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April 5, 2000: Issuing a National Call to Action to Close the Digital Divide

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Issuing a National Call to Action to Close the Digital Divide

"Our mission is to open the digital frontier to all Americans, regardless of income, education, geography, disability or race…If we work together to close the digital divide, technology can be the greatest equalizing force our society or any other has ever known."

President Bill Clinton
Tuesday, April 4, 2000

Today, at the White House, President Clinton announced that over 400 companies and non-profit organizations have pledged to sign his National Call to Action to help bridge the digital divide.The President unveiled several initiatives by the public and private sectors, and announced his third New Markets Tour to focus national attention on the digital divide and bring digital opportunity to youth, families and communities around the country.

ISSUING A NATIONAL CALL TO ACTION. President Clinton's "National Call to Action" challenges corporations and non-profit organizations to help bridge the digital divide by meeting two critical goals:

  • Providing 21st Century learning tools for every child in every school, including connecting every classroom, providing students with access to multimedia computers, training teachers to use and integrate technology into the curriculum, and providing high-quality online content and educational software.

  • Creating digital opportunity for every American family and community, including making home access to the Internet universal, bringing technology to every neighborhood through community technology centers, empowering all citizens with IT skills and motivating them to "get connected."

ANNOUNCING INITIATIVES TO BRIDGE THE DIVIDE. The President unveiled the following commitments by the public and private sectors to bridge the digital divide:

  • The Corporation for National Service will commit $12.5 for projects aimed at bringing digital opportunity to youth, families and communities;
  • Yahoo! will provide an Internet advertising campaign worth $1 million to enlist volunteers with high-tech skills for AmeriCorps' digital divide initiative;
  • In partnership with the YWCA's TechGYRLS program, 3Com will announce NetPrep GYRLS, a $330,000 program that will offer girls aged 14-16 training in computer networking; and
  • The American Library Association will work with its members to create or expand "information literacy" programs in at least 250 communities around the country.

NEW MARKETS TOUR: FROM DIGITAL DIVIDE TO DIGITAL OPPORTUNITY. On April 17-18, President Clinton, accompanied by CEOs, Members of Congress, Cabinet Secretaries and community leaders, will conduct his third New Markets Tour to focus national attention on initiatives aimed at overcoming the digital divide and creating opportunities for youth, families and communities. The President will travel to East Palo Alto, California; the Navajo Nation in Shiprock, New Mexico; and Chicago, Illinois to highlight private- and public-sector initiatives to help bring digital opportunity to all Americans. Later this month, the President will travel to rural North Carolina to stress the importance of expanding rural access to the emerging broadband Internet.

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