FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Latinitas Selected as One of 19 Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund Grantees
The Austin-based nonprofit’s Gigabit Girls project will bring virtual reality to girls in Austin Public Housing
Austin, Texas (January 24, 2017) – Latinitas, an Austin-based nonprofit organization focused on equipping Latina youth with multimedia production skills and technology training, has received a 2017 Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund Grant for its effort to combine gigabit technology and education in public housing.
Latinitas will use the grant towards the Gigabit Girls project, in conjunction with Austin Public Housing. The project includes an introductory course in virtual reality (VR) that will be taught to girls engaged with Latinitas programming and living in public housing in Austin. Additionally, Gigabit Girls will call for the recruitment of VR professionals to support the program and bridge the century-long divide between Austin’s downtown business district and East Austin’s housing projects.
Latinitas is one of six nonprofit organizations and programs from Austin to receive the grant, which was also awarded to Austin Free-Net, Austin Monitor, Changing Expectations, University of Texas UTeach Outreach, and PenPal Schools. The other 13 grantees are located in Kansas City, MO, and Chattanooga, TN.
The Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund, a collaboration with the National Science Foundation and US Ignite, will grant the selected organizations a total of $241,000 for a 16-week pilot period beginning January 30 so that they may “build, pilot, and scale gigabit-enabled applications and associated curricula that have immediate, measurable effect on classrooms and informal learning organizations.”
Learn more about the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund at https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/gigabit/.
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Latinitas, an Austin-based nonprofit organization, is dedicated to empowering Latina youth using media and technology, providing direct digital media and technology training and esteem-boosting services to nearly 3,500 girls and teens across Texas annually – 2,000 in Central and 1,500 more in West Texas. Latinitas envisions a future in which all Latinas are strong and confident in their image. Girls and families in Latinitas learn the latest Web 2.0 platforms to design websites, do graphic design, produce video, record audio, blog, do photography, invent social media campaigns, develop video games and mobile apps, coding and robotics ensuring new and diverse voices in media and technology. Latinitas also produces the first and still only magazine of its kind, Latinitasmagazine.org (25,000 monthly viewers), and its own social media network, MyLatinitas.com (1,400 registered girls).
ABOUT THE MOZILLA GIGABIT COMMUNITY FUND
Created in 2011, the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund is a joint initiative between Mozilla, US Ignite and the National Science Foundation. Their mission is to leverage next-generation Internet technology to create a more connected, open, and innovative city. The Gigabit Community Fund couples gigabit connectivity (250x faster than most Internet speeds) with grants supporting projects in the realms of education and workforce development. Mozilla believes the Internet is best as a free, open, and accessible public resource — and gigabit technology can help the Web flourish as just that.