Magic Johnson Foundation, HP Open Tech Center in Michigan

Magic Johnson Foundation, HP Open Tech Center in Michigan
By Ronald Roach

LANSING, Mich.

Aiming to push community-based technology as a means to bridge the digital divide, the Hewlett-Packard company and the Magic Johnson Foundation have opened the 11th Magic Johnson HP Inventor Center at the Black Child and Family Institute in Lansing. The center offers training and skills development and access to online services for Lansing-area youths and adults.

Funded by HP, the initiative has already established 10 centers in other inner-city communities in cities such as Los Angeles, Washington, Atlanta, Harlem, Chicago and Houston. The investment in all the centers totals $1 million over a three-year rollout.

“So many people take computer technology for granted because it’s such a major part of our society now, but imagine not having the education or the ability to access computers,” says Earvin “Magic” Johnson, founder of the Magic Johnson Foundation. “Thanks to organizations with a strong sense of responsibility like HP, my foundation can come into the community and provide the necessary training and education that the kids and the residents of the community may not be getting otherwise.”

The Magic Johnson HP Inventor Center at the Black Child and Family Institute will feature a powerful lineup of HP commercial and consumer products — from servers, desktop and notebook PCs to printers, scanners and digital cameras.

Lansing Mayor Tony Benavides says the “center will help ensure that residents have access to computer technology so they can continue to develop indispensable skills for a technologically driven world.”

“Computer literacy is essential if we are to open the doors of the world to Lansing’s children and families,” says Martha Bibbs, president of the board of the Black Child and Family Institute. “Today is the fulfillment of a dream of two native sons — Kevin Bibbs and Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson. The center will make a remarkable difference in the lives of many residents in our community.”

Kevin Bibbs, a native of Lansing who passed away last November, was the director of community development lending for the Freddie Mac corporation in Virginia and was the son of Martha Bibbs. He had worked closely with Johnson on bringing family development programs to the Black Child and Family Institute, according to Martha Bibbs.

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