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Governor Praises UCR Technology Program

Governor’s Office Awards UCR Computer Initiative

(April 19, 2002)

The California Governor’s Office announced its presentation of the 2002 Technology & Innovation Award to 12 programs statewide including the Community Digital Initiative (CDI), a project of the University of California, Riverside.

'The awards are given for contributions that help foster the fundamentals needed to grow and maintain a tech-based economy,' said Lon S. Hatamiya, Secretary of California's Technology, Trade and Commerce Agency. 'All 12 recipients work to ensure a better quality of life for California's communities and promote partnerships for opportunity and prosperity.'

Since its establishment in 1996, CDI has brought access to computer technology and the resources of the Internet to the residents of the Eastside neighborhood of Riverside, a historically underserved, mostly Latino and African American community.

The lab, located in the Cesar Chavez Community Center, 2060 University Ave., primarily focuses on youths through computer training, employment and tutoring services, workshops and public forums. CDI also serves as a technology resource to nonprofit community organizations and the wider community.

'We are very pleased with the award because its shows that the Governor recognizes CDI's goal to provide innovative opportunities to youth who are preparing for higher education and better jobs. CDI's programs also allow young people to meet and interact with policy makers and business leaders, which offer an invaluable opportunity. CDI is also building a forum for promoting a public voice on community technology,” said Richard Chabrán, director of the CDI.

“CDI has clearly demonstrated to our community that by making technology and training available to all members of our community our community is enriched. It was an honor to nominate CDI for this award and I am very proud that they were selected,” said Assemblyman Rod Pacheco.

CDI has been supported in large part by a grant from The California Wellness Foundation, which maintains that “A good job is one of California’s best health promotion strategies.” More recently, CDI has been receiving support from Pathways to the Future: Youth as Multimedia Producers, a Workforce Investment Act grant as well as a grant from Right From The Start, a project funded by San Bernardino County Prop 10 Commission. Other supporters include Charter Communications, the city and county of Riverside, Pacific Bell and UCR, where CDI is part of the Ernesto Galarza Applied Research Center.

CDI has also received official recognition from the following local state and federal legislators: Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante, Congressman Ken Calvert, Congressman Joe Baca; State Senator Nell Soto, and California Assemblyman Rod Pacheco.

Richard Chabran can be contacted for comments by telephone at (909) 787-3852 or via email at

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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