Microsoft to Sponsor 15th Annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 5, 2001 — On Feb. 8, more than 7,000 black executives, professionals and students in the fields of math, engineering, computer science, business and accounting will converge in Baltimore for the 15th Annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference. This year Microsoft Corp., a major sponsor of National Black Family Technology Awareness Week (Feb. 4-10), will sponsor the conference, during which it will host a technology career booth at the Black Engineer Career Fair. The booth will provide students with an opportunity to submit r
s while getting some insight into Microsoft.

This year’s events, hosted by U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine (USBE) and the Council of Engineering Deans of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, are designed to raise technology awareness among black families. The conference will offer programs for teenagers as well as adults. High Tech Sunday, an event scheduled for Feb. 4, will give attendees an opportunity to get their local churches involved in assessing the use and impact of computers and technology in their neighborhoods. Other scheduled events include Business and Technology Day/Research Day, Family Tech Night, Software and Hardware Product Review Day/Computer Lab Training, Internet Day, Corporate America Open House Day, and Honor Black Technology in Your Community. The weeklong technology program will culminate on Saturday, Feb. 10, with the Black Engineer of the Year Awards ceremony at which two winners, Keith Toussant and J.C. Cannon, will be presented with certificates from Microsoft in recognition of their outstanding achievements in the field of technology.

Microsoft’s sponsorship of the 15th Annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference is another way in which the corporation is addressing the need to bring software, services and employment opportunities to communities traditionally underrepresented in the technology field. In the past three years alone, Microsoft has given more than $231 million ($19.5 million in cash and $211.5 million in software) to help thousands of organizations provide technology access to underserved communities. These organizations include public libraries, colleges and universities, and community-based nonprofit agencies. Through these efforts, millions of underprivileged individuals across the nation now have access to technology and training.

Microsoft’s role as a sponsor of the conference reinforces the corporation’s efforts to create technological opportunities for underserved communities.
“This conference is covering a range of challenges our communities face,”
said Bruce M. Brooks, director of Community Affairs at Microsoft.
“One of those challenges is lack of technology access. For more than six years, Microsoft has been a leader in providing the resources that are necessary for success in the new technology world. We have worked with organizations and individuals to help build infrastructures to eliminate the disparities in technology use and access in minority communities across the country. We helped to create a successful computer lab in a Washington, D.C., housing project that several years ago was overrun with drug dealers and is now a place where young people and seniors come to learn.”

Microsoft’s community-based efforts were recently acknowledged by the corporation’s selection as one of 50 winners of the Diversity 2000 (Div2000) Top 50 Award, marking the first

Internet election in which more than 50,000 of North America’s leading women- and minority-owned businesses voted. Microsoft was recognized for its role as
“one of America’s top 50 corporations providing multicultural business opportunities.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

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