Bell Atlantic Celebrates Black History Month Philanthropic
Grants, Employee Events Reflect Commitment
February 10, 1999
WASHINGTON -- In recognition of Black History Month, Bell Atlantic
is announcing a series of grants to African-American organizations. In
addition, many special workplace events will enable company employees
to reflect on the significant contributions African-Americans have made to
The Bell Atlantic Foundation, the company's philanthropic arm, is
donating more than $2 million this month to national and local
organizations serving the African-American community throughout its
region as part of a more than $8 million commitment for 1999.
In addition, storytellers, educators, musicians and dancers are visiting
many of the company's buildings to celebrate the black experience in
"We respect and value the rich cultural legacy of all of our employees,"
said Bell Atlantic Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg. "Black History
Month gives us the opportunity to explore the heritage of many of our
employees and customers, and review the many important contributions
African-Americans have made to our culture."
"Too often these contributions go unnoticed," added Suzanne DuBose,
president of the Bell Atlantic Foundation. "Many school children still do
not know that an African-American surgeon was the first doctor to operate
successfully on a human heart, or that African-Americans invented
meaningful products like the electric refrigerator, traffic signal and lawn
mower, to name a few. The grants we give to African-American
organizations, along with our participation in numerous community
events, help to ensure this legacy will continue."
Bell Atlantic is announcing the following major grants:
- The Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, headed by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, will
receive $1 million in support of technology grants benefiting the black
- The National Urban League, a long-time beneficiary of the Bell
Atlantic Foundation, will receive a $1million grant to launch a
breakthrough fundraising campaign co-chaired by Seidenberg.
- The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
(NAACP) will receive a $75,000 technology grant.
- These are the latest gifts from the foundation to organizations
supporting the African-American community. In addition, the
company recently announced:
- The United Negro College Fund, which received a $100,000 Bell
Atlantic grant last year, also will receive matching gifts from the Bell
Atlantic Foundation as a result of employee contributions during a
- The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, a New York-based
organization, has launched a Bell Atlantic Foundation-funded Internet
Web site to promote racial harmony, focusing on fostering better
relations between the black and Jewish communities.
The Bell Atlantic Foundation also is making contributions to a variety of
local organizations and events serving African-Americans. In addition,
numerous events will commemorate Black History Month throughout Bell
Atlantic's mid-Atlantic region. Many of the activities are sponsored by
local affiliates of the Consortium of Telecommunications ManagersSM
(CITESM), an employee resource group at Bell Atlantic committed to
helping African-Americans succeed personally and professionally.:
The Bell Atlantic Foundation is providing a $25,000 grant to the
Dimmock Center, a health and human services center serving the
predominantly African-American community of Roxbury. The funds are
intended to complement a previous $100,000 grant supporting the creation
of a technology center there.
Throughout the month, Bell Atlantic employees and the Council for
Action for Minority Professionals (CAMP), a CITE affiliate, will
participate in Celebrity Read, a program to teach children about the
outstanding contributions people of color have made to American and
world history. The program is sponsored by the United Way of Essex and
Hudson Counties. Readers, who will travel to schools throughout the
counties, will also share their own life experiences to inspire young people
to make positive contributions of their own.
On Feb. 24 at noon, CAMP and Bell Atlantic employees will host a Black
History Month celebration at 540 Broad Street in Newark featuring Black
Entertainment Television (BET) personality Beverly Smith and Bell
Atlantic - New Jersey President and CEO William Freeman.
On Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. CAMP and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center
will sponsor "Haley's Comet," a moving and hilarious story about an 87-
year-old man who shares the memories of a life time as he awaits the
return of Haley's Comet. Notable actor John Amos wrote and stars in the
play. The event will be held at One Center Street in Newark. Admission
is $25 for adults and $12 for children.
On Feb. 18, CITE affiliate the Granville T. Woods Association will host a
gospel choir, dancers and the Rev. Calvin Butts from Abyssinian Baptist
Church in Harlem. The event is from 6 to 8 p.m., at Bell Atlantic's
headquarters at 1095 Avenue of the Americas in the 23rd floor auditorium.
On the same day, the Bell Atlantic Foundation is co-sponsoring the New
York City Mayor's Black History Month reception at Gracie Mansion, the
mayor's residence in lower Manhattan.
