Sunday, March 06, 2005

Technology For All --- Occasional Update, March 2005 

"Together We Empower Communities"
Here's a quick update regarding Technology For All (TFA) and our collaborative efforts to empower residents of low-income and underserved communities through the tools of technology. Important information for Community Technology Centers (CTCs) and nonprofits doing community technology is located at the bottom. If you like this newsletter, please e-mail it to a friend. To support our work, go to http://www.techforall.org/ or call 713.454.6400.

News and Updates

TFA-Wireless featured in Houston Chronicle -- TFA-Wireless was featured on the front page of the the March 3, 2005 Houston Chronicle. In addition to TFA-Wireless, the article focused on the proposed Omnibus Telecom Texas House Bill 789 under discussion in Austin. The 300 page bill continues the deregulation of the telecom industry, but contains a one paragraph provision that would impose regulations to prohibit community wireless projects like TFA-Wireless (www.techforall.org/tfa_wireless.html ) because of its collaboration with the City of Houston Public Libraries and Rice University. TFA and other organizations are involved in projects like TFA-Wireless because it is the right thing to do. But if the proposed paragraph with more regulations is included, low-income Texas communities and neighborhoods will lose and competition, innovation and research will be stifled. For more go to the TFA BLOG at http://texasctcs.blogspot.com/ .

TFA-Wireless Thanks Many --- Mayor Bill White and Mayor Pro Tem Carol Alvarado along with Rice University President David Leebron assisted TFA and the Houston Public Library in announcing TFA-Wireless recently. Over 150 persons were present for the announcement held at the Melcher Branch Library in the Pecan Park Super Neighborhood. Many persons and organizations deserve recognition for the successful event including......
Mayor Bill White and his staff
Mayor Pro Tem Carol Alvarado and Chief of Staff James Rodriguez
Toni Lambert, Interim Director, Houston Public Library
Sandra Fernandez, Public Relations, Houston Public Library
Ray Davis, Founder and President, SimDesk Technologies, (SimHouston)
Leroy Robinson, Melcher Branch Manager and the Branch staff
Professor Ed Knightly, Ph.D. and Joseph Camp, Rice Networks Group, Rice University
Jade Boyd and B. J. Almond, Rice Media Relations Office
Rice University students taking Dr. Ed Knightly's class #438 "Deployment and Measurement of Wireless Networks"
Dave Dawson, President, Capital 4 and the staff of Capital 4
Steve Winter and Brett Passmore, ERGOS Technologies
Bill Chalupnik, Volunteer
Rod Thompson, Volunteer
Jack Clark, Attorney and TFA-Houston Board Member
University of Houston Interns - Levi Adkinson, Ted Bronstad, Chris Bossier, Geremy Eiland, Teague Kramer, Kevin Nguyen, Larry Nguyen
Our Community Friends at the Cossaboom YMCA and the Houston Community College Southeast
Technology For All Staff members and friends Jim Forrest, Douglas Caldwell, Rosemarie Foster, Pam Gardner, Mary Collins, Pete Rodriguez, Jesse Linarez, Fernando Lopez
...........and our first residential customer Mrs. Francisa De Leon.
For more information about TFA-Wireless go to http://www.techforall.org/tfa_wireless.html.

TFA-JobTech Begins Work --- TFA-JobTech is TFA's social enterprise that provides document conversion and knowledge management services for business and industry while employing residents from neighborhoods served by TFA and its community partners. TFA-JobTech's first employees are in the process of being interviewed and hired to complete several contracts for conversion services. Training was provided through the collaborative STREET U workforce development program. For more information about TFA-JobTech and the document conversion and knowledge management services it can provide your organization call Jim Forrest at 713.454.6413 or email him at Jim.Forrest@techforall.org . For information about TFA-JobTech on our website go to www.techforall.org/tfa_jobtech.html .
Support TFA's Social Enterprises --- Technology For All operates three social enterprises: TFA-JobTech, TFA-STARRS, and TFA-Wireless. Each enterprise uses technology to address a community need, provide a needed service to the community or to the business community and create revenue through scaleable business models to support TFA's core mission of empowering low-income and under-resourced communities. TFA-JobTech provides high quality document conversion and knowledge management services to its customers. Employees of JobTech are residents of the communities served by participating community technology centers. TFA-STARRS (Secure Technology Asset Recycling and Redeployment Services) provides a needed service at a lower cost to major corporations replacing information technology assets. TFA-Wireless provides an affordable wireless Internet solution in low-income communities while also providing the necessary infrastructure for some JobTech employees to work out of their homes. TFA's social enterprises seek customers and capital to to reach their full potential. For more information, go to http://www.techforall.org/social_enterprises.html or contact Jim Forrest, TFA's Business Development Officer at 713.454.6413 or by email at jim.forrest@techforall.org .

