In June of this year, the David Bohnett Foundation awarded $30,000 to the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Utah (The Center) for the implementation of a cyber center aimed at reaching the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and alternative community. The LGBT Cyber Center will build upon The Center's mission to be a safe space for everyone by providing public access to various forms of information.
The funds will be used to upgrade existing systems and to create new technology areas. The Stonewall Coffee Shop's two public access computers will be upgraded to provide faster and better internet service including the addition of a wireless hub, which will allow access to laptop users. The Center's new library/reception area will be revamped to include at least one fully programmed public access computer as well as an audio-visual station where the growing collection of documentary and historical films can be viewed. At the core of The Center's technology plan is a proposed Cyber Learning Center where the public will have access to state-of-the-art fully-loaded computers for a small fee, and classes will be offered on a variety of topics ranging from how to operate a computer to utilizing general office software, and from web design to video production.
Utah is one of several states that host a growing technology industry making it easier for The Center to provide up-to-date systems. To supplement the grant, The Center will be seeking donated new systems, computers, software, and dedicated educators. The Cyber Learning Center will be located in The Center's Multipurpose Room. The proposed site must be built out and its anticipated opening is mid-2004. The other two technology areas at The Center should go online within three to six months.
The David Bohnett Foundation was founded by David Bohnett, designer of GeoCities, that later became Yahoo.com. David, a gay man, was determined to improve our society through social activism. He recognized the importance of the internet in creating that change. He wanted to ensure that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community were connected and using the immense potential of the web. He believed that no one should be left behind, particularly the older members of our community and that everyone should have the chance to learn and build these skills in an environment that is safe, affirming and non-threatening.
The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Utah joins a growing group of David Bohnett funded LGBT Community cyber centers. The Orange County and Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center were among the first LGBT cyber centers in the country. Sites in San Jose, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, San Diego, and Seattle quickly joined them. On the east coast, LGBT cyber centers are now in New York City, Long Island, Boston, Cape Cod, and West Palm Beach. The Central states have sites in Milwaukee and Cleveland. In the intermountain region, Salt Lake City joins Tucson in providing LGBT cyber centers for the community.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT Paula Wolfe, Executive Director Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Utah 355 North 300 West, 1st Floor Salt Lake City, UT 84103 801-539-8800