National Urban League Hails Bell Atlantic
For Corporate Leadership
Bell Atlantic Foundation and CEO Seidenberg Cited
For Efforts to Bridge the 'Digital Divide'
November 10, 1999
NEW YORK -- Bell Atlantic has received a Corporate Leadership Award
from the National Urban League in recognition of its philanthropic efforts
to bring technology to urban communities. Hugh Price, the League's
president and CEO, presented the award to Bell Atlantic Chairman and
CEO Ivan Seidenberg during the organization's Equal Opportunity Day
Dinner, Nov. 9, in New York City.
In presenting the award, Price noted the expert talent and training Bell
Atlantic has provided over the past two years to get the League's five
community technology centers up and running, and more than $1 million
in grants from the Bell Atlantic Foundation. "At these centers,
Urban League constituents have access to the hardware and software they
need to plug into cyberspace, thereby crossing the 'digital divide' that
separates so many communities from the world of technology," said
"Our partnership with Bell Atlantic to build these community
technology centers supports our mission, which is to help African
Americans and others obtain social and economic equality. 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 the Bell Atlantic Foundation for making these centers
possible and for stimulating our drive to lead all of our affiliate
organizations into the information age," he said.
The technology centers that received Bell Atlantic Foundation support are
located in Baltimore; Boston; Binghamton and White Plains, N.Y.; and
Price noted that Bell Atlantic also encouraged other corporations to
support similar National Urban League efforts, prompting increased
funding for the League's technology efforts and a growing awareness of
the organization's role in advancing access to technology.
"The National Urban League has been a dynamic leader in the
national effort to provide access to the vast universe of information and
prepare urban communities for the challenges of the new
millennium," said Seidenberg. "New technology continues to
revolutionize many aspects of our society. Access to technology can
determine whether individuals and communities can participate in and
fully benefit from the promise of American society in the next century.
"Not only do these technology centers provide communities with a
direct on-ramp to the information superhighway, they also provide, in
some cases, a safe haven for children in inner-city communities -- where
they can study, learn and explore in safe, nurturing environments. Bell
Atlantic is proud to partner with the National Urban League in this vital
endeavor that supports the people and communities we both serve,"
The centers, which are equipped with networked computer workstations,
provide access to the Internet and other information services for online
research and programs. Video conferencing and distance learning also are
available at the centers. The facilities provide young people with access to
emerging technologies, while adults receive job and business skills
development training. In addition, senior citizens have online access to
important health, safety and wellness information at the centers.
Earlier this year, the president of the Bell Atlantic Foundation, Suzanne
DuBose, received the League's 1999 Donald H. McGannon Award, which
cited her "tenacious advocacy" and her efforts in securing
millions of dollars in philanthropic support for after-school programs for
African-American youth and for the League's technology initiatives.
Founded in 1910, the National Urban League is the premier social service
and civil rights organization in America. The League is a nonprofit,
nonpartisan, community-based movement, headquartered in New York
City with professionally staffed affiliates in 115 cities in 35 states and the
District of Columbia,
The Bell Atlantic Foundation supports a variety of projects domestically
and internationally, with an emphasis on new technology applications in
education, health and human services, the arts and humanities, and civic
development in the www.bellatlanticfoundation.com on the Internet.
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 43 million telephone access lines
and more than 10 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.