Twitter's Jack Dorsey said he's donating $10M to buy Oakland kids computers

Oakland leaders are launching a $12.5-million fundraising campaign to close the digital divide.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted on Friday he will give $10 million so that "every single child in Oakland" has access to a laptop and internet in their homes.

He made his offer, writing on top of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf's call the day before, to close the digital divide within the Oakland Unified School District, where about 25,000 students do not have adequate access to computers or Wi-Fi.

Schaaf shot back on Twitter with a "Wow. Thank you." 

"I am still in shock," said Seth Hubbert, director of Tech Exchange, the nonprofit helping to get computers into the hands of the children. "Who would have thought? I didn't have any insight this was coming." 

Hubbert, who added he was humbled by the donation, said he will now work furiously with the various stakeholders to get the computers into the hands of the students in need.

Oakland Unified launches $12.5M fundraiser to close digital divide

On Thursday, Schaaf, the district, councilmembers and Tech Exchange held a news conference making an urgent plea to raise $12.5 million to buy computers and pay for internet access for the Oakland school children who don't have adequate technology at home.

Before Dorsey's offer, Oakland Unified had raised $1.8 million toward a short-term goal of $2.5 million, district officials said.

Students said without computers, they can't easily complete assignments and Skyline High School junior Jessica Ramos said she almost missed a scholarship deadline because of her lack of connectivity. 

OUSD Supt. Kyla Johnson-Trammell noted that Dorsey "leads one of the most consequential technology firms in the world, so he understands well the need for our young people to have access to a computer and the internet at home."

Earlier this week, Dorsey pledged $25 million for inmates and undocumented immigrants affected by coronavirus. 

Lisa Fernandez is a reporter for KTVU. Email Lisa at or call her at 510-874-0139. Or follow her on Twitter @ljfernandez