Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Announces Grant to Enable Digital Opportunities for Minority Youth

REDMOND, Wash. Feb. 2, 2007 — Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corp., today announced a software grant worth $5 million for the National Urban League, the nation’s oldest and largest African-American organization. The technology grant from Microsoft will provide the National Urban League and its 102 affiliates with software to meet the organization’s goal of empowering communities and changing lives.

“Access to technology and strong computer skills are necessary to ensure that our community is more economically competitive,” said Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League. “As a result of Microsoft’s generosity, the National Urban League and our affiliates will have the technology needed to enhance our wide array of programs from education assistance and job training to home ownership and business development initiatives. In turn, we’ll be able to better assist the over 600,000 African-American children and families we serve nationwide and help them to acquire the necessary skills to close the digital divide that still exists in America today.”

The grant was announced at Microsoft’s 16th annual Blacks at Microsoft Minority Student Day, an event designed to teach minority students around the country about opportunities in technology. The Minority Student Day and the National Urban League grant are part of Microsoft’s overall commitment to providing technology to underserved communities and broadening digital inclusion.

The $5 million dollar software grant will be rolled out over three years to give the National Urban League and its affiliates the technology system assessments and software needed to enhance its adult and youth programs as well as to encourage kids to pursue careers related to math and science. The grant will also provide the National Urban League’s office with tools to integrate data systems and more effectively communicate with Urban League affiliates and their volunteer corps across the nation.

“Microsoft is dedicated to working with organizations that serve and support diverse communities by providing educational opportunities,” said Claudette Whiting, general manager of Global Diversity and Inclusion at Microsoft. “We are proud to work with the National Urban League to bring technology into urban communities.”

About the National Urban League

Established in 1910, The Urban League is the nation’s oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream. Today, the National Urban League (, headquartered in New York City, spearheads the non-partisan efforts of its local affiliates. There are over 100 local affiliates of the National Urban League located in 35 states and the District of Columbia providing direct services to more than 2 million people nationwide through programs, advocacy and research.

About Blacks @ Microsoft

Blacks @ Microsoft was founded in 1989 and serves as a company-sponsored employee affinity group dedicated to supporting the continued growth and development of African-American employees at Microsoft Corp.

About Microsoft

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