To say 2020 was an eventful year, might be the understatement of the century.
We faced a global pandemic that changed many things about how Voqal fights to address social equity. This included moving most of our operations remote at a moment’s notice. In addition, Mobile Citizen rose to the challenge and significantly increased the number of people it served as so much of daily life moved online.
Meanwhile, the crisis of racial inequity and police brutality against so many communities of color came into sharp focus. In response, we mobilized resources to support the organizations working to break down the systems of oppression that have perpetuated this continued racial injustice. We also continued our DEI efforts and began to examine how we can create a Voqal culture that is more racially equitable and inclusive.
So, what’s next for Voqal in 2021? We plan to continue to support those who are closest to the pain. That means supporting organizations led by and serving the very communities that continue to be disenfranchised by the current system of racial and social inequity. Whether that be the type of long-term organizing and power building that many of our grantees continue to engage in or the innovative efforts at addressing educational opportunity gaps that many of Voqal’s Education Opportunity Project partners are working towards, we will support those who are making real change happen.
Furthermore, while 2019 and 2020 saw many setbacks in the realm of telecommunications policy, we will fight to make sure our nation’s airwaves are used in a way that benefits the public. Whether that’s making sure spectrum is available to the groups who need it to expand connectivity in rural areas or fighting to reinstate Net Neutrality, Voqal remains committed to ensuring that the U.S. has equitable and fair telecommunications policies. And of course, Mobile Citizen will do everything it can to continue to address the digital divide through its low-cost mobile hotspot program.
Finally, we will continue efforts to create a more inclusive culture for our employees. This includes taking a hard look at creating a more racially equitable workplace through an increased emphasis on DEI. We remain dedicated to better aligning our internal and external values.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that 2021 may come with its own unique set of challenges. Whatever those challenges may be, we are ready to do our part to help overcome them and advance a more socially equitable country for all.