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Bell Atlantic Helps Fund Documentary on Rev. Sullivan
Charleston Native Championed Equal Opportunity Worldwide
January 21, 1999
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Bell Atlantic - West Virginia today announced it
will contribute $10,000 to help underwrite a documentary about the life of
Charleston native Rev. Leon Sullivan, world-renowned champion of equal
"Rev. Sullivan's life is one that should be chronicled and shared with all
who treasure freedom and equal opportunity, and we intend to help make that
happen," said Dennis Bone, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic - West
The 60-minute film, entitled "A Principled Man: Reverend Leon Sullivan,"
will be produced by Marshall University and MotionMasters, a Charleston
film production studio.
Bone's announcement came during Sullivan's visit to Charleston, where he
will deliver the fifth annual W.E. "Ned" Chilton III Leadership Lecture. He
also will meet with students at Piedmont Elementary School.
Sullivan became widely known in 1977 for authoring the Sullivan Principles,
an international code of equal opportunity. The principles were instrumental
in ending racial apartheid in South Africa.
He also founded the Opportunities Industrialization Centers, which provide
job training throughout the U.S. and in 12 other countries.
"It's unusual for Bell Atlantic to fund a film, but this is a story that
truly needs to be told," Bone said. "Rev. Sullivan is an inspiration to
all -- a West Virginia hero in every sense."
Born in 1922, Sullivan grew up poor on an alley off Bradford Street in
Charleston's East End. He graduated from Garnet High School and West
Virginia State College. He has graduate degrees from Columbia University
and Union Theological Seminary.
After working closely with the renowned Rev. Adam Clayton Powell,
Sullivan served as pastor of Zion Baptist Church in Philadelphia for 38
years. He recently published his autobiography, Moving Mountains.
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information
industry. With 42 million telephone access lines and eight million wireless
customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of
advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services
and the world's largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic
companies are also among the world's largest investors in high-growth global
communications markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.