Bell Atlantic Foundation Awards $4.5 Million in Grants To Organizations Serving Hispanic Community

Bell Atlantic Foundation Awards $4.5 Million
in Grants
To Organizations Serving Hispanic

Bridging The Digital Divide Is Top Priority

September 2, 1999


Michael Kornfeld,

Soraya Rodriguez,

NEW YORK -- The Bell Atlantic Foundation is providing some $4.5 million
in grants to more than 2,000 non-profit organizations and educational institutions
serving the Hispanic community this year.

Most of Bell Atlantic's philanthropic giving is focused on technology and
education, with major emphasis on helping bridge the so-called "digital
divide" between those who have access to computers and those who do not.

Major Bell Atlantic Foundation grant recipients in 1999 include the Hispanic
Federation, LULAC, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, and
the National Hispanic Scholarship Fund. In recognition of Hispanic Heritage
Month (Sept. 15 -- Oct. 15), the Bell Atlantic Foundation also is announcing a
number of recent grants and event sponsorships.

In keeping with its commitment to help bridge the digital divide, the Bell Atlantic
Foundation has provided the Hispanic Federation (New York City) with nearly
$400,000 over the past several years, including $100,000 this year. These funds
have enabled the federation to develop an interactive Internet Web site to provide
its non-profit network of more than 60 member agencies with a host of powerful
on-line tools.

This year, the Bell Atlantic Foundation provided a $100,0000 grant to LULAC
Institute Inc.
(Washington), D.C.) to help empower the Hispanic community by
increasing access to and use of key telecommunications technologies that have
been out of reach for many Hispanic Americans. Funds support technology
training, computer equipment and Web site development as part of an innovative
project to revolutionize grassroots advocacy in the Hispanic community.
LULAC aims to forge a nationwide network of Hispanic non-profits,
associations, professionals, students, business leaders and advocates who will
work collaboratively through the use of technology.

As part its ongoing commitment to helping combat cyberhate, the Bell Atlantic
Foundation is providing a $50,000 grant to the Puerto Rican Legal Defense &
Education Fund, Inc.
(PRLDEF) to develop a civil rights Web site on the
Internet. The new Web site will be linked with similar ones being developed by
the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund and the NAACP Legal
Defense and Education Fund, both of which also have received major financial
support from the Bell Atlantic Foundation, . The foundation also provided a
grant for a similar Web site established last year by the New York City-based
Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.

Suzanne DuBose, president of the Bell Atlantic Foundation, expressed hope that
the PRLDEF grant will prove instrumental in developing and maintaining a
valuable information resource for students, educators and those working to for
civility, tolerance and understanding in our society.
"At a time when online voices of prejudice are proliferating, we at Bell
Atlantic are committed to helping organizations like the Puerto Rican Legal
Defense and Education Fund use the Internet to promote racial and ethnic
tolerance and equality," said DuBose. "The voices of hate may not
be silenced, but they can be countered through the effective use of information

The Bell Atlantic Foundation's focus on education will take center stage Sept. 16,
when a $75,000 check is presented to the National Hispanic Scholarship Fund
during a ceremony at Bell Atlantic's headquarters in Manhattan. These funds
will be applied towards scholarships for students interested in a
"technology for teaching" program or science and math education.

Bell Atlantic's Hispanic Support Organization (HSO) plays a major role in
recommending grant recipients, and many of its employee members also
volunteer their time for some of these organizations. HSO members raised
$100,000 over the past year for hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico, the
Dominican Republic and Central America. The Bell Atlantic Foundation
provided matching grants.

Additional 1999 Bell Atlantic Foundation grant recipients:

* A Better Chance, Inc. (New York City): $2,000 in support of educational
opportunities for gifted minority students.

* Amigos del Museo del Barrio (New York City): $28,000 in support of its
annual Gala benefit and other activities.

* Aspira of New York, Inc.: $25,000 in support of programs to foster youth
leadership development and educational and economic development of the
Puerto Rican and Latino communities.

* Association of Hispanic Arts, Inc. (New York City): $5,000 in support of
Encuentros (Encounters) Event Series - an initiative designed to seek out new
venues at which Latino artists may perform and exhibit their works - as well as
its monthly on-line calendar of events, which appears on its Web site

* Bergen County Hispanic-American Chamber of Commerce Scholarship
(Paramus, N.J.): $1,000 to fund a scholarship for a college-bound,
high school senior of Hispanic heritage with aspirations for a technology career.

*Carlos Rosario International Career Center (Washington, D.C.): $5,000
toward development of an Introduction to Office Technology class for students
who are studying English.

* Casa Esperanza Inc. (Roxbury, Mass.): $10,000 in support of a bilingual
literacy program at the Latinas y Ninos Center (LyNC).

* Casita Maria (Bronx, N.Y.): $15,000 grant to be awarded in September
toward renovating and improving the new technology center of one of the oldest
settlement houses in the Bronx. Children, youth and adults will learn computer
skills and have access to modern technology and the Internet.

* Centro Gerontologico Latino, Inc. (New York City): $3,000 in support of
educational and other efforts to improve the quality of life for Hispanic seniors
and their communities.