Mission Milby CTC --- New Spring classes have started at TFA's Mission Milby Community Technology Center. New classes include Intermediate Spanish computer classes, Introduction to Computers, Learn and Earn for High School Students, GED, English as a Second Language, STREET U Level 3 and TFA-Wireless orientation classes.

Recent Donations to TFA --- TFA expresses thanks to its recent donors including the Vivian Smith Foundation, Ed Fendell, Jin Foor, Joan Krause, Ashley Kishino, Amanda and Richard Hellman, Alice Hahn, Jill Harmon, Grant Maloney, Christine Sichter, John Brasher, ChevronTexaco, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital and the U. S. Department of Commerce. Cash donations can be sent to Technology For All, 2220 Broadway, Houston, Texas, 77012. To make a computer or other technology donation contact Douglas.Caldwell@techforall.org or call 713.454.6412.

WE NEED COMPUTERS! --- Is your corporation replacing desktops or laptops? TFA has several community organizations waiting to provide a home for those computers in service to community technology centers serving Houston's low-income neighborhoods. Consider the goodwill that your computer donation can create by empowering a low-income community. We have a large donation of several thousand monitors from ChevronTexaco underway. But each of those monitors need a computer. Can your company or organization fill the gap? TFA has established TFA-STARRS to assist corporations with its Secure Technology Asset Recycling and Redeployment Services. Through our strategic alliances we can provide you a turn key solution that addresses your data security issues and reduces your total cost of ownership when upgrading computers. For more information contact Douglas.Caldwell@techforall.org or Jim.Forrest@techforall.org at 713.454.6400.

Important Info for CTCs and CBOs

The Latino Digital Divide --- There is an excellent article/cover story in the bilingual Missouri magazine Adelante on the Latino digital divide:
English: http://www.adelantesi.com/cover_engFEB05.htm
Spanish: http://www.adelantesi.com/cover_espFEB05.htm

March CTC Brown Bag to Feature NASA Educational Programs - Terry Hogdson from NASA's educational services department will be the featured speaker at Houston's monthly brown bag for community technology leaders on Wednesday, March 23 at 12 noon at TFA's offices located at 2220 Broadway. For more information contact Pam.Gardner@techforall.org or by phone at 713.454.6400.

CTCNet Spring 2005 Newsletter --- CTCNet recently posted its Spring 2005 newsletter at http://www.ctcnet.org/ctc_network_news/spring05.htm

Websites of Interest to CTCs and CBOs

The Quilts of Gee's Bend - http://www.tinwoodmedia.com/geesmain.html In a show organized by Houston's Museum of Fine Arts, the Quilts of Gee's Bend is a site that features quilts but so much more. For CTCs wishing to teach their constituents how to tell and illustrate the stories of their communities and culture through various media, go to this site. It is well done.

Sensitive Language --- As CTCS work together with many different communities and cultures we need to avoid insensitive and offensive language. Check out this site to help with "sensitive" language. http://www.randomhouse.com/words/language/avoid_essay.html

America Connects --- http://www.americaconnects.net/
Digital Divide Network --- http://www.digitaldivide.net/
Association for Community Networking --- www.afcn.org

Join CTCNet today - TFA encourages community technology centers to join the Community Technology Centers' Network. For more information, go to http://www.ctcnet.org/ .

Support our Program Partners --- For a complete list of TFA and TFA-Houston program partners, go to http://www.techforall.org/program_partners.html

We welcome your feedback! Contact Will Reed at 713.454.6400 or by email at will.reed@techforall.org .

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