Rainbow/PUSH Convention Gets Boost from Verizon

CHICAGO - While hundreds converge on Chicago for the annual convention of the Rainbow/ PUSH Coalition July 26-29, thousands more will be able to see highlights of the event on the organization's Web site, www.rainbowpush.org, with the help of Verizon.

The event is believed to be the first major demonstration of video transmission using a wireless telephone system. An elite team of technicians from Verizon Communications and Verizon Wireless engineered and installed a special network to transmit convention highlights from Chicago to New York for posting on the Rainbow/PUSH Web site, broadening the convention's audience to include potentially hundreds of thousands of virtual attendees.

In addition to providing the network, the Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications (the national telecommunications company formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE), is giving $300,000 to support the Rainbow/PUSH annual conventions through 2002.

"We have had a very constructive relationship with Verizon Wireless and the Verizon Foundation," said Rev. Jesse Jackson. "Their support of our Media and Telecommunications Project has assisted us in reaching our communities and has helped us diversify the instruments of communication," he said.

"Helping to transform the nonprofit community through the use of technology
and innovative e-solutions is of paramount importance to the Verizon Foundation,"
said Ivan Seidenberg, president and co-CEO of Verizon Communications. "Our
technology will make it possible for many more people to participate in this
important convention, and we are particularly pleased to partner with Jesse
Jackson and Rainbow/PUSH. The convention will address a number of issues that
are important to the Verizon Foundation the digital divide and computer literacy,
community development and education."

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S.,
with more than 25-million wireless voice and data customers and nearly four-million
paging customers. The new coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the
combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic and GTE now Verizon
Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone AirTouchPlc (LSE:VOD; NYSE:VOD) . Reporters
and editors can find more information about the company in its Media Center
on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com/media center.

The Verizon Foundation supports programs that create innovative e-solutions, help bridge the digital divide, foster basic and computer literacy, help enrich communities, and create a skilled workforce. The Verizon Foundation promotes partnerships in technology with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, and the economically and socially disadvantaged. For more information on the Verizon foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation on the Internet.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 95 million access lines and 25 million wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.


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