ATLANTA, March 15, 2002 — Forging a new bridge across the so-called digital divide, the nation’s first free consumer and business technology exchange for African-Americans will be held March 16–17 at the Georgia International Convention Center. Microsoft Corp.’s Blacks in Technology Summit, hosted by radio personality and consumer advocate Tavis Smiley, will bring together technology experts and showcase technology solutions for African-Americans at school, at work and in the home.
Atlanta is the second of four major U.S. cities to host the summit over the next several months. Atlanta was preceded by Los Angeles Feb. 1–2, and will be followed by New York May 10–11 and Chicago Aug. 10–11.
Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates sees the challenge of helping connect minority communities with technology as a vital issue for America. “Technology is advancing at an incredibly rapid pace, and it is crucial that the African-American community not get left behind,” said Gates, who will welcome summit attendees in videotaped remarks. “We must all work to ensure that everyone in America has the opportunity for equal access.”
A daylong symposium on Saturday, March 16, will feature noted experts discussing potential solutions to the technology divide in education, business and the home. The summit also will feature a two-day exposition to acquaint attendees with the newest generation of advanced equipment and tools through hands-on, interactive displays.
Details on the summit, including schedule and panelist information, are available on the Web at http://www.blacksintechnology.com/ .
In addition to sponsoring the gathering, Microsoft will offer hands-on demonstrations of software products that help simplify life at school, at work and in the home. In the Microsoft®
Home booth, participants will be able to virtually tour six interactive rooms, including a family room and a master bedroom, that illustrate how software lets families live better, relax and stay connected.
In the small-business workstation, Microsoft presenters will demonstrate how African-American business owners can save time and money, deliver superior customer service, and conduct business on the World Wide Web — all with existing technology.
Visitors to the consumer workstations can get hands-on experience with featured Microsoft products such as Money 2002 and Encarta®
Reference Library 2002, which is a great resource tool for kids and teen-agers to use at school and at home. Those visiting other sections of the Microsoft display will see examples of next-generation Microsoft technology such as the Tablet PC.
Microsoft also will host a free workshop Saturday, March 16. Attendees will learn about bridging the business divide through a special Build Your Business Tour (BYBT) seminar. The Build Your Business Tour travels the United States and presents seminars geared toward helping African-American small-business owners make technology a part of their businesses. Tour presenters will be on hand at the summit for this special presentation of the BYBT and information about upcoming BYBT seminars in the Atlanta area.
In the kid-friendly zone, young people can participate in five areas: the Game Room, the Teen Room, the Kids Area, Encarta Africana Challenge, and Internet Safety and the Internet. Visitors to the Game Room can play the hottest games on Microsoft’s recently released Xbox( video game system or experience real-time, interactive gameplay on a PC in the Teen Room. The Kids Area provides exploration software such as Microsoft’s award-winning Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus®
series and Microsoft Creative Writer.
The Build Your Business Tour and sponsorship of the Blacks in Technology Summit are two examples of Microsoft’s recent involvement in the greater Atlanta community. According to Martin Taylor, director of business strategy, office of the CEO, at Microsoft, “Since 1997, Microsoft and its employees have donated more than $21.4 million to community organizations and human services agencies in the region. And that is just the beginning of our commitment.”
For example, Clark Atlanta University received more than $4 million in software through Microsoft Higher Education grant programs in conjunction with the United Negro College Fund. These funds will provide students with benefits such as enhanced information technology curricula, distance-learning opportunities and improved access to the Internet.
The Atlanta-based Boys & Girls Clubs of America received a $100 million donation to support its technology outreach efforts through the Club Tech program. The program will be extended to more than 3.3 million children and teens through every Boys & Girls Club in the nation over the next five years. In addition, Microsoft actively supports several other Atlanta-area initiatives for young people.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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.
Microsoft, Encarta and Xbox are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Scholastic and The Magic School Bus and logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Scholastic Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.
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