The Boys Choir of Harlem will receive a $15,000 grant from the Bell
Atlantic Foundation to ensure the choir has the technology it needs to
enhance its programs and run as efficiently as possible.
The Bell Atlantic Foundation will also award a $10,000 grant to Harlem
Textile Works (HTW), a design studio that trains and employs students
interested in textile design and related fields. The grant will support
HTW's communications technology program, which teaches workshop
interns-primarily African American and Latino youth, ages 14-24 --
computer and Web site design and maintenance skills.
As part of its commitment to meeting America's promise to children and
youth, the Bell Atlantic Foundation is providing financial support for
a number of after-school initiatives. A $5,000 grant to the Community
Advocates for Education Excellence will support after-school programs in
Harlem churches under the auspices of the Consortium of After-School
The Bell Atlantic Foundation has also provided financial support for a
series of Black History Month events in Queens, including receptions,
concerts, panel discussions and children's performances.
The Telecommunications Excellence for Associates and Managers
(TEAM), a CITE affiliate, will display compelling slavery artifacts and
black memorabilia beginning at 10 a.m. on Feb. 19 in the east lobby of the
Bell Atlantic building at 1717 Arch St. in Philadelphia. TEAM members
will also take discuss the role of black troops during the civil war and
review the valuable contributions made by Buffalo Soldiers. At 1 p.m. on
the 10th floor of the building, storyteller Dorothy Lawrence will read
African-American stories to Bell Atlantic employees.
On Feb. 19, gifted musician and educator Leonard Johnson, Sr. will
examine the impact music has on the lives of African-Americans. On Feb.
26, members from TEAM and Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Three Rivers
Adoption Agency and the foster care division of Allegheny County Child
Care Services will discuss black family life. Both events begin at 5:30
p.m. in the first floor auditorium at 201 Stanwix St. in Pittsburgh.
On Feb. 26 at 9 a.m. TEAM will host students from six inner-city high
schools for a program at Bell Atlantic's Knowledge Center at 201 Stanwix
St. in Pittsburgh. Students will see technology that will affect their future
so they can get a head start in preparing for the millennium.
On Feb.19, the Bell Atlantic Foundation will sponsor a 90th anniversary
reception for the NAACP at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
President and Mrs. Clinton and members of Congress are expected to
The Association of Telecommunications Managers and Associates
(ATMA - Metro), a member of CITE, will sponsor "Three Centuries of
Living History" featuring storyteller and historical re-enactor Nessa
Johnson. Shows will be held on Feb. 10 at 1710 H Street, N.W.,
Washington, D.C. from noon to 1:30 p.m., and on Feb. 24 at 13100
Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, Md., conference room 2, from 5:30 p.m. to
The Association of Telecommunications Professionals of Virginia (ATP-
VA), a CITE affiliate, and other Bell Atlantic employees will host a
number of events with the theme "American Black by Heritage/A Walk
Through Time" at 5701 Cleveland St. in Virginia Beach. Upcoming
events include a Youth Day for Bell Atlantic employees' children on Feb.
19. The children will discuss black trivia, enjoy dance troupes and learn
more about African-American heritage. In addition, ATP-VA will sponsor
a Health Night program on Feb. 24 that takes a close look at diseases
affecting African-Americans, and a celebration on Feb. 26 featuring
Minister Curtis Edmonds of St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church in
On Feb. 26 at 5 p.m., ATP-VA will host an "Evening of Jazz" at Bell
Atlantic's office at 3011 Hungary Spring Road in Richmond.
The Bell Atlantic Foundation is sponsoring Theatre VCU's Richmond
premiere presentation of Keith Glover's hit musical, "Thunder Knocking at
the Door," a modern-day fable that incorporates original blues music by
Grammy Award-winner Keb Mo.' The show, which runs Feb.18 - 21 and
Feb. 24 - 27, is a featured event of Virginia Commonwealth University's
Black History Month celebration.
The Bell Atlantic Foundation supports a variety of projects domestically
and internationally, with an emphasis on new technology applications in
education, health and human services, the arts and humanities, and civic
development in the communities served by Bell Atlantic. For more
information, visit www.bellatlanticfoundation.com on the Internet.
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 42 million telephone access lines
and 8.6 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies
are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market
leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory
information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest
investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations
and investments in 23 countries.