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SBC Awards $1 million to NAACP Technology Initiative

SBC Awards $1 million to NAACP Technology Initiative

Published 07-12-00

Submitted by SBC Communications Inc.

The SBC Foundation has awarded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), America’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, a $1 million technology grant in support of the organization’s Technology Capacity Building Initiative. The SBC Foundation, the philanthropic arm of SBC Communications, made the announcement today at the NAACP’s 91st annual convention during a session that featured Vice President Al Gore.

Over the next four years, the funds will help upgrade the NAACP’s national information network that links the organization’s local headquarters to its seven regional offices. Using the SBC Foundation grant as a catalyst to attract other dollars, the NAACP hopes to develop technologically-equipped regional centers and offer on-line client services to more than half a million members. The upgrades will also provide a foundation for the organization to promote the benefits of technology to its membership.

"We applaud SBC’s commitment to partner with the NAACP to help bring digital technology to millions of Americans and to help us to empower communities," said Mfume. "Closing the digital divide is a long and arduous journey. SBC’s commitment will help the NAACP close the gap that exists between computer-savvy individuals and those who are not."

The Technology Capacity Building Initiative is the organization's largest technology access improvement initiative in history. The organization implemented the first phase of the technology upgrade last year. By 2003, the NAACP plans to offer on-line membership, on-line convention registration, and other client based services.

SBC’s gift supports the NAACP’s work to close the digital divide, the gap that exists between technological "haves" and "have-nots."

"SBC is committed to providing the tools that organizations such as the NAACP need in order to bridge the growing technology gap faced by many ethnic minorities in this country," said SBC Foundation President Gloria Delgado. "Helping improve the NAACP’s access to its membership will allow the organization to better meet the needs of its constituency."

As a leader in cutting-edge telecommunications, SBC strives to implement practical technological applications to meet a variety of education, health and community development needs. Since 1996, the SBC Foundation has awarded $17 million in grants to help communities and nonprofit organizations embrace new technologies to address a variety of local education and economic issues.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is the oldest, largest and strongest civil rights organization in the United States. Always in the forefront of progressive change, the NAACP is committed to the political, educational, social and economic equality of all citizens, especially minorities. The NAACP is a network of seven regional offices and more than 2,200 branches covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Japan and Germany. Regional NAACP offices are located in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, New York, Denver, Atlanta, Houston, and Detroit.

The SBC Foundation, the philanthropic arm of SBC Communications, serves communities under familiar brand names including Southwestern Bell, Ameritech, Pacific Bell, Nevada Bell and SNET Foundations. SBC Foundation addresses local needs in the areas of education, community economic development, health and human services, arts and culture. Since its formation in 1984, the SBC Foundation has distributed nearly $600 million in grants, United Way support and employee outreach programs.

SBC Communications Inc.

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