UMKC Center for Neighborhoods Launches New Website to Address Digital Equity in Kansas City

Provides access for organizations that cannot afford web design, hosting

The Center for Neighborhoods at the University of Missouri-Kansas City has launched a new website designed to highlight the work of Kansas City, Missouri, neighborhoods and to address the issue of digital equity.

The Center for Neighborhoods is housed in the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design, part of the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences. Director Dina Newman said many urban neighborhoods, with volunteer leaders and limited financial capital, are impacted by unequal access to information, connectivity and data. Too often, they must endure the racial and economic disparities associated with the “digital divide.”

The new website, cfn.umkc.edu, provides an interactive digital resource hub for Kansas City neighborhoods. This platform features up-to-date contact information and meeting times for neighborhood organizations and HOAs (homeowners’ associations) that have participated in the center’s 12-week Neighborhood Leadership Training session since 2016. Additional features include a calendar of events, critical information from partner organizations including pertinent information from City Hall, the popular weekly update “News You Can Use” and a short film from the Center for Neighborhoods’ First State of the Neighborhood Address.

Newman said the website provides access and a platform for those organizations that might not be able to afford the fees associated with web design, hosting and maintenance.

“The website creates an opportunity for Center for Neighborhoods to expand socially in our increasingly digital world,” Newman said. “These mediums are a tool for people and organizations to connect with each other and share valuable information to those who need it the most.”

As a follow-up step, the Center for Neighborhoods plans to take a more expansive role in popular social media platforms. “Our goal is lifting up the communities we serve.”

Published: Jul 24, 2020

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