National Urban League to Open Baltimore Technology Center with $650,000 Grant From U.S.Department of Commerce

National Urban League to Open Baltimore Technology Center with $650,000 Grant From U.S.Department of Commerce

Partnership with Bell Atlantic Establishes Urban League as

Technology Pioneer

December 18, 1997

Media contacts:

Denise Dennis

National Urban League

212 558-5313

Paige Darden

U.S. Department of Commerce

202 482-1551

Sandra Arnette



Michael Kornfeld

Bell Atlantic Foundation

212 395-5990

BALTIMORE, MD - A community technology center will officially open

early next year at the Baltimore Urban League on Orchard Street with

the aid of grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce's National

Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Bell

Atlantic Foundation.

A $650,000 grant through NTIA's Telecommunications and Information

Infrastructure Assistance Program (TIIAP) partially matches a $1

million Bell Atlantic Foundation grant to establish inner-city

technology centers in partnership with National Urban League

affiliates throughout the northeast.

TIIAP provides matching grants to nonprofit organizations and state and

local government entities for innovative projects that demonstrate the

benefits and practical applications of telecommunications and

information technology, while extending their reach to underserved


"We started this unique, extremely competitive program in 1994 as part

of our vision to have an advanced National Information Infrastructure

that reaches all Americans," said Commerce Secretary William Daley.

"TIIAP is helping us realize that vision by serving as a catalyst. It

is bringing together the public and private sectors to figure out how

to realize the potential that the Internet and other new

telecommunications technologies offer."

The National Urban League's Technology Access Center in Baltimore will

provide public access to information technology as a means of

delivering and enhancing existing educational and employment support

programs. New offerings will include online training in word

processing, database management, spreadsheet applications and the

Internet. Graduate Equivalency Diploma (GED) preparation and resume

writing courses, which have traditionally been instructor-led, will

shift to self-study, computer-based training -- affording students of

all ages more hands-on experience with personal computers.

The TIIAP grant expands on Bell Atlantic's support for similar Urban

League technology access centers in Boston, Mass., and Binghamton and

White Plains, NY. The four centers will be linked via a Wide Area


"Our partnership with Bell Atlantic to build these community

technology centers supports our mission, which is to help African

Americans and other urban poor obtain social and economic equality,"

said Hugh B. Price, president of the National Urban League.

"Knowledge of emerging technologies enhances the opportunities

available to members of our community to compete and succeed in a new

global economy. We are very grateful to Bell Atlantic for making

these centers possible and stimulating our drive to lead all of our

affiliate organizations into the information age."

The state-of-the-art technology center announced today will be

equipped for a range of uses. It will include networked computer

workstations with access to the Internet and other information

services for online research and programs. The sites also will allow

for video conferencing and distance learning.

"We are excited that our corporate support of the National Urban

League's technology initiative has attracted the support of the U.S.

Department of Commerce and created the possibility for a center in

Baltimore," said Sherry F. Bellamy, president and CEO of Bell

Atlantic-Maryland. She announced a supplemental grant of $25,000

targeted toward supporting the Baltimore Urban League's welfare to

work programs at the technology center.

"Access to technology is critical for the future development of our

community and its participation in our national and global economies,"

said Bellamy. "The National Urban League is a dynamic leader in the

nationwide effort to provide access to the vast universe of

information and prepare urban communities for the future challenges of

our world."

Founded in 1910, the National Urban League is the premier social

service and civil rights organization in America. The mission of the

league is to help African Americans and other urban poor achieve

social and economic parity. The League has affiliates in 114 cities,

34 states and the District of Columbia. For more information on the

National Urban League, visit www.nul.org on the Internet.

Established in 1994, the Telecommunications Information and

Infrastructure Assistance Program (TIIAP) is a highly-competitive,

merit-based grant program that brings the benefits of an advanced

national information infrastructure to communities throughout the

United States. TIIAP is administered by the United States Department

of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information

Administration. Information about TIIAP, including descriptions of

the grants the program has awarded and information about how to apply

for 1998 funds, is available on the NTIA Home Page at


The Bell Atlantic Foundation administers all domestic and

international philanthropic grants on behalf of Bell Atlantic. The

Foundation's philanthropic emphasis is on providing safe havens for

youth and grants to technology and education, arts and human services.

For additional information on the Bell Atlantic Foundation, visit

www.bellatlanticfoundation.com on the Internet.