media lab

Neighborhood Technology Resource Center

Chicago, IL

Founded in February 2000, the Neighborhood Technology Resource Center’s mission is to create public spaces where technology can be experienced and serve as a catalyst for individual and community capacity development. The NTRC accomplishes this mission by creating programs in collaboration with residents that are practical, relevant and contribute to their digital proficiency. Our long term vision is that local citizens, community organizations, churches and businesses will have access to and the necessary knowledge of digital technologies and its benefits for the purpose of individual and community development.

Our programmatic focus has been to use digital technology to: (a) increase literacy and educational competency among youth, adults and organizations; (b) enhance training, employment goals and outcomes for long-term career development; and (c) strengthen organizational infrastructure to facilitate growth and development.

The Neighborhood Technology Resource Center (NTRC) has three locations in Chicago’s North Lawndale, West Town and Grand Boulevard communities. At NTRC North Lawndale we have 20 computer workstations with T1 Internet access. Located in the Northwest Tower Apartments, NTRC West Town has twelve computer workstations connected to the Internet through a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), while NTRC Grand Boulevard hosts over 45 computers for public use.

Lowell Telecommunications Corporation

Lowell, MA

LTC fosters open access to information and communication technologies for the distribution of free ideas, community development and personal empowerment. The following core values guide LTC in its work:
Accessibility and Inclusion
We are dedicated to providing low-cost access to content creation resources and the knowledge to use them without discrimination and with respect for each individual.
Creative Expression and Intellectual Freedom
We promote the artistic and expressive use of communication technologies within a free-speech environment without editorial control.
Community Building through Collaboration
We ground our work in strong collaborations with local community-based organizations, municipal departments and educational entities (including Educational Channel 22). We leverage our organizational resources to build capacity for others and ourselves.
Diversity in All Its Forms
We respect our diverse, multicultural, and dynamic urban population and are dedicated to meeting its many community communication and information needs.
Innovation in the Field of Community Communications
We seek to be an innovator in the field of community communications as demonstrated by our programmatic activities, technology implementation, production methods and overall excellence.

Egleston YMCA CyberY

Dorchester, MA

Black Child & Family Institute

Lansing, MI

BCFI was established in 1986 to provide programs and services aimed at strengthening children and families. Today, we serve children and families of all ethnic groups, as we are located in one of the most diverse communities in the area.

The mission of BCFI reflects the commitment necessary in the Lansing area to address the critical need for a broad range of activities and services essential to raising and meeting the aspirations of many children and families. Our proven record and major focus on academic tutorial, enrichment and enhancement for children and adults, computer technology training, financial literacy, community unity and cultural activities set us apart from other organizations.

BCFI has a long history of providing services to youth and young adults in our community. For more than 23 years we have operated a variety of programs that have offered services in the areas of tutoring and academic achievement; summer employment opportunities; job shadowing; paid/unpaid work experiences; leadership development through community service activity; positive social behavior; and mentoring. We have a full on-site computer lab, a cadre of loyal dedicated volunteers, a strong network of public and private entities, and a deep-rooted commitment to our community which makes us a strong provider of services.

Urbana Champaign Independent Media Center

Urbana, IL

In its tenth year, the Urbana Champaign Independent Media Center (UCIMC) is a grassroots organization committed to using media production and distribution as tools for promoting social and economic justice. The UCIMC fosters the creation and distribution of media, art, and narratives emphasizing underrepresented voices and perspectives, and promotes empowerment and expression through media and arts education. To this end, we own and operate a Community Media and Arts Center located in the historic post office building in downtown Urbana, Illinois. The Center includes a radio station, media production studios, a performance venue, art gallery, artist in residence studios, a library, public access computer labs, bike repair center, and meeting spaces. The UCIMC runs a 24/7 low power radio station, publishes a monthly newspaper, operates a daily website, and hosts numerous community listservs, all freely available to the community.

The UCIMC is strongly supported by and embedded in communities with little access mainstream media. The roots of poverty lay in a lack of access to participation in the decisions that affect one’s life, including the decisions about the allocation of resources and power. The UCIMC works to eradicate poverty through empowering residents to “become the media” - amplifying unheard voices, inspiring and uniting those who work for change, and helping to shift and reframe public discourse. For example, residents pressing for the clean up of a toxic waste site in their neighborhood used UCIMC-facilitated investigative journalism and organizing to get the city and EPA involved in cleaning the site.Over 44,000 free books have been shipped to Illinois prisoners through UCIMC’s Books to Prisoners program. The UCIMC is an official Community Technology Center in Illinois and is a key partner in our community’s NTIA application that was just awarded $22.5 million for broadband infrastructure.

Transmission Project