563 devices granted. $92,948 worth of granted technology.
Through 2022, PowerOn was able to reach and impact over 80,000 individuals through granted technology. This means a 124% increase in devices granted over 2021, a 94% increase in dollar amount of granted technology from 2021 and a 695% increase in reach over the past four years.
PowerOn, a program of LGBT Tech, designed to forge community through equitable access to technology.
PowerOn, a program of LGBT Tech, is a first-of-a-kind program that distributes technology to LGBTQ+ individuals who are isolated, disadvantaged, and at risk of homelessness across the country through our network of LGBTQ+ grantee organizations.
PowerOn was created to address the disproportionate digital divide for the LGBTQ+ community. Since the foundation of the program, ever-developing uses for technology and a physically isolating pandemic have expanded the integration of technology into daily life at an exponential rate. The program has continuously grown to adapt and pivot to meet the ever- changing needs of the LGBTQ+ community when it comes to access to technology. In 2022, we continued our work of granting technology to individuals as well as to LGBTQ+ community centers across the country through our PowerOn grant, the Mini Grant, and, for the first time, internationally through a new partnership with Safe Place International. Through our years of work with the community we know that access to technology can no longer be considered a luxury, but instead has become a basic necessity to not only survive but thrive in the world today.
Confronting Gender Disparities
Across the board, women within the LGBTQ+ community face higher levels of depression, and also report higher levels of fair or poor health. There are many factors that contribute to this, but some of the most pressing and impactful contributing factors are:
• Economic opportunities
• Employment and housing
• Chronic stress
In 2021, the PowerOn grant reached more cismen and trans men in each age category than cis women and trans women. In 2022, the PowerOn grant reached more trans women and cis women than trans men and cis men for the first time in the program’s history. PowerOn had an
impressive 18.5% growth in reach to trans women and cis women in 2022, resulting in an additional reach of 11,000 women in only one year. The PowerOn tech grant is used by partner centers to connect the LGBTQ+ community to telehealth services, mental health services, therapy and much more.
2022 Mobile Mini Grant
The Mini Grant was created as an emergency response to COVID-19, and has since transformed into an annual grant that continues to be centered around community, advocacy, and connectivity. Staying true to its roots, the Mini Grant provides partner centers with access to critical technology that empowers them to combat the day-to-day crises and emergencies our community members face.
In 2022, the Mini Grant made huge strides. Thanks to support from T-Mobile, LGBT Tech was able to grant technology, increase the reach and impact of that technology, and support more LGBTQ+ individuals in accessing services that are technology dependent.
Safe Place International
The reach of both the LGBTQ+ community and the importance of technology extends far beyond borders. However, for many in the LGBTQ+ community, their lives are defined by the borders that either confine them into countries that criminalize their existence or shut them out from accessing safety or a better quality of life. That is why in 2022, LGBT Tech piloted its first international distribution of PowerOn technology to LGBTQ+ asylum seekers globally through our partnership with Safe Place International. Through years of work and building expertise, we understand the unique uses and reliance on technology by the LGBTQ+ community. Through our partnership with SPI, we are expanding this work internationally to include some of the most vulnerable members of our community, connecting them with life-saving devices.
Key Takeaways, Successes, And Challenges
Overall, 2022 was an exciting year for LGBT Tech and our partner centers. We look forward to continuing to grow our grants and expand our reach and support the LGBTQ+ community. However, it is important to remember and acknowledge that our community continues to face unprecedented legislative attacks, and we have our work cut out for us these upcoming years.
As the LGBTQIA+ community’s reliance on access to technology grows, so does PowerOn. As we continue to expand our reach into the community and deepen our understanding of the issues that our community faces, we continue to build and update the program, made possible thanks to valuable community feedback and continued support from PowerOn sponsors.