Before the holiday break, students at KIPP Vision Primary & Academy School received gifts that will enhance their educational experience. On Dec. 16, Broderick Johnson, Executive VP, Public Policy & Executive VP, Digital Equity of Comcast, traveled to Atlanta where he and his team donated 500 laptops to students during his trip.
The donation was part of a multi-day visit to Atlanta where Johnson met with educators, community partners, and local leaders to discuss digital equity and the role Comcast can play.
Following the donation at KIPP Vision Primary & Academy School, Johnson spoke with ADW to shed light on the work Comcast has done to eliminate the digital divide.
Can you share insight into what occurred with donations at KIPP Vision Primary & Academy School?
We got an opportunity to highlight the work Comcast has done to close the digital divide and understand why it’s so important for these children and their families to not get left behind. And so after I made those remarks, I was joined by Santa on stage to announce that every student was getting a laptop. The energy and appreciation was overwhelming.
Why is it important for Comcast to be a part of the initiatives like this?
Comcast’s leadership and my colleagues know how important access is so we’ve subsidized devices for over a couple of decades. Our commitment going forward is to invest in closing the digital divide with our resources and partnerships. That makes a real difference in communities like these where people trust what they’re being offered.
Comcast has a large presence in Atlanta. What other initiatives are you doing that will help communities?
Over 10 million people have signed up for the internet through our Internet Essentials program. In Atlanta, we’ve added about 160,000 people. This is about their empowerment. This isn’t just about us saying, ‘hey, you should sign up to the internet because Comcast is a great company.’ We emphasize that being online helps people really change their own lives.
From a personal standpoint, how does it feel to be able to play a part in helping the community?
I’m very fortunate to have this high leadership role and for Comcast to be able to coordinate its tremendous resources into closing the digital divide. And at the same time, to be able to come to communities like this one which is very similar to communities back in Washington, D.C. where I’m from.
What’s the biggest advice that you would give to students that can help them to be successful in the long run?
I was raised by parents who loved me but didn’t have a lot of resources. But they expected me to make the most of what we did have. And so I was able to accomplish things that I never thought I’d be able to do. To be able to work for two presidents, including President Obama. To be able to be a lawyer at big firms and to have this role at Comcast. I say to these young people, they can be like me one day. In fact, I expect them to reach high and to make great things happen. But they need to use the resources and the education that has been available to them and work harder. But they can do it. They can be exceptional.