(LOS ANGELES) – On April 22, leaders of the LGBT community joined the Mayor of Los Angeles and David Bohnett in celebrating more than five years successfully serving the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in Los Angeles at the original David Bohnett CyberCenter in Los Angeles.
During the Grand Re-Opening celebration, founder David Bohnett proudly lead members of the LGBT community and Mayor Hann on a tour through the completely remodeled IBM CyberCenter. After Mayor Hann's speech and introduction of Bohnett to the audience, Bohnett stated he has “never felt as accomplished and proud as I do when I see the hard work and dedication of our LGBT community when it comes to putting together a CyberCenter and helping to bridge the digital divide.”
The CyberCenter at the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center offers free access to the Internet and computer classes for the traditionally underserved LGBT community. The center, which features the latest IBM computer technology, also serves as a hub for educational opportunities for seniors and youth.
In 2004, the David Bohnett Foundation invested more than $350,000 to “refresh” all 18 existing CyberCenters with state-of-the-art IBM technology, including the latest in software and hardware design.
The grand re-opening featured the unveiling of 15 new IBM computers and monitors to enable access to the Internet and to provide software training inside a comfortable, informal space for young people to congregate. This renovated facility will help bridge the 'digital divide' by giving access to technologies and resources to those that may not have them. More than 400 people use the CyberCenter each month.
The grand re-opening celebration was held at the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, 1125 N. McAdden Place, Los Angeles, CA, 90038, last Thursday, April 22.
“We are very pleased to celebrate the re-opening of our original David Bohnett CyberCenter with new computers for the gay and lesbian community of Los Angeles,” said Michael Fleming, Executive Director of the Bohnett Foundation. “It's very important for the LGBT community to have a warm, inviting environment for computer training, work on the Internet and other activities. The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center is an outstanding facility and we know this will foster a greater sense of community.”
The David Bohnett CyberCenter offers hands-on experience and classes in various software environments from business applications to resume writing to creative design. The classes range from introductory, intermediate, and advanced levels.
“IBM's rich diversity heritage is built upon our commitment to equality and involvement in the communities we serve,” says Michael Fuller, vice president, BTO Global Partner and co-chair of IBM's LGBT Executive Diversity Task Force. “Our company has long supported the LGBT community, and we're pleased that IBM technology will help foster a virtual sense of being connected for this constituency and enhance the lives of all those the Bohnett Foundation CyberCenter serves.”
Established in 1998, the institution in Los Angeles was the first David Bohnett CyberCenter. There are now 18 cities across the United States with David Bohnett CyberCenters.
“This CyberCenter fills a vital need for our community,” said Lorri L. Jean, Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center. “We are very grateful to the David Bohnett Foundation for upgrading our technology and allowing us to learn, communicate and expand our educational opportunities.”
The David Bohnett Foundation was founded by David Bohnett who started GeoCities, an Internet based media and e-commerce company in 1994. GeoCities was acquired by Yahoo! In 1999. David, a gay man, was determined to improve our society through social activism. He recognized the importance of the Internet in creating that change and he sought to ensure the LGBT community was connected and using the immense potential of the web.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE LOS ANGELES GAY & LESBIAN CENTER Lorri L. Jean, Executive Director 1125 N. McAdden Place Los Angeles, CA 90038 323.993.7611
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE BOHNETT FOUNDATION Michael Fleming, Executive Director 2049 Century Park East, Suite 2151 Los Angeles, CA 90067 310.277.4611 www.bohnettfoundation.org