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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release March 10, 2000

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

Today, the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) announced the creation of its Technology Enhancement Capital Campaign, a technology initiative that will bring digital opportunity to historically black colleges across the nation. Through a $50 million contribution by Microsoft and key commitments from IBM and AT&T, UNCF will help empower students, faculty and staff at all 39 UNCF member colleges by strengthening technology infrastructure and improving computer access. I applaud the creation of this partnership and strongly support the efforts behind it.

While computer and Internet access has exploded in recent years, America continues to face a "digital divide" -- a gap between those who have access to Information Age tools and the skills to use them and those who don't. We cannot allow unequal access to deepen divisions along the lines of race, income, education level, and geography. I believe we can use technology to help make the American dream a reality for more citizens, and that is why I have made the effort to bring digital opportunity to all Americans a top Administration priority.

My Administration is committed to doing its part to ensure that all Americans benefit from opportunities created by information technology. But the government can not and should not do this alone. That is why I will lead a New Markets trip the week of April 9(superscript: th) -- designed to mobilize significant private and public efforts to close the digital divide. Efforts like the Technology Enhancement Capital Campaign are inspiring examples of what can be done in partnership to meet this important goal.

30-30-30

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