Verizon to Receive Diversity Award for Community Program Support

DETROIT - Verizon Communications will receive the 2003 Excellence In Diversity Award for Community Program Support at the Annual Diversity Leadership Summit being held here today.

"Verizon was chosen to receive the award from a list of leading companies," said Robert Ingram, associate publisher for Savoy Professional Magazine, a diversity and recruitment publication that is directed to African-American professionals and that hosts the summit. "The award recognizes the company's commitment to the communities in which it operates and the support Verizon Foundation provides to nonprofit organizations dedicated to minority individuals and causes."

Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, last year awarded 22,000 grants totaling more than $70 million to nonprofit agencies. Causes that support African-Americans received more than $15 million in grants, 20 percent of the foundation's total gifts. In addition, nonprofit agencies benefiting the Hispanic community received a similar amount.

"We work very hard to make the foundation a partner in the communities and the various constituencies we serve, because Verizon believes diversity makes us a stronger, smarter company," said Mary Beth Bardin, executive vice president-Public Affairs and Communication for Verizon. "We're delighted that the selection committee at this year's leadership summit chose us for this prestigious award."

The Diversity Leadership Summit is an intense one-day event that includes roundtable business-to-business sessions led by some of the nation's leading diversity experts and practitioners.

Verizon Foundation partners with nonprofit organizations to improve basic and computer literacy, enrich communities through technology, and help create a skilled work force. The foundation uses its resources in the U.S. and abroad to develop partnerships in technology and connect them with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence and the economically and socially disadvantaged. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that last year encouraged Verizon employees to volunteer more than 500,000 hours in their communities and provided more than $28 million in matching gifts to nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

Verizon Communications

A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) 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 136.6 million access line equivalents and 33.3 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third-largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with 13.2 million long-distance lines, and the company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. With approximately $67 billion in annual revenues and 227,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.