The Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program…

is a $268 million grant program specifically designed for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs). This program is going to be a game-changer for so many communities! Its goal is to help these organizations purchase top-of-the-line internet service and equipment, as well as provide funding to hire and train skilled information technology personnel.

The NTIA advises the President on telecommunications and information policy, with a focus on expanding broadband Internet access, increasing spectrum use, and promoting innovation and economic growth through the Internet. They also represent the Executive Branch in domestic and international telecommunications and information policy activities, and provide research and data on broadband availability and adoption.

Internet for All

President Biden’s objective is to provide affordable and dependable high-speed Internet to all Americans. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has allocated $65 billion to aid in achieving this goal, supplementing and reinforcing existing programs that expand Internet access and use, with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Department of the Treasury, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) leading this historic effort.

Programs support high-speed Internet planning, infrastructure, and adoption. We define these terms as follows:

  • Planning: Data collection, mapping, and feasibility studies to help develop Internet expansion projects.
  • Infrastructure: Infrastructure for high-speed Internet deployment.
  • Adoption: Activities that ensure users can access and meaningfully use high-speed Internet. Includes subsidies, equipment, public access, digital literacy, skills training, workforce development, telehealth, and remote learning.

Our goal is to achieve digital equity by improving access to high-speed Internet and implementing inclusive planning for impactful outcomes. Everyone in America needs reliable and affordable Internet, and these programs are working towards that. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has allocated $65 billion to supplement and reinforce existing efforts, with the NTIA, FCC, Treasury, and USDA leading the way.

Who are we?

NTIA advises the President on telecommunications and information policy issues, with a focus on expanding broadband Internet access and adoption, spectrum use, and ensuring that the Internet drives innovation and economic growth. It collaborates with other Executive Branch agencies to develop Administration positions and represents the Executive Branch in domestic and international telecommunications and information policy activities. It is also a reliable source of research and data on broadband availability and adoption in America.


Contact: Adriana Cimetta (cimetta@arizona.edu) & Eval GA – Qian Wang (starting Spring 2024)
Role:  Project Evaluator
Purpose: To understand how increased technological access and educational programming offered through the Project CAN impacts partners, students, and anchor community members.

Formative Evaluation

Monitor activities for fidelity and satisfaction, track service reach to meet distribution outcomes, and identify areas for improvement.

Summative Evaluation

Identify outcomes, examine trends and characteristics, and disseminate effective components, lessons learned, and recommendations.

Progress & Next Steps:

  • Getting up to speed on the project and meeting everyone
  • Collaborating with Travis to capture participant needs and track distribution of tech equipment
  • Starting to work with Project CAN staff and partners to evaluate activities and services

UA Libraries-Tech Lending

Thrust #1

Points of contact: Travis Teetor (tteetor@arizona.edu) and 2-year extended temp employee (hiring in process)
Role: Coordinating the Project CAN library equipment lending program to reach students most in need per our grant application
Phase: Based on initial timeline and projects duration

  • Budget updated; all equipment purchased – Done; Months 1 – 6
  • Needs assessment tool, prioritize needs – In process; Months 1 – 6
  • Distribute tech – In process; Months 4 – 9
  • Tech lending program evaluation – In process (pre-assessment); Months 7 – 9

Distance education

Primary Project Goal #1: Support UArizona Students in Need
Provide broadband access and greater access to education to UArizona students most in need.

Distance Education Thrust: The goal is to improve distance learning education in rural and underserved communities in Arizona, including Douglas, Thatcher, Yuma, and the Pascua Yaqui Tribal community. This will be achieved through expanding access to reliable broadband and classroom technologies, providing flexible strategies for effective education in STEM fields, developing training and technical support for faculty and students, and improving the relevance of education and technology for rural students and their communities.

Synchronous Classroom Delivery for Various Programs Report: Programming Mining Engineering – EAC (Thatcher), SIE – Yuma, Nutritional Sciences – Yuma, Teacher Education – Need a status update, and Legal Education – Pasqua Yaqui.

Dunbar Pavilion



To honor the past, celebrate today and shape the future of the African-American community.


Striving to “Be the Best” African-American culture center in America.

Points of Contact:
Freda Marshall (Executive Director) executivedirector@thedunbartucson.org
Emma Ecclesiastes
(Site Coordinator)

Our role is to create a Financial Empowerment Center/Creative Development Space, a Family Resource Center, and an Education Resource Center (Archive Museum). We have hired a Site Coordinator and have identified a temporary space while finalizing the budget. Next, we will onboard the Site Coordinator and solidify community partners who will provide educational workshops.

Grant Oversight

University of Arizona Center for Digital Humanities

Bryan Carter, Director

College of Humanities Professor, Africana Studies
University of Arizona

Twitter: @bcmini, @AfricanaUofA, @UarizonaCDH

Melissa Hall, Program Manager

NTIA, Connect Arizona Now (CAN) Project

Email: mrhall@arizona.edu
Cell/Text: (520) 403-4288
Office: (520)621-5780