AT&T Gifts $500,000 to Dallas Agencies That Help Black and Underserved Communities

Donations are being made through AT&T's "Believe Dallas" initiative.

AT&T today announced a half-a-million-dollar donation to local agencies that help Black and underserved communities in the region. The contribution is part of the global company’s on-going “Believe Dallas” initiative to help prevent and mitigate homelessness.

Three local organizations, The Real Estate Council ($100,000), For Oak Cliff ($50,000), and Dallas Violence Interrupter Partners ($50,000), were presented checks at a press conference on Friday morning. The balance will be distributed to six other agencies: 

Safer Dallas/Better Dallas on behalf of the Dallas Police Youth Summer Intern Program ($100,000)
Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative, or TORI ($50,000)
Redemption Bridge ($50,000)
Dallas County Diversion Program/Homeward Bound ($50,000) 
Moore Philanthropy on behalf of Power in Action ($30,000)
Revive Dallas Small Business Fund ($20,000)

One recipient, The Real Estate Council (TREC), which has created an affordable housing/gentrification prevention fund with $2.6 million seeded by JP Morgan, has a goal of raising $5 million for its forgivable loan program to work with developers to acquire and build affordable homes in Southern Dallas. 

“Providing people with safe and affordable housing is one of the most important elements of our commitment to the Dallas community,” said TREC CEO Linda McMahon. The funds from the AT&T Believe Dallas initiative will help catalyze effort to hit its goal, she added.

“Many of our fellow Dallas citizens lack access to quality education, economic opportunity, homeownership and other attributes that develop wealth and build the middle class,” said Michael Peterson, Vice President, AT&T External Affairs. “AT&T is proud to invest in these local organizations that are working to address these disparities.”

The donations are part of a $10 million commitment from AT&T to boost economic opportunities in Black and underserved communities across the country.

According to the Census Bureau, Black/African American individuals are 13 percent of the population, but account for more than 40 percent of the national homeless population. According to AT&T, in Dallas the percentage is even more staggering. 67 percent of the homeless population is Black.

Challenges facing the community include poverty and homelessness, which has been exacerbated by high unemployment rates, the COVID-19, and social unrest around the country, AT&T said in news release.

“Our hope is that our $500,000 contribution will help alleviate some of these inequities,” AT&T said in an emailed statement.

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