The Community Knowledge Centers (CKCs) use advanced technologies to demonstrate and teach the benefits of community uses of technology to deliver effective educational programs and activities. In addition, the program provides continuing access to information technologies to community institutions and citizens.
The vision of the project is to enhance the daily activities of an underserved residential community from non-technology based activities to e-learning, e-government and e-commerce. These technology-focused activities are designed to improve the health and economic development of the community.
The program was initiated in 1999 by Winston-Salem State University in several area churches to make computers and information more accessible to everyone, regardless of socio-economic or cultural background. Designated rooms in several African-American churches, one African-American/Hispanic church, and a homeless day shelter are equipped with computers and software. Each center is staffed by volunteers.
The centers are partnered with WinstonNet, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization directed towards building a community-based technology infrastructure in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, North Carolina. This organization is a joint effort between the De Alliance, public and private educational institutions, city and county governments, and the Chamber of Commerce to prepare the residents of Forsyth County for a technology-rich future. The partnership has enhanced the Community Knowledge Centers by affording them the advantage of accessing more software, resources and other technology without incurring greater expense.