospital is the tremendous amount of wisdom that exists within each and every one of us. By sharing stories and truly listening to what others have to say, we can come together to uplift marginalized voices and shape our society one conversation at a time.

This sentiment is especially important for celebrating both AAPI Heritage Month and the arrival of our Bridging Tech Summer Give Back Campaign. More details about our fundraiser will be announced tomorrow on our website, but we are happy to share our vision with you in advance.

To effectively bridge the digital divide for students affected by homelessness, we are featuring a tribal government partnership to ensure that every student affected by homelessness in their community is given both a permanent laptop for learning and one year of free Internet connectivity. With almost one-third of Americans in tribal lands lacking access to the Internet, along with many other obstacles toward digital inclusion, we hope that our initiative will inspire action from the larger community to work together and bridge the digital divide.

There is so much more to share, so we hope that you continue exploring these complex issues to uncover how we can use our gifts to spark action and help under-resourced communities on a larger scale.

Thank you for your incredible support,

Isabel Wang

Co-Founder, The Bridging Tech Charitable Fund

Spotlight: AAPI Heritage Month

The month of May is Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. During this time, we recognize the contributions and impact made by Asian and Pacific Islander Americans to our nation. We motivate you to continue educating yourselves about the historical events and policies that have shaped our society, and use your voice to advocate for the equitable treatment of people of color.

The first Japanese immigrants arrived in the United States on May 7, 1843. The transcontinental railroad — with Chinese immigrants making up the majority of workers — was completed on May 10, 1869. In recognition of these major milestones, the month of May was chosen for AAPI Heritage Month.

Due to the recent rise in violence directed toward Asian-Americans, this month is of special importance. Bridging Tech stands in solidarity with the Asian-American community and strongly advocates for choosing to #StopAAPIHate. Do you want to get involved? You can visit the official Stop AAPI Hate website.

Your Impact

Thanks to your generous contributions this month, in the form of both direct donations and time volunteering, we have sent out over 200 additional laptops for learning, transforming the lives of students affected by homelessness across the country. This shipment of laptops to our shelter partners included cities such as Cleveland, San Diego, and San Jose.

With all of our recent support, we asked our community what giving means to them. These are a couple of featured responses:

  • Volunteering has been a truly transformative and therapeutic experience for me. I have learned the importance of active listening. Giving those I serve my full attention as they tell a story never fails to make their eyes light up. Experiences like these warm my heart and encourage me to keep volunteering every week.

  • It’s nice to spend time volunteering, because you get exposed to people and situations that you don’t usually have access to otherwise. In my daily life, I don’t really talk to kids, but when I volunteer to help them, I have a fantastic time. We don’t owe each other anything, but we still become fast friends.

We would like to extend our appreciation to Jason Sun, who signed up as a Volunteer to support our cause by connecting us to helpful resources. Jason made us aware of the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, a $3.2 billion federal initiative created by Congress to help lower the cost of high-speed Internet for eligible households and help those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This program begins to create independence and promote economic mobility through Internet access for all under-resourced households, including those on tribal lands. We have been sharing this important resource with the families we serve and would welcome all news of additional helpful programs!

What We’re Watching

Hollywood has historically had a difficult time embracing filmmaking from diverse directors. Nomadland is an exception. The film follows a widow named Fern as she travels across the country, looking for work and a place to belong in a country that turns its back on so many. The story is one of economic hardship, a failing safety net, and resilience — as Fern says, she’s not “homeless,” just “houseless.”

The movie was directed by Chloé Zhao, who is the first Asian woman and second woman ever to win the Academy Award for Best Director. Nomadland is based on a 2017 non-fiction book of the same title, and Zhao’s adaptation won the Academy Award for Best Picture. (Content warning: this movie is rated R.)

Special Shout-Out: Give Back Box

Our shipping partnership with Give Back Box ensures that we can ship our large collections of local device donations for the lowest cost possible. This means that we now have the capacity to give even more devices! By visiting our Give Back Box partner page, you can purchase a shipping label for a $15 flat fee and send bulk donations under 50 pounds, such as desktops, to our refurbishing partner. For all donated devices, we can help you out by reimbursing the shipping expenses!

Get Involved

Do you want to join the cause?

If you believe in what we advocate for and want to join our cause, please click the link above to apply for a position on our team. We always appreciate more help at Bridging Tech, so we are recruiting volunteers who can dedicate at least 10 hours weekly for the next year to join our core teams, including those advocating for local policy changes and those reaching out to philanthropy teams at large organizations. If you or someone you know are interested in getting involved on a greater level, let’s work together to magnify our impact!

You can become a volunteer or donate.

Thank you for showing support by giving your time. We will reach out to you when there are opportunities to volunteer by hosting technology donation drives, mentoring our students, or helping out our regional teams in a city near you.

If you can, donate devices!

With the help of our refurbishing partner, all personal information will be wiped, and the devices will then be properly refurbished. After cleaning out your closets for extra devices, check to see if your company has cyclical hardware refreshes, and motivate your IT or Philanthropy teams to donate devices to Bridging Tech. Our initiatives promote environmental sustainability!

Finally, become a Digital Divide Ambassador.

Share this newsletter with ten of your friends, and tell us a bit about you and your community to become a Digital Divide Ambassador at Bridging Tech! Email us at newsletter@bridgingtech.org.