Adam Echelman is the Executive Director of Libraries Without Borders USA, where he advocates for dynamic programs that increase access to information by meeting people where they are—whether through digital literacy classes in Laundromats or health workshops in churches. In 2017, he launched the Legal Literacy Initiative at Libraries Without Borders to help public libraries deliver legal information to underserved communities across the United States. He has served as a Visiting Professor of Practice at John Jay College, where he co-taught a program on access to justice and legal information. Prior to Libraries Without Borders, Adam worked with asylum seekers and refugees at the Karnes Detention Center in Texas and in New Haven, Connecticut. He is a graduate of Yale University and a recipient of the Gordon Grand Fellowship. He loves studying languages, is fluent in French and Spanish, and speaks (rusty) Chinese. Adam is an avid hiker, an amateur but determined artist, and a lover of Hearts, Spades, and Euchre.
“The digital divide falls along the same economic and racial lines that have long divided the United States. COVID-19 has brought this issue to the foreground. We can solve it — but only by starting first with the voices of those most affected.”
Learn more about Adam’s Landecker Democracy Fellowship project here.
Adam is also a 2021 – 2022 Detroit Grant Competition Recipient. This opportunity grants Humanity in Action Fellows and Senior Fellows between $500 – $5000 to address equity in Detroit by taking a community-centered approach to its development. Projects last 10- months and have tackled health disparities through vaccine information, combatted the digital divide through equitable internet access initiatives in Southwest Detroit, centered bus riders in regional transit dialogue and created sustainable workforce development programs for those with barriers to traditional employment. For more information on the grantees click here.
Updated February 2022
More from Adam Echelman
"The Wires That Bind" goes live!
Adam Echelman is a Senior Landecker Fellow as well as a 2021 – 2022 Detroit Grant Competition Recipient. The final product of his efforts is now live.
Announcing the recipients of the 2021 Detroit Grant Competition
We are delighted to announce the recipients of the 2021 Humanity in Action 2021 Detroit Grant Competition recipients! Landecker Fellows Asha Shajahan and Adam Echelman, and Senior Fellows Hannah Wagner and Ronald Norwood will receive grants to create new initiatives or further their existing projects that focus on racial justice in the US.
"I've spent my life without internet" - Manuela Evans article as part of Adam Echelman's Landecker Action Project
In his action project, Landecker Fellow Adam Echelman is amplifying voices of those who usually don't get the spotlight.
Landecker Fellow Adam Echelman's two new podcast episodes
In August, Landecker Fellow Adam Echelman produced two new episodes of the student-led Critical Tech Podcast.
Adam Echelman: To the incoming mayor of Baltimore: Close the digital divide for all
Landecker Democracy Fellow Adam Echelman Gets Featured on the Technical.ly news platform.
Adam Echelman: The Emergency Broadband Relief. What will it mean for Baltimore’s digital divide?
Landecker Democracy Fellow and Executive Director of Libraries Without Borders Adam Echelman was featured on the Technical.ly news platform.
Turning Fridley Storm Shelter into a Learning Hub
Landecker Democracy Fellow and Executive Director of Libraries Without Borders Adam Echelman was featured in the StarTribune article, titled "Fridley storm shelter doubles as learning hub and literacy center."
Adam Echelman: What do you expect from the Biden administration?
Landecker Democracy Fellow Adam Echelman shares his view on the global influence of the new US administration.
Alfred Landecker Democracy Fellows Discuss Protecting Democracy After Attack on US Capitol
Landecker Fellows gathered to debrief the violent January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol and the implications this assault has had on the future of democracy--an assault fueled by conspiracy theories and former US President Donald Trump himself. From there, they deliberated on how we can depolarize our communities and call civil society into action in order to protect and strengthen democratic societies.
The Digital Divide: Nothing About Us Without Us
Landecker Democracy Fellow Adam Echelman will identify 20 individuals across the US who are living without internet, a computer, and/or basic digital skills. He will provide them with a computer and Wi-Fi hotspots, and help them write and edit an Op-Ed or article that tells their story in their words.