Swatches of bright red on a map of the Kansas City area were the catalyst for a neighborhood conversation about broadband that included the Kansas City Fed and community partners.
The swatches—in Kansas City’s urban core and the nearby cities of Independence and Lee’s Summit—showed where broadband was available, but residents were not subscribing. The data map and broader report—produced by the Bank and available at KansasCityFed.org/community/digital-divide—shed light on Missouri’s broadband needs.
In October, residents of the Wendell Phillips neighborhood in Kansas City participated in a “data walk” conversation, designed to share information about the Kansas City Fed’s broadband research and hear residents’ views on whether the findings were accurate and what the results might mean for the neighborhood. The Bank and partners including aSTEAM Village and the Wendell Phillips Neighborhood Association produced the event. It was held at the offices of aSTEAM Village, a nonprofit that brings science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) learning to Kansas City.
The partners will use the data walk observations to identify actions they could take together or separately—such as further research, policy changes, training, or events—that would meet community needs. The results also will be shared with the public and with policymakers.
The Kansas City partnership is one of four pilot projects in Reserve Banks; the others involve the Atlanta, Philadelphia, and San Francisco banks. The projects are part of a System-wide effort to incorporate community-engaged research.
Learn more about the Kansas City Fed's community affairs work at KansasCityFed.org/community.
(Pictured above: Jarede Swinton, a student involved with aSTEAM Village, shared high points from a conversation she led among neighborhood residents. The discussion focused on broadband and why people do or don’t subscribe. Kansas City Fed Senior Community Development Advisor Jeremy Hegle (center) helped coordinate the event. Photo by Gary Barber)