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I’m excited to announce that this fall, the Austin based LGBTQIA+ focused non-profit OutYouth became the latest Google Fiber Community Connection in Austin. As a queer, trans Texan who has been involved with OutYouth since 2015, I’ve heard countless stories from friends who found support when they needed it most through their programs. Most recently, I’ve personally seen how OutYouth’s Queer and Trans Commmunity Closet has made it possible for friends impacted by COVID-19 to get items they need.

Google Fiber’s Community Connections program brings free high speed Internet to libraries, community centers and nonprofit organizations in our Fiber cities. OutYouth is the 34th Community Connection in Austin to receive this high speed service.

Since 1990, OutYouth has provided programs, services, and partnerships which provide LGBTQ+ youth and their allies with opportunities to develop positive self-esteem, identify and cultivate peer support networks, and prepare for a successful adulthood.

As a community connection recipient, OutYouth’s Austin location - affectionately known as the little blue bungalow - will receive gigabit speed internet at no cost to help serve their mission and meet the needs of their clients.

Check out the video of my chat with Kathryn Gonzales, director of OutYouth, to learn more about how they’re connecting with the community during social distancing and how they hope to use their new Google Fiber Community Connection in the future.

Learn more from OutYouth here and get information on how you can support their GLITZ: 30th Anniversary Virtual Celebration, premiering on YouTube on November 7.

Posted by Danny Cleveland, Customer Service Program Manager (Austin, TX) & Pride@Fiber ERG member

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In July, we announced plans to be the inaugural tenant on West Des Moines’s conduit network, which will allow us to deliver gigabit internet citywide. Since then, both the City and Google Fiber have been working to make this network a reality to ensure that residents can work, learn, play, stream, and connect online at super fast speeds. 

On October 1, the City of West Des Moines kicked off its  “Plant the Speed” campaign, aimed at getting every address in the city ready for high speed internet, whether people choose Google Fiber or another provider. Residents can sign up at right now to enroll their address for connection to the conduit network. This is a necessary first step to getting fiber service at your home. The website also includes information about the build schedule and what people can expect through the city’s construction process.


At Google Fiber, we’re enjoying getting to know West Des Moines. We’re assembling our local team and looking for office space. If you want to keep up with Google Fiber in West Des Moines, join our email list to get the latest news on our products, service, and availability. If you’re a West Des Moines resident, make sure your home is ready for speed by enrolling with the city and joining our list, too — both Google Fiber and the City of West Des Moines are moving quickly to connect you.

Posted by Rachel Merlo, Government & Community Affairs Manager

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In late August 2019, we began having conversations about forming a Latinx-centered Employee Resource Group (ERG) at Google Fiber. The United States had just witnessed a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, aimed directly at Hispanic Americans, and many of us wanted to create a safe space for employees to come together to discuss, reflect, and offer community to one another. 

Last year, Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month (September 15th - October 15th) presented an opportunity for our newly forming ERG to establish itself. We opened up a dialogue about immigration, the current state of the world, and the Latinx experience from the perspective of fellow Fiber Googlers with thoughtful programming and the occasional juntada (“get-together”). 

This year, the pandemic has made our work and community both closer and more crucial. So in May 2020, we officially — and virtually — introduced Gente as the ERG for Latinx employees and allies. With COVID-19 twice as deadly for Black and Latinx people, and in the wake of violence against Black and transgender communities, we’ve centered Gente’s efforts on not only the importance of coming together as a community, but in building strong intersectional alliances, too.

The word gente means “people," and also serves as a term for the deep-rooted connection that comes with community, family and a rich cultural history. Bringing this ERG to life within Google Fiber also means a new opportunity to give Latinx employees and allies a voice in critical business conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion — a voice that is representative of the diverse workforce and customers that make up our Google Fiber family. 

As a part of this year’s Latinx Heritage Month, we invited Dr. Gina Pérez, Cultural Anthropologist and Professor in the Department of Comparative American Studies at Oberlin College, to share her thoughts on the importance of this work. “To be Latinx is to be a part of a collective that has a history of resistance, resilience and a beautiful capacity to change,” she said. 

Gente and Google Fiber are celebrating that collective action, not just for this month, but every day. We look forward to seeing the growth that our group will encounter this year — and to the future opportunities we will have to serve our Latinx customers in all our cities.

Posted by Gabrielle Aguilar, Sales Training Specialist (Austin, TX) and Co-chair, Gente

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This week is Digital Inclusion Week! While we celebrate the incredible efforts of our partners across the country to make their communities more digitally inclusive and connected every day, we’re also taking this opportunity to share the stories of the people they’ve helped during 2020, with all the challenges this year has presented.

From making music to helping people navigate the digital world, we’re grateful to all the people out there working to advance digital equity in their communities. Thank you and let’s keep it going, all 52 weeks of the year!

For more information about the partners highlighted in the video check out Music Empowerment, E2D, and PCs for People.

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