Community Profile: Austin Free-Net

Community Profile: Austin Free-Net

As part of ATA’s commitment to community education, we’re showcasing Austin Free-Net this month. 

Tell us a little bit about your organization! What is AFN’s mission and vision for the community?

Austin Free-Net is a 501(c)(3) digital equity non-profit created in 1995 to empower the community through technology. Our mission is empowerment through technology for all with emphasis on marginalized members of the community. Our vision is a world without digital barriers. We work with anyone who needs digital assistance and help break digital barriers so anyone can empower themselves with technology. We do this with free workshops/classes, free access to computer labs, custom programming, community outreach/events, 1:1 assistance and partnering with local government and other non-profits to achieve mutual goals.

What has been one of the most impactful projects AFN has worked on in Austin?

Austin Free-Net has a history of trailblazing and impactful programs so long that we are considered the foundation of digital inclusion in Austin! We were the first organization to bring wired internet into Austin Public Library branches in the 90’s, we managed the only public access lab available during the 2020 pandemic and more recently in 2021, we were the first organization to bring Austin Free-Net Digital Navigator services to Austin Public Library branches.

We continue to trailblaze digital inclusion efforts by providing innovative opportunities like Austin Free-Net’s Learn & Earn Program, City of Austin’s Annual Art Connect Contest, Digital Dreamers and our annual closeout event for Digital Inclusion Week, Tech For All Fest, a 100% free festival where participants can learn about a wide variety of technology resources from the community while engaging in live music, games, food and prizes all in the spirit of digital inclusion. We genuinely try to make everything we do impactful for our clients and community.

Austin Free NetHow can the community get involved?

Donate or Fundraise for Austin Free-Net

Can you send an e-mail? Do you like lending a hand? Do you have experience in a technology career? Any of these items qualifies you to volunteer!

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

Austin Free-Net is a small but mighty boots on the ground team who depend on support from the Austin community to continue to offer our services and support for over 29 years and counting. Technology is only advancing. Any amount of support you can give, from donating old devices, volunteering as a navigator, donating funds during Amplify Austin or simply bringing awareness to other community members about our organization helps us tremendously. When you support Austin Free-Net, your support goes directly back into the Austin Community.

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