The Enterprise Center works to unite people, organizations and technology to build an advanced and inclusive future for our community. Digital equity programming like Tech Goes Home Tennessee and a commitment to ensuring that every resident has the access and tools to succeed are at the very heart of who we are. We believe that Chattanooga, and the partners who drive digital equity work in all of our communities, can serve as a model to replicate and accelerate other such efforts in communities across the country. It is for these reasons we were so excited to welcome all of our National Digital Inclusion Alliance colleagues to Chattanooga for Net Inclusion 2024.
NDIA has shared they are changing the location for next year, in response to legislation recently signed into law by the state of Tennessee. You can read the full statement to the NDIA community below — and, while we are disappointed not to welcome digital equity leaders from across the country here next year, we understand NDIA makes decisions it believes are in the best interest of its members:
“We made this hard decision because NDIA supports the LGBTQIA+ community. We also support the people and organizations working to advance digital equity in challenging climates – where detrimental policies are being passed and where democracy is being threatened by reprehensible racism. We want to thank the local Chattanooga community, those leading their digital inclusion ecosystem, and the city leaders and mayor who have been incredibly supportive of trans individuals.“
As an organization, The Enterprise Center works to serve every resident, including our Trans and other LGBTQ+ neighbors, and to support the many partners and advocates working tirelessly to make Chattanooga welcoming, accepting and safe for everyone. As Mayor Tim Kelly shared in a public statement earlier this year,
“For years Chattanooga has been a welcoming place for all residents to call home, regardless of whom they love or how they identify. We lead by our values, and that’s a huge part of what makes our community so special.”
Our digital equity work aligns strongly with Chattanooga’s commitment to being exactly this kind of place, and we strive continuously towards this ideal.
Moving forward, our mission does not shrink, nor does our belief in and support of the life-changing efforts of our many community partners. We will continue to build a shared and prosperous future for every Chattanoogan, for every Hamilton County resident and for every Tennessean.
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Subject: Net Inclusion 2024
Dear NDIA Affiliates & Friends,
I’m so sad. We are changing the location for Net Inclusion 2024. Recent developments in the state of Tennessee pose a real threat to members of our community. The safety of our community and staff – including trans and other LGBTQIA+ individuals – is of the utmost importance, and we cannot in good conscience bring people into a place where they would be at risk just for being themselves, nor are we going to ask people to hide their identity in order to participate in our gathering.
We made this hard decision because NDIA supports the LGBTQIA+ community. We also support the people and organizations working to advance digital equity in challenging climates – where detrimental policies are being passed and where democracy is being threatened by reprehensible racism. We want to thank the local Chattanooga community, those leading their digital inclusion ecosystem, and the city leaders and mayor who have been incredibly supportive of trans individuals.
NDIA works in every part of the country and with people from across the political spectrum with the common mission of advancing digital equity. Together, we’ll continue fighting for equity with you and celebrating the amazing digital inclusion work that is making communities like Chattanooga stand out. That won’t change and neither will our commitment to making our community a place for deep collaboration and honest conversations.
We are taking the safety of the wonderfully diverse NDIA community into serious consideration as we carefully select a new location for Net Inclusion 2024. Please stay tuned for more details.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
National Digital Inclusion Alliance