NAACP Receives $1.5m Grant from Verizon to Strengthen Information Technology Systems

July 13, 2006

Contribution is part of $4 million in commitments from leading firms

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was recently awarded a three-year $1.5 million grant from the Verizon Foundation and has secured further commitments totaling in excess of $4 million to assess, develop and implement technology tools that further the organization's advocacy well into the future. The effort is part of a joint venture between the NAACP and a consortium of leading technology and communications companies that support the NAACP's goals in the community.

The multi-corporation strategic partnership will assist in overhauling the information technology (IT) infrastructure at the NAACP's national headquarters and branches. The multi-year initiative will increase the Association's efficiency in data management, streamline integrated systems and allow local units to share information in real time. An updated network will also increase the connectivity of 2,200 local branches to the national office. The Verizon Foundation awarded its grant this spring.

Through the foundation, Verizon joins IBM, Microsoft, Booz Allen Hamilton, Plus Three and Cisco Systems in providing the NAACP with technological communications resources to bolster the delivery of community-based educational and technology initiatives.

"The NAACP truly appreciates this partnership with those at the pinnacle of the technology arena," said NAACP President and CEO Bruce S. Gordon. "The grant and in-kind services donated by these firms support our need to build a modern, state-of-the-art network that will further the work provided by our local units. This global information age demands that infrastructure at all levels of the Association be as reliable, expedient and accurate as possible."

"With initiatives like Back to School/Stay in School that promote the graduation of K-12 students, the NAACP is entrenched in communities across the country in the enhancement of literacy and education and the development of employment and technology skills," said Verizon Foundation President Patrick Gaston. "We're honored to help deliver the benefits of 21st century technology to one of the nation's preeminent civil rights organizations, which will in turn continue building stronger communities."

The Verizon Foundation, the telecommunication firm's philanthropic arm, works to improve literacy and K-12 education; supports domestic violence prevention and the improved delivery of health care. In 2005, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $74 million in grants to charitable and nonprofit agencies, while employee volunteers have contributed more than 2 million volunteer hours over the last five years.

Architectural information systems mapping, hardware, systems integration, project management, software packaging, archiving and telecommunications encompass the scope of work under the agreement.

Microsoft, Cisco Systems, IBM, Booz Allen Hamilton, Plus Three and Verizon will provide a team of experts to help design, test, implement and evaluate systems installed at the headquarters and branch offices. The industry leaders will help with the deployment and training on advanced technologies to support voice, data, and video communications among NAACP affiliates and constituents.

Certain segments of the IT transformation plan are already in operation. For example, the NAACP's newly designed website?to be launched July 17?is an outgrowth of the partnership.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

CONTACT: NAACP Office of Communications 410.580.5125

< View All Press Releases