* Council of Latino Agencies (Washington, D.C.): $2,000 to help foster civic
development efforts among Latino residents in Washington's Mt. Pleasant &
Columbia Heights neighborhoods.

* Hispanic AIDS Forum, Inc. (New York City): $13,500 in support of
"Project Tech", designed to improve inter-agency communication
and information sharing both within the organization and with the public.

* Hispanic Corporate Achievers Scholarship Fund, Inc.(Florida): $7,100 to
honor individuals of Hispanic descent who have provided outstanding service to
the companies for which they work and to provide financial assistance to selected
economically deprived students.

* Hispanic Institute for Research & Development (Paramus, N.J.): $2,500 in
support of college scholarships and educational programs.

* Institute for Puerto Rican Hispanic Elderly, Inc. (New York City): $5,000
in support of its efforts in providing services to improve the quality of life for
thousands of older Hispanics in New York City.

* Joyner Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Boston: $5,000 in
support of an intensive weekend Latin writers' workshop for Latino students from
the Boston Public Schools held on the campus in June.

* Latin American Youth Center (Washington, D.C.): $5,000 to purchase video
and computer equipment for an after-school program.

* Latinas y Ninos (Boston, Mass.): $10,000 to create a computer technology
training center which is providing homeless Latinas acquire computer and job
readiness skills.

* Latino Civil Rights Center (Washington, D.C.): $5,000 to sponsor Congresso
Latino, its annual community education conference.

* Latino Commission on AIDS (New York City): a $10,000 to establish
CentroSalud, a Web site dedicated to providing Spanish language information on
HIV treatment and prevention and other related health issues, as well as offering
a network for Spanish language service providers, caregivers and individuals
living with the virus.

* Massachusetts Puerto Rican Festival: $5,000 to sponsor one of the largest
ethnic festivals in New England, a weeklong event in Boston that draws tens of
thousands of people.

* National Association of Hispanic Journalists (Washington, D.C.): $5,000 in
support of its Ruben Salazar Scholarship Fund.

* National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Education
: $10,000 in support of political leadership and community empowerment
training sessions to be conducted by NALEO and organized by the
Massachusetts Latino Legislative Caucus in November.

* National Hispana Leadership Institute (Virginia): $9,000 to enable three
New England Latinas to participate in national leadership training program this

* Officina Hispana de la Communidad (Boston, Mass.): $5,000 to help the
organization assist a large number of immigrants to Boston escape poverty and
dislocation through education and training.

* Puerto Rican Association for Human Development Inc. (Perth Amboy,
N.J.): $2,500 to support the agency's myriad of services available to the Latino
community of Perth Amboy and Middlesex county.

* The University of Puerto Rico: $5,000 in support of an educational program
run by its Engineering School in Mayaguez.

Upcoming events sponsored in part by the Bell Atlantic Foundation include:

  • The Feria del Barrio (Festival of the Neighborhood), Sept. 12 in
    Philadelphia, which focuses on the impact of combining arts and
    education with neighborhood economic development;

  • The Puerto Rican Festival and the Penn's Landing Hispanic
    being held in August and September in Philadelphia under the
    auspices of the Concillo de Organizaciones Hispanas;

  • Spanish Mosaic, a cultural event featuring Hispanic foods and
    crafts, entertainment and educational presentations, Sept. 19-20 at
    the Everson Museum in Syracuse, N.Y.;

  • An Hispanic Cultural Parade and Festival on Long Island, Sept.
    26, showcasing Hispanic countries and their consulate dignitaries
    and featuring colorful floats, cultural exhibits and a rich variety of
    food, music and dance in folkloric costumes.

  • The Queens (N.Y.) Symphony Orchestra's Third Annual Latin
    American Celebration Concert
    , Oct. 10, at LaGuardia Community
    College. This year's concert will feature music from Columbia, the
    Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Puerto
    Rico and Uruguay.

The Bell Atlantic Foundation also has provided financial support for a Hispanic
Music Festival in Front Park, near downtown Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 2-6, and for
Hispanic United's 10th Annual March against Drugs and Violence on Buffalo's
Lower West Side Sept. 18. The foundation is sponsoring Hispanics in
Philanthropy's national conference in Washington, D.C. in November.

The Bell Atlantic Foundation and Bell Atlantic Corporation have each
contributed $4,000 to support the Hispanic Conference of Upstate New York, an
annual three-day event focusing on issues and concerns of the Hispanic
community that takes place in Buffalo Sept. 30 - Oct. 2. Proceeds from the
conference support youth leadership programs and student scholarships.

This summer, Bell Atlantic was a corporate sponsor of the 1999 National
Puerto Rican Day Parade that drew thousands of marchers and spectators
to Manhattan's Fifth Avenue; the Westchester Hispanic Coalition's annual
Hispanic Heritage Day event in Valhalla, N.Y.; a Caribbean Festival
featuring a parade and a day-long celebration in Syracuse, N.Y.; the
Fordham Road Renaissance Festival & Fiesta in the Bronx, N.Y., and the
annual Dominican Festival in Boston sponsored by Semana Cultural y
Festival Dominicano Inc.

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 43 million telephone access lines and nearly 10 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.