HUD sponsored

Meeting Needs During COVID-19: Successes in Promise Zones - Responding to the Digital Divide


March 30, 2021 | 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM EDT



In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic tragically affected our nation, which has since resulted in 500,000 deaths, 28.1 million total cases, and a disastrous impact upon small businesses and many sectors of employment. Like many communities, Promise Zones had to pivot their strategies and respond to the immediate needs affecting their residents.

This webinar featured three urban and rural Promise Zones and their efforts to help their communities overcome the digital divide of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michele Perez, Assistant Deputy Secretary for HUD's Office of Field Policy and Management and Shawn Arner, Deputy Assistant Administrator for USDA's Rural Utilities Service provided opening remarks on this webinar.

Featured panelists and brief highlight:

  • San Diego Promise Zone (CA): Connected community members and partners to resources through virtual meetings and information distribution, worked with the City of San Diego and local philanthropy to plan for the immediate and long-term economic recovery, and began shifting priorities of working groups to meet the challenges of right now and the near future
  • North Hartford Promise Zone (CT): Adapted to provide access to programs and services during COVID
  • Kentucky Highlands Promise Zone (KY): Supported the deployment of a statewide middle mile, encouraged local government to create Fiber Boards, and have increased awareness of the benefits of education, jobs, telehealth, and aging in place

This webinar was part of a webinar series that covered efforts made by Promise Zones related to COVID-19 testing, responding to food shortages and shelter response, promoting job opportunities and small business support, and solving the digital divide – all of which have been exacerbated by the closures of schools and many work-from-home requirements by employers. View all webinars in the Meeting Community Needs During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Successes in the Promise Zones Webinar Series.


Tags: Promise Zones Initiative COVID-19

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