NAACP and AT& T Partner to Help Bridge 'Digital Divide'

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and AT& T Co. have teamed to create technology centers in six cities that will provide computer training and Internet seminars to help lessen what organizers say is a "racial ravine" in technology usage.

AT& T will supply hardware, software and on-site support for the new centers. The program's initial six pilot locations will be Baltimore, home of the NAACP's headquarters, Seattle, New York City, Dallas, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale and Philadelphia. The centers will be housed at NAACP locations or on space affiliated with the organization, said Karen Wilson, development officer for the NAACP.

A $300,000 grant from the AT& T Foundation is being used to remodel office space for the centers and for equipment, staffing and programming, Wilson said.

"The grant is for first-year support, and we want to begin working in the six cities in the next two or three months," Wilson said. "We want to make the six pilots as effective and successful as possible, and then ideally have 20 centers funded in the future."

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