FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IBM, SENIORNET AND THE NATIVE AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PARTNER TO BRING COMPUTER ACHIEVEMENT CENTERS TO REMOTE RESERVATIONS
First Achievement Center of ‘Hope and Harmony for Humanity’ Initiative to Open on Blackfeet Nation
ARMONK, NY – September 25, 2006 – In partnership with the Native American Chamber of Commerce and with SeniorNet, a leading nonprofit technology educator of older adults, IBM today announces ‘Hope and Harmony for Humanity’, a grant-based initiative designed to bring computer technology access and education to low-income and remote Native American reservations across the nation.
The initiative kicks off with the opening of the first Achievement Center at the Blackfeet Nation in Browning, Montana on Thursday September 28 th, 2006, and will continue over the next three years with the opening of five Achievement Centers on rural and low-income reservations. The agenda for the day’s events is as follows:
Hope and Harmony for Humanity Initiative Achievement Center Grand Opening – Blackfeet Nation Community College, Beaver Painted Lodge
Thursday, September 28 th, 2006
11: 45 – 1:00 p.m., MDT Reception and Cultural Exhibition
1:00 – 2:00 p.m., MDT Formal Opening and Welcome Speeches
“IBM is proud to sponsor this groundbreaking initiative,” said Ron Glover, vice president of IBM Global Workforce Diversity. “As Native American reservations are geographically distant from metropolitan centers and often lack community infrastructure, they are often left behind in the information age. This program really aims to help them realize all of the education and communication benefits of technology and to bridge the digital divide.”
The Lenovo PC-based Achievement Centers will offer computer and Internet access, education and training at all levels for reservation residents of all ages. In addition to computer training that covers the fundamentals through more advanced courses, the Achievement Centers will serve as an education center for the communities, offering classes on topics such as Family History and Genealogy, Health, Language Training, Work Skills, and Tutoring, as well as a host of life skills and enrichment curriculum for the community’s residents.
“Many are not aware of the extreme poverty that exists on the Blackfoot Nation which leads to a daily dismal picture of everyday life,” said Carroll Cocchia, President of the Native American Chamber of Commerce in Houston, Texas. “ With the help of exceptional corporations like IBM through their participation in the Hope and Harmony for Humanity initiative, we are helping to better the situation for tribal communities like the Blackfeet Nation, and leveling the playing field by giving them access to computers and technology education.”
“In SeniorNet’s 20-year history we’ve brought over 1 million older adults around the world together with computers and technology, and IBM has been a key contributor to this milestone,” said Kristin Fabos, SeniorNet’s Executive Director. “Despite this success, the ‘Digital Divide’ remains a very real issue, and as we embark upon SeniorNet’s next 20 years, we’re expanding our mission and leveraging our proven curriculum to bridge the digital divide for older adults in underserved and rural communities. We’re thrilled to partner with IBM and the Native American Chamber of Commerce to enable the residents of the Blackfeet Nation to experience the benefits of computers and technology education.”
This first IBM-funded ‘Hope and Harmony for Humanity’ Achievement Center at the Blackfeet Nation reservation in Browning, Montana will offer its first semester of courses this Fall, beginning with the SeniorNet Computer Curriculum.
IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with over 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. Drawing on resources from across IBM and key Business Partners, IBM offers a wide range of services, solutions and technologies that enable customers, large and small, to take full advantage of the new era of e-business. For more information about IBM, visit www.ibm.com.
SeniorNet (www.seniornet.org) is the world's premier technology trainer and online community for adults over 50. Based in Santa Clara, California and founded in 1986, SeniorNet is a major international organization that has taught hundreds of thousands of older adults to use computers and the Internet and has enriched the lives of millions through its award-winning website. With a thriving online community and a network of more than 130 locally run Learning Centers in the U.S. and abroad staffed by more than 3,500 volunteers, SeniorNet offers both offline and online destinations to a population that was originally neglected in the information revolution. With sponsorship by major corporations and foundations, private and public donations, and a backbone of individual members and contributors, SeniorNet continues to grow and offer new opportunities to those touched by its mission.
About the Native American Chamber of Commerce (NACC)
The Native American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the Native American business community through charitable, cultural and educational programs and initiatives for current and future generations. NACC is a growing 501(c)(3) organization with a combined membership of over 500 corporate and American Indian owned enterprises with members in 31 States. One of only thirteen Native American Chambers in the United States, NACC assists both corporations and small businesses profit through numerous programs.
The Native American Chamber of Commerce strives to serve the identified needs of the American Indian, Alaskan, Aleut Native owned businesses and serves as a liaison with corporations, governmental and educational institutions, businesses, public media and other civic and religious entities---and facilitates communications with other community-based organizations. The NACC strives diligently in a 'corporate partnership' to support, endorse, educate, assist, counsel and advocate---working for the positive benefit of our membership, while earning the trust and respect of the entire business community.
The NACC Website, www.namcham.org, provides access to members listing, events information, bid postings and job opportunities.