LA LGBT Center Reopens Its ‘CyberCenter’ with Bohnett Foundation Grant

The reopening of the L.A. LGBT Center's CyberCenter. Left to right: Philanthropist David Bohnett, CyberCenter volunteer Peter F. and Center’ Director of Strategic Initiatives Alan Acosta
The reopening of the L.A. LGBT Center’s CyberCenter. Left to right: Philanthropist David Bohnett, CyberCenter volunteer Peter F. and Center’ Director of Strategic Initiatives Alan Acosta

The Los Angeles LGBT Center celebrated the reopening of its CyberCenter today, made possible by a $24,000 David Bohnett Foundation grant that provided 13 new Microsoft Office-loaded desktop computers with which Center clients can network, communicate and explore professional and educational opportunities. The Center’s CyberCenter was the first of the many David Bohnett CyberCenters that are now located all over the United States.

“The David Bohnett Foundation enables the Los Angeles LGBT Center to offer a vital service: computer and internet access,” said Center CEO Lorri L. Jean. “In these days of ubiquitous connectivity, most of us take such access for granted. But there are still many LGBT people who can’t afford a computer or high-speed internet access. The majority of our users report that the David Bohnett CyberCenter is their sole computer access point in the city. Whether it’s communicating with distant family, searching for a job or connecting to the wonders of the world wide web, the David Bohnett CyberCenter is a lifeline for all of its users.”

New funding is part of a series of grants totaling $500,000 to David Bohnett CyberCenters across the country. The “refresh” program began in 2004 to keep the CyberCenters up to date. Every three to four years, each CyberCenter is supplied with brand new, state-of-the-art equipment. This year the Foundation is funding refresh grants to 29 locations throughout the country.

In establishing the CyberCenters, technology entrepreneur and philanthropist David Bohnett’s vision was to provide LGBT communities with a “wired” hub through which its members could connect with each other and explore educational, professional and recreational opportunities. Paul Moore, program officer for the Bohnett Foundation, said the CyberCenters give LGBT people of all ages quality Internet access and provide a safe place to work and socialize.

“The David Bohnett CyberCenters are places where gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people can comfortably get on a computer, access services and network with each other in a nurturing and supportive atmosphere,” Moore said. “The CyberCenters have proven to be a lifeline for people of all ages—from youth who may find themselves without a support system—to seniors who may have little or no familiarity with computers. In today’s increasingly Internet-driven world, we are happy to provide regular ‘refresh’ grants enabling groups to keep pace with the many advances in computer hardware and software.”

The first David Bohnett CyberCenter opened its doors at the Los Angeles LGBT Center in 1998 (then known as the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center). The CyberCenter was an immediate hit and served as the model for similar facilities throughout the country. They serve as prime examples of the Foundation’s commitment to making leading-edge technology available to the traditionally underserved LGBT demographic.

In addition to Los Angeles, there are currently a total of 60 active CyberCenters funded nationwide, including locations in San Francisco, New York City, Orlando, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Tucson, and Seattle.

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Cy Husain
8 years ago

Computers and internet access is drastically under-served to the LGBT and, other minority demographics, the Cyber Center is badly needed. This is in stark contrast to Right Wing groups like Conservative Christians that run boiler rooms filled with PCs online constantly pushing their agenda, giving an illusion that they form some type of majority because their voice is always heard. Examples of this can be seen on this site as well, notice all the posts that always push neoconservative views while avoiding LGBT issues? This is a surreptitious attempt to reflect the LGBT community in an extreme right wing light… Read more »

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