ATLANTA, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) today highlighted the company´s commitment to strong corporate citizenship by announcing key philanthropy initiatives benefiting Atlantans, communities throughout the AT&T Southeast region and nonprofits across the nation.
In a speech today in Atlanta, AT&T Chairman and CEO Edward E. Whitacre Jr. announced $2.35 million in AT&T support for three Atlanta-based programs: $1 million to the Atlanta History Center to support programming and educational outreach associated with exhibitions, including "I Have a Dream: The Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection;" a $1 million contribution to preserve and restore Atlanta´s historic century-old Piedmont Park; and a $350,000 contribution to The Atlanta Women´s Foundation to support leadership development programs for women and girls across the 15-county metro Atlanta area.
Additionally, the AT&T Foundation — the philanthropic arm of AT&T Inc. and one of the top 10 most generous corporate foundations in America — will expand the 2007 AT&T Excelerator grant program into the AT&T Southeast region for the first time. Of the $9 million in 2007 competitive technology grants available to nonprofits nationwide, $3 million has been allocated specifically for nonprofit organizations in the Southeast region.
AT&T also announced it that will provide $5 million to help support the AT&T 20/20 Vision for Education program, an education technology initiative launched by BellSouth in 2005.
"We are committed to making communities where we live and work as
strong and vibrant as they can be, and we are proud to expand AT&T´s
outstanding record of philanthropy," Whitacre said. "AT&T will make a
positive impact on communities in Atlanta, across the Southeast region andacross the country for many years to come."
AT&T and the AT&T Foundation combine $1.8 billion of historic
philanthropic commitment to support programs that enhance education,
community vitality and technology access in communities across the country.
The AT&T Foundation was ranked by Forbes magazine among the most generous corporate foundations in 2006.
Atlanta History Center
The $1 million AT&T contribution to the Atlanta History Center will
provide greater access for children and youth to history programs taking place in Atlanta this year. The AT&T initiative includes free admission days for youth, greater access to history online, and a series of educational essay contests that explores themes drawn from current and future exhibitions at the Atlanta History Center.
AT&T´s contribution underlies the museum´s current exhibit, "I Have a Dream: The Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection," which features more than 600 personal documents from the 10,000-piece collection, including drafts of Dr. King´s "I Have a Dream" speech and a draft of Dr. King´s 1963 "Letter from Birmingham Jail." AT&T´s support will continue through the exhibition of Benjamin Franklin: "In Search of A Better World and Courage: The Vision to End Segregation, the Guts to Fight for It," ensuring that thousands of children statewide will have access to these pivotal stories of our country´s history.
Support for the Atlanta History Center builds on AT&T´s and former
BellSouth´s commitment to preserving the MLK Papers as a public resource.
In 2006, the AT&T Foundation and BellSouth Foundation provided a total of $2 million — $1 million apiece — to a fundraising effort led by Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin that prevented the collection from being sold at a public auction.
"This AT&T gift is truly transformative for the Atlanta History Center. Through the building of our youth programming, educational outreach, online curriculum components, and increased outreach and service to underserved communities, the Atlanta History Center will continue to grow into one of Atlanta´s best cultural assets," said Jim Bruns, president and CEO of the Atlanta Historical Society.
Piedmont Park Conservancy
AT&T announced $1 million to support the Piedmont Park Conservancy, the nonprofit organization working in partnership with the city of Atlanta, to restore and enhance Atlanta´s historic Piedmont Park. The contribution supports the conservancy´s capital campaign to increase the Park by 53 acres, which will add 40 percent new green space and amenities such as walking trails, community gardens and playgrounds. Piedmont Park is one of Atlanta´s most visited free attractions and is home to several well-attended annual festivals, performances and community programs.
Atlanta Women´s Foundation
AT&T will provide $350,000 over 2007 – 2009 to The Atlanta Women´s
Foundation, an organization dedicated to meeting the unique needs of the community´s girls and women. The organization will use the funds to enhance its education and to empowerment programs that promote self-sufficiency and leadership for women and girls across the 15-county metro Atlanta area.
2007 AT&T Excelerator Program
The 2007 AT&T Excelerator grant program will provide $9 million in
competitive technology grants to help regional and local nonprofit
organizations integrate technology into their operations and community
This year, the AT&T Foundation will expand the AT&T Excelerator grant program into the AT&T Southeast region. Of the $9 million committed to the 2007 program, $3 million has been allocated to nonprofit organizations in the Southeast region. The $3 million allocation will be available to nonprofit organizations located in the following states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Since its inception in 2002, the AT&T Excelerator program has awarded more than 2,500 technology grants totaling more than $47.8 million to a diverse range of nonprofits. In 2006, AT&T Excelerator distributed nearly $6 million to more than 480 nonprofit organizations across the country.
Individual AT&T Excelerator grants will range from $2,500 to $25,000
and are one year in length. Collaborations by two or more organizations
will be considered for grants up to $50,000 for one year. The 2007 AT&T
Excelerator application will be available for download starting March 1 at http://www.att.com/foundation .
AT&T 20/20 Vision for Education
AT&T also announced today that it plans to provide $5 million in 2007 funding to the 20/20 Vision for Education program, a $20 million e-learning initiative to arm students with the resources and knowledge that will make them successful. Launched by BellSouth in 2005, the program integrates technology into education to improve learning throughout the Southeast — particularly among low-income and minority students — to address the growing achievement gap and to increase graduation rates.
AT&T invests in educational programs that are enhanced by technology and that teach the necessary skills in order to succeed in an ever-expanding global economy. The company supports philanthropic programs that improve student achievement, teacher preparedness and minority student success — from the kindergarten through college. In 2005, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation provided more than $34.4 million to support education initiatives across the nation.
"AT&T has established a strong record of supporting education
initiatives in the region it serves," said Laura Sanford, president of the AT&T Foundation. "AT&T will continue to build upon that commitment through continued support for the 20/20 Vision for Education and other educational support throughout the Southeast."