The Comcast Foundation announced today that it has made a $50,000 grant to the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) to form the "NBCSL/Comcast Broadband Legislative Fellowship" in order to increase efforts to conduct research and develop solutions regarding broadband adoption among African Americans.
According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project's 2009 "Home Broadband Adoption" study and the "Broadband Imperatives for African Americans" report spearheaded by NBCSL and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, there is a disproportionate rate of broadband accessibility and adoption among African American communities. The newly formed Fellowship between Comcast and NBCSL will provide support for two graduate level public policy fellows to develop public policy recommendations to increase broadband adoption and use by African Americans. The recommendations developed by the Fellowship will further direct the efforts of NBCSL in authoring recommendations to Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as they develop national and local solutions to alleviate disparities in broadband access, adoption, and use.
Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen presented the Comcast Foundation's financial contribution to NBCSL President Calvin Smyre, creating the Fellowship during NBCSL's "Joint Minority Legislative Broadband Summit" in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on December 5, 2009.
"There's no reason why America can't become the most connected nation on earth, but to do so it will take hard work and leadership," said Cohen. "Comcast is proud to partner with NBCSL to continue progress toward a connected America that includes all of its communities."
"This is where scholarship and public policy converge to ensure that NBCSL does its part to eradicate the digital divide and provide all Americans with the benefits of broadband," said NBCSL President and Georgia State Representative Calvin Smyre. NBCSL has been a progressive leader in addressing economic, social and political issues that face Americans - particularly African Americans. Healthcare, juvenile justice, education and international trade are among the policies that NBCSL will address at the state, local and federal levels. Comcast's partnership with the NBCSL further enables Comcast to create opportunities and empower the communities it serves.
Comcast powers dreams in the communities it serves by providing access to innovative technology, volunteering time, giving financial support and partnering with organizations to make communities stronger. Its new endeavor with NBCSL further solidifies that commitment. The company focuses its community investment initiatives on building tomorrow's leaders, promoting community service and expanding digital literacy. Since 2001, Comcast has provided $1.4 billion in cash and in-kind support to national and local non-profit organizations in 39 states and Washington D.C. The company has made a $1.2 million commitment to sponsor the One Economy Corporation's Digital Connectors program for three years, beginning in 2009.
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (www.comcast.com) is one of the nation's leading providers of entertainment, information and communication products and services. With 23.8 million cable customers, 15.7 million high-speed Internet customers and 7.4 million Comcast Digital Voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of cable systems and in the delivery of programming content.
Comcast's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, Golf Channel, VERSUS, G4, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One, ten sports networks operated by Comcast Sports Group and Comcast Interactive Media, which develops and operates Comcast's Internet businesses, including Comcast.net (www.comcast.net). Comcast also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia.
About the Comcast Foundation
The Comcast Foundation was founded by Comcast Corporation in June 1999 to provide charitable support to qualified non-profit organizations. The Foundation primarily invests in programs intended to have a positive, sustainable impact on their communities. The Foundation's focus areas are: promoting community service, expanding digital literacy and building tomorrow's leaders. Since its inception, the Comcast Foundation has donated more than $64 million to organizations in the communities nationwide that Comcast serves. More information about the Foundation and its programs is available at www.comcast.com/InTheCommunity.
About the National Black Caucus of State Legislators
The National Black Caucus of State Legislators' (NBCSL) is a membership association representing more than 600 African American state legislators hailing from 42 states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands. NBCSL members represent more than 50 million Americans of various racial backgrounds. NBCSL monitors federal and state activity and provides this information to its members through policy symposiums and conferences. Each year, NBCSL members pass policy resolutions that directly impact federal and state policy. The organization focuses on issues that directly impact US domestic policy and is committed to polices that positively affect all Americans. More information about NBCSL can be found at www.nbcsl.org.