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SBC Foundation Funds Educational Endeavors on the Historic Freedom Schooner AMISTAD

Submitted by: SBC Communications Inc.

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions

Posted: Jun 12, 2003 – 12:00 AM EST


Grant enhances education outreach for Amistad’s 2003 Great Lakes Friendship Tour

Jun. 12 /CSRwire/ - SAN ANTONIO, TX – The SBC Foundation has teamed up with AMISTAD America, Inc., a national nonprofit organization that promotes racial harmony through the operation of Freedom Schooner Amistad, to educate students in the Great Lakes region about The Amistad Incident of 1839. A re-creation of the historic trade ship, La Amistad, the Freedom Schooner travels to national and international ports delivering a message of racial reconciliation, perseverance, cooperation and justice. Amistad’s 2003 Great Lakes Friendship Tour begins in Cleveland on June 14, 2003, and will travel to 11 cities, concluding in Boston on Oct. 26, 2003.

SBC contributions to AMISTAD America, Inc. total $425,000, including a recent $100,000 grant from the SBC Foundation to advance academic opportunities for this tour.

“Freedom Schooner Amistad is a floating classroom,” said Christopher R. Cloud, president and CEO of AMISTAD America, Inc. “The SBC Foundation’s grant enhances AMISTAD America’s educational initiatives and helps increase our outreach to anyone who wishes to learn more about race relations and diversity issues. SBC contributions, now and in previous years, enables AMISTAD America to integrate technology and broaden access to information about our programs and mission.”

Through the SBC Foundation funding, K-12 educators can gain access to the AMISTAD America curriculum via the Internet. The grant also supports the direct Internet communication between the captain and crew of Amistad to students on land. In addition, 7,500 school-age children will board Amistad free-of-charge during morning educational tours to learn more about the schooner’s history and purpose.

“The SBC Foundation recognizes the unique and educational resource Freedom Schooner Amistad provides the communities throughout the Great Lakes region,” said Laura Sanford, president of the SBC Foundation. “SBC Communications has been a long-time supporter of AMISTAD America, and therefore our grant to enhance education outreach for Amistad’s 2003 Great Lakes Friendship Tour is a natural fit. We are excited to bring the technological resources that make learning about this wonderful historic symbol accessible to students in the Great Lakes region and beyond.”

Events are planned in each tour city to engage the participation of teachers, summer education program leaders, state legislators, municipal leaders and local dignitaries. In addition, during the stop in Chicago, AMISTAD America will host the 2003 Amistad Freedom Awards ceremony on Aug. 14, 2003, at Chicago’s Navy Pier. The third annual Amistad Freedom Awards acknowledge outstanding contributions to the betterment of human relations by individuals and corporations who are committed to the struggle for equality and justice.

Amistad launched in March 2000 in Mystic, Conn., with support from Connecticut-based SBC SNET. Since the launch, Amistad has conducted tours of Conn., the Southeastern United States Shore and the Gulf of Mexico. The homeport for Freedom Schooner Amistad is Long Wharf Pier in New Haven, Conn.

Amistad 2003 Great Lakes Tour Schedule

The tour schedule follows:
· Cleveland June 14 – 29 9th Street Pier/North Coast Harbor
· Toledo, Ohio July 2 – 5 The Docks at International Park
· Sheboygan, Wis. July 16 – 18 U.S. Coast Guard Station
· Muskegon, Mich. July 21 – 23 Heritage Landing
· Chicago July 26 – Aug. 13 Navy Pier
· Hammond, Ind. Aug. 16 Hammond Marina
· Detroit Aug. 23 – 27 Hart Plaza
· Sandusky, Ohio Aug. 31 – Sept. 2 Meigs Street Pier
· Ashtabula, Ohio Sept. 5 – 7 Ashtabula Harbor
· Buffalo, N.Y. Sept. 10 – 14 Erie Basin Marina
· Oswego, N.Y. Sept. 20 – 23 Port of Oswego/Westside
· Boston Oct. 14 – 26 Fan Pier

For more information on Freedom Schooner Amistad’s 2003 Great Lakes Friendship Tour, please visit or call (866) AMISTAD.


The SBC Foundation is the charitable giving arm of SBC Communications Inc. The SBC Foundation supports efforts that enrich and strengthen diverse communities nationwide, particularly those with an emphasis on education and technology and those that benefit underserved populations. SBC Foundation-backed programs are designed to increase access to information technologies, broaden technology training and professional skills development, and effectively integrate new technologies to enhance education and economic development. The Chronicle of Philanthropy and Foundation Center has consistently ranked the SBC Foundation among the nation's top five corporate foundations. In 2002, the SBC Foundation launched SBC Excelerator, a multi-million dollar competitive grants program that funds non-profit organizations in their efforts to digitally connect communities.

SBC Communications Inc. ( is one of the world’s leading data, voice and Internet services providers. Through its world-class networks, SBC companies provide a full range of voice, data, networking and e-business services, as well as directory advertising and publishing. A Fortune 30 company, America’s leading provider of high-speed DSL Internet Access services, and one of the nation’s leading Internet Service Providers, SBC companies currently serve 57 million access lines nationwide. In addition, SBC companies own 60 percent of America’s second-largest wireless company, Cingular Wireless, which serves 22 million wireless customers. Internationally, SBC companies have telecommunications investments in 27 countries.

Amistad America, Inc. ( is a national, non-profit educational organization. It promotes improved relationships between races and cultures by acknowledging our common experiences and encouraging dialogue that is based on respect. The inherent lessons and legacies of freedom, justice, perseverance, cooperation and leadership arising from the historic Amistad Incident of 1839 are symbolized by the re-created Amistad. The Freedom Schooner visits ports nationally and internationally as an ambassador for friendship and goodwill. It serves as a floating classroom, icon and as a monument to the millions of souls that were broken or lost as a result of the insidious Transatlantic Slave Trade. The home port for Freedom Schooner Amistad is Long Wharf Pier in New Haven, Connecticut.

For more information, please contact:

Misty Zelent Fleishman-Hillard Austin for SBC
Phone: +1-512-495-7163


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