BASKING RIDGE, NJ and ST. PAUL, MN — Verizon Wireless today announced that the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African-American Community (IDVAAC) was presented with a $25,000 grant from HopeLine® from Verizon at Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound grand finale in Los Angeles on Oct. 28. The donation will help the IDVAAC continue with its mission to raise awareness of domestic violence in the African-American community and demonstrates Verizon Wireless’ ongoing commitment to this important cause.
According to the IDVAAC, African-American women experience intimate partner violence at rates 35 percent higher than their white counterparts and 2.5 times greater than the rate of men and other races. In 2005, African-Americans accounted for almost one-third of intimate partner homicides in the United States.
“We were honored to be part of Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound and receive this grant,” said Oliver Williams, Ph.D., co-founder and executive director of the IDVAAC. “This grant allows us to further our mission: to prevent and raise awareness of the unique circumstances that African-Americans face related to domestic violence and to educate and connect our communities on this important issue.”
“Domestic violence affects all races, but recent statistics show that African-American women are especially at risk,” said Elva Lima, executive director of community relations for Verizon Wireless. “Verizon Wireless is committed to breaking the cycle of domestic violence, and our partnership with the IDVAAC will help provide the resources needed to help raise consciousness of the impact of domestic violence in the African-American community.”
Salvation and Deliverance Church Choir of Tarboro, N.C., was named the winner of the 2011 Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound competition at the grand finale event and received over $35,000, along with other prizes, and the opportunity to perform at the 2012 Super Bowl Gospel Celebration, the only NFL-sanctioned gospel event. The grand finale event was hosted by GRAMMY® Award-winning gospel legends CeCe Winans and Donald Lawrence, and award-winning artists Marvin Sapp, Shirley Caesar and Israel Houghton served as judges. Special guests Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah teamed up for a memorable performance and Andrae Crouch was presented with the Living Legend award.
During the regional Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound tour, participating choirs were encouraged to collect and donate no-longer-used wireless phones to HopeLine from Verizon, and more than 12,000 phones were collected nationwide. The long-running HopeLine program puts the nation’s most reliable wireless network to work in the community by turning no-longer-used wireless phones into support for those affected by domestic violence. Proceeds from the HopeLine program are used to provide wireless phones and airtime to victims of domestic violence and cash grants to local shelters and non-profit organizations that focus on domestic violence prevention, awareness and advocacy. Since the launch of the cell phone recycling program in 2001, HopeLine from Verizon has collected more than 8 million phones, given out more than $10 million in cash grants, and distributed more than 106,000 phones with more than 300 million minutes of free wireless service for use by domestic violence survivors.
For more information on Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound competition and to view video of the grand finale and regional competitions, go to www.HowSweetTheSound.com. To learn more about HopeLine from Verizon, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline. Visit www.idvaac.org to read more about the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 107.7 million total wireless connections, including 90.7 million retail customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with nearly 83,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
About the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community
The Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community (IDVAAC) is an organization focused on the unique circumstances of African Americans as they face issues related to domestic violence – including intimate partner violence, child abuse, elder maltreatment, and community violence. IDVAAC’s mission is to enhance society’s understanding of and ability to end violence in the African-American community. Within this context, IDVAAC works with African-American communities, including families, individuals, and organizations serving the target population; legal and criminal justice systems; family and community violence practitioners; researchers; and policymakers around efforts to build the knowledge base regarding African Americans and domestic violence and to develop strategies to meet the service needs of this population.