The Lessons of Civil Rights Endure Through Verizon’s Support of the NAACP

Verizon's three-year pledge of $1 million to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was recognized Thursday (July 28) at the 102nd NAACP Annual Convention's final plenary session.

The grants from the Verizon Foundation went toward the development of two online learning programs: the NAACP Interactive Historical Timeline and the Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) student competition.  The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, uses its technology, financial resources and partnerships to address critical social issues, with a focus on education and domestic violence prevention.

"The NAACP is pleased to have a partner in Verizon for these initiatives," said NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. "Verizon's commitment to ACT-SO and to our initiatives to preserve NAACP history for the next generation will ensure that our civil rights mission will endure."

Howard Woolley, senior vice president of strategic alliances and wireless policy for Verizon, said: "We congratulate the NAACP for hosting another successful convention.  We are honored to be recognized for our support of ACT-SO and the NAACP Interactive Historical Timeline. As a leading provider of broadband and wireless services, we champion online learning and have brought educational resources to students and teachers through the Verizon Thinkfinity.org website.  The use of Verizon's technologies makes online learning possible.  Online learning expands the educational opportunities for our youths and helps them be prepared for the challenges of the 21st century."

The NAACP Interactive Historical Timeline, a multimedia website accessible at www.naacphistory.org , tells the story of the 102-year-old civil rights organization through an easy-to-follow chronological listing of the NAACP's role in key events in the civil rights movement, education and an array of other topics. Each point on the timeline includes a written narrative, historic video and photos as well as an audio narrative read by a celebrity such as actor, director and producer Laurence Fishburne; actress and singer Tatyana Ali; actress Tichina Arnold; actor Dennis Haysbert; actress and director Nia Long; actress Tracee Ellis Ross; actor Nate Parker; and actress and director Chandra Wilson. 

The Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) program is a flagship youth initiative of the NAACP. The year-long program is designed to prepare African-American youth for scholastic and artistic excellence through enrichment activities and competitions often referred to as the "Olympics of the mind." ACT-SO is operated in 210 communities throughout the country, with nearly 10,000 students competing in categories across the sciences, humanities, visual and performing arts and business. Verizon's support is assisting the NAACP with creating an online social networking platform to foster a greater connection between participants and create an opportunity for them to connect with alumni.

Online resources for the ACT-SO program and student competition are made available to teachers, students and parents through Verizon Thinkfinity (www.thinkfinity.org), an interactive educational platform that provides tens of thousands of free resources for use in and out of the classroom.  The site contains thousands of engaging resources that make learning fun. Lesson plans, in-class activities and homework help can be found quickly and searched by grade level, keyword or subject.  To access Thinkfinity, visit www.thinkfinity.org.

About the Verizon Foundation
The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, uses its technology, financial resources and partnerships to address critical social issues, with a focus on education and domestic violence prevention. In 2010, the foundation awarded nearly $67 million to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered nearly 6 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.

About the NAACP
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its more than half-million members and supporters throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil and human rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and advocating for equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.