The digital divide is a longstanding issue that has been exacerbated by the global pandemic. As more schools make the transition to solely online instruction, due to the spike in coronavirus cases, actor and comedian Marlon Wayans is ensuring students from underserved communities are equipped with the tools needed to continue learning. Wayans recently donated computers to children in Harlem.
According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 59 percent of parents with lower incomes say their children will likely face digital barriers when it comes to completing schoolwork. Further research revealed that one in five parents said their children would not be able to participate in online learning because they did not have access to a computer.
Cognizant of the disparities, Wayans decided to step up and support students in need. He took to Instagram to share that he donated computers to Harlem youth. “Bought a bunch of computers for Harlem kids in NYC,” he posted. “Using my hard work to build other roses from the concrete. Go be great… know somebody cares… ME! Invest in your communities that watch you buy could help buy kids a future. #tanikabean love you! Your passion made me passionately give. Invest in your communities, they need us.”
Amid the public health crisis, several efforts have been led to bridge the digital divide. In April, NBA star Russell Westbrook teamed up with Comp-U-Dopt and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner‘s Office of Education to donate 650 computers to children in Houston. The initiative was led through his Why Not? Foundation; an organization created to empower youth in underserved communities through education-focused programs. “It’s something that I’m very, very passionate about through my foundation, and I’m just trying to find a way—especially now—to be able to bridge the gap, and give kids access to another way of learning, through computers,” he said in a statement, according to CBS Sports. “This allows them to be able to continue their education, especially from home. I’m happy to be a part of it.”