Verizon Funds Native American Program to Help Prevent Domestic Violence in California Tribal Communities

ANAHEIM, Calif. - The California Indian Museum and Cultural Center (CIMCC) will create an online education course funded by a $99,000 Verizon grant to teach young Native Americans ways to avoid becoming victims or perpetrators of domestic violence.

"The statistics on teen domestic violence are alarming," said Elva Lima, Verizon's vice president of strategic programs.  "Twenty percent of 13- to14-year-olds in relationships know a victim of violence, but barely half of them recognize the warning signs of abusive relationships. The California Indian Museum and Cultural Center's new project is one of many innovative programs that Verizon is supporting throughout different cultural communities in California to combat the epidemic of domestic violence."

The grant was announced Thursday (July 10) during the eighth annual For All My Relations conference hosted by the National Indian Justice Center (NIJC), which is collaborating with CIMCC on the program.

"Violence prevention in tribal communities is an important public-health issue," said CIMCC Director Nicole Lim. "A communitywide partnership is required to address it effectively. Together with Verizon, we will empower Native youth to change their future."

Native Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 have the highest risk of being exposed to violence in their communities. The program aims to teach young Native Americans about violence prevention before they reach this critical age.

The Internet-based course will initially serve boys aged 12-17 from Riverside County's Morongo, Soboba and Pechanga tribes and eventually expand to serve young Native Americans from other tribes throughout the county and other parts of the state.

The online course will promote violence-prevention techniques such as anger management and mediation and peer-to peer mentoring, and teach participants how to report violence if they experience it. CIMCC will measure participants' awareness level of these issues before and after they have engaged in the course, to assess the success of the program.

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its signature program, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2007, the foundation awarded more than $67.4 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $25.1 million in combined contributions. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since Verizon's inception in 2000.

For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

Founded in 1991 at the Presidio of San Francisco and incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1996, the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center (CIMCC) is creating a statewide, issues-based museum that gives California Indians a voice in the telling of their histories. 

With the experience and transformative power of exhibits as guiding factors, the CIMCC's goal is to create a unique educational resource on California Indians and a worldclass destination for the people of California, the nation and the world.  

When completed, the museum will be a place where the public will learn about tribal perspectives and where Native Americans can proudly view the California Indian contributions to civilization.  CIMCC's work as a cultural institution reaches beyond traditional museum roles of education, resources and preservation.  It is our goal to provide a forum for civic space, a dialogue for ideas that impact the history and future of American Indians.  CIMCC will be a place to address important issues impacting tribal communities throughout country and the state.

About Verizon
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 67 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employed a diverse workforce of approximately 232,000 as of the end of the first quarter 2008 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.