Kozmo.com and Equal Rights Center Announce Initiative to Bridge the Digital Divide.
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 5, 2000
Kozmo.com, Inc. and the Equal Rights Center announced today a joint initiative to address the digital divide in Washington, D.C.
As part of the initiative, Kozmo.com is providing $125,000 in financial support to increase Internet access in underserved communities in and around the nation's capital.
Gerry Burdo, CEO of Kozmo.com, said, "Kozmo is committed to helping underserved communities access the Internet and we're looking forward to working with the Equal Rights Center to bridge the digital divide in Washington, D.C. This joint initiative will also build on Kozmo's ongoing work to facilitate Internet access for those individuals who could most benefit from technology, such as people isolated by disability or illness."
On behalf of the Equal Rights Center, David Berenbaum said, "As in many cities in the country, the Internet is not living up to its promise as the great equalizer because many of the residents of historically underserved communities are unable to get access to the Internet. We applaud Kozmo's commitment to assist in reducing the digital divide and hope that many other Internet companies will follow their lead."
The Equal Rights Center and the Lawyer's Committee recently decided not to pursue further litigation against Kozmo.com. Kozmo also expanded its service areas in several cities this summer, including Washington, D.C., to include neighborhoods in all four quadrants of the Capital.
Mr. Berenbaum continued, "Based on our discussions with Kozmo executives and our review of the evidence, we concluded that the definition of Kozmo's initial service area was not motivated by racial discrimination. If every company reacted as swiftly as Kozmo to eliminate the appearance of discrimination and take affirmative steps to reduce the effect of racial inequities, the task of furthering civil rights goals would be immeasurably easier."
The goal of the initiative is to work toward assuring full and equal access to the digital marketplace.
Since launching in 1997, kozmo.com (www.kozmo.com) has revolutionized the online shopping experience by combining the reach of the Internet with the immediacy of kozmo.com delivery. We provide e-mmediate gratification by delivering thousands of items -- either to our customers or as gifts to anyone in 11 cities -- within an hour. Our products include gourmet foods, home accessories, baby gifts, electronics, CDs, movies, books, meals, health and beauty aids, and much, much more. Backed by a nationwide distribution network of dedicated employees, and guided by a proprietary fulfillment system developed by our own engineers, Kozmo now serves Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and our hometown of New York.
About Equal Rights Center
The Equal Rights Center is the first comprehensive civil rights center in the nation dedicated to affirmatively furthering fair housing, fair employment, public accommodations, and other civil rights issues. The Center was founded in 1999 by a group of interdenominational clergy and community leaders to provide a multi-faceted approach to civil rights issues and to create an open society where equal opportunity for all is celebrated through the realization of "one America." The Center provides a multi-disciplinary program of private enforcement, voluntary compliance, education and outreach, diversity training, research and planning initiatives for the public and private sector.