MINNEAPOLIS (May 21, 2010) – Ivan B. Phifer was named technology reporter for the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium, a nonprofit minority media organization that supports efforts to expand broadband awareness and utilization in communities of color.
Phifer’s work will appear in newspapers serving African and African American, Latino, Asian and American Indian communities. The ethnic newspapers are members of MMMC, which, in partnership with University of Minnesota’s innovative Urban Research and Outreach Engagement Center, and the U’s Office for Business and Community Economic Development, created a network of community public computer centers that provide jobs, training and access to high speed internet technology.
A Minneapolis 5th ward resident, Phifer, graduated from the University of Minnesota in May 2010, with a degree in Communication Studies. He is also a graduate of North High School, where his interest journalism began in the Communications Magnet program.
Phifer has volunteered in pledge drives for Jazz88, KBEM FM, the Minneapolis Public Schools’ radio station. In addition to earning two broadcasting trophies, he was named one of the top Black seniors in EBONY magazine in 2005 for these efforts.
As a long time North Minneapolis resident, Phifer says he is fully aware of the problems that exist in communities of color, and has taken it upon himself to make a change in the community that has brought him up. He said he remains positive as he seeks to inspire others through his community involvement, and determination.
UROC recently enjoyed its formal opening to the public in ribbon cutting ceremonies and an open house. UROC community outreach programs include the Broadband Access Project a $3.6 million initiative, geared to ensure expanded broadband access and utilization by underserved communities.
UROC’s Broadband Access Project (BAP) seeks mainly to serve in the most underserved and economically strained “poverty zone” communities. The targeted areas where centers are currently placed include four centers in three north-side neighborhoods (Jordan, Webber-Camden and North Loop), three locations in two south-side neighborhoods (Peevey Field and Powderhorn), Glendale Public Housing in southeast (Prospect Park) and Frogtown in St Paul.
The Broadband Access Project will create 24 to 36 jobs. In addition, the program will give access and training to those who may have lacked the resources, provide information on job opportunities, and enhance the use of public computer facilities.