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IBM and Career Communications Group Take Black Family Technology Awareness Campaign Across Three Continents February 13th-19th

Three Leading Black Doctors Explore Impact of Technology on the Field of Medicine

ARMONK, NY - 28 Jan 2005: Three highly-respected Black doctors - a geneticist, forensic pathologist and cardiologist - will write prescriptions for hundreds of high-school students to help prepare them for careers of the future during a town-hall symposium in New York City that will explore the impact of technology on the field of medicine.

The event marks the launch of the sixth annual Black Family Technology Awareness Week (BFTAW) February 13th-19th to promote the value of technology in Black communities and its importance in the educational and career preparation of Black youth.

This year, the sponsors, IBM and Career Communications Group (CCG), are taking the public awareness campaign to help close the Digital Divide across three continents -- providing thousands of people with opportunities to access technology and training.

"As the world's largest information technology provider, IBM has taken a leadership role in trying to ensure that people from all backgrounds have access to innovative information technologies and resources," said Philip S. Thompson, vice president, Emerging Markets, IBM and a BFTAW co-chair.

"Six years ago, we strongly believed that BFTAW could rally those forces in the community that would inspire and empower Blacks to take advantage of the opportunities technology presents, and it is exciting to see that happening now in the U.S. and on an international scale."

According to a recent report issued by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the U.S. Department of Commerce, computer usage by Blacks still lags behind that of non-Hispanic Whites by more than 14 percent, while Internet usage by Blacks trails that of non-Hispanic Whites by nearly 20 percent.

"Technology has the ability to transform lives, communities and even nations," said Tyrone Taborn, the founder of BFTAW and chairman of Career Communications Group.

"BFTAW has played a significant role in helping to generate awareness about technology's potential; however our task is nowhere near complete. To be successful, we've got to reach those people who are standing on the sidelines and encourage them to become actively involved in an increasingly technological world."

The 2005 BFTAW campaign will engage participants in Sao Paolo, Brazil; Johannesburg, South Africa; Toronto, Canada; Jamaica, West Indies; and dozens of cities across the U.S. 

Workshops on web design, computer programming and creating spreadsheets and databases will be offered to Brazilians interested in enhancing their employable skills and computer classes and Internet training will also be available for students, their families and the elderly.  In Toronto, middle-school age students will participate in hands-on programs designed to help them develop presentation skills, while high school students will take part in technology mentoring sessions. Families looking for sun, fun and an opportunity to enhance their technological skills can attend Black Family Technology Week Spring Break in Jamaica.

During BFTAW, Austin, TX; Huntsville, AL; Kansas City, KS; New Orleans, LA and Philadelphia, PA will host city-wide events in support of the initiative. In Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry is partnering with CCG and IBM to produce, "Engineering the Future," a new exhibition showcasing the contributions made by Blacks in the field of engineering.  In Baltimore, Dr. Sandra K. Johnson, the first Black woman in the United States to earn a PhD in electrical engineering and the chief technology officer and senior technical staff member for IBM's Global Small and Medium Business, Systems & Technology Group, and a BFTAW co-chair, will be among those honored on Saturday, February 19 at a gala dinner for the Black Engineer of the Year Awards.

Dr. Johnson and Thompson are two of five senior IBM executives who will serve as co-chairs of the 2005 BFTAW campaign. The others include:

To learn more about the 2005 Black Family Technology Awareness Week, visit www.blackfamilynet.net or call (410) 244-7101.

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 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.

Career Communications Group, Inc. (CCG) is a minority-owned media services company, headquartered in Baltimore, MD. The company was founded 20 years ago to promote significant minority achievements in engineering, science and technology. For more information about CCG, visit www.ccgmag.com.

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Contact(s) information

Karina Diehl Duart
IBM Media Relations
(305) 969-7318
kdiehld@us.ibm.com

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