AustinTalks awarded grant from Motorola Mobility Foundation

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AustinTalks is one of the first recipients of Motorola Mobility Foundation’s new Empowerment Grants.

The grant will be used to start a new program called Speak Up, Speak Out for Austin, which will give middle and high school students the opportunity to share their stories and report on issues important to their West Side Chicago neighborhood. Through words, photos, audio and video as well as social media, participants will spotlight topics critical to them and their community.

Launched in April 2010, AustinTalks has published more than 500 stories with the aim of providing residents of Chicago’s most-p0pulated neighborhood with news and information not available anywhere else and creating an online forum for the community.

“We are excited and honored to win an Empowerment Grant from the Motorola Mobility Foundation,” said Suzanne McBride, AustinTalks’ editor and publisher and the associate chair of the Journalism Department at Columbia College Chicago. “These funds will enable our organization to further engage young people in Austin and empower them to tell their stories.”

In all, 51 non-profits will receive funding to address challenges facing their communities in three areas – education, health and wellness, and community.

“We are incredibly proud to award Empowerment Grants to 51 non-profits who were selected for their innovative approaches to using technology to contribute to the improvement of their communities,” said Eileen Sweeney, director of the Motorola Mobility Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Motorola Mobility Inc. “We would also like to thank all of the Empowerment Grant applicants who shared their creative ideas with us.”

As part of the submission process, Empowerment Grant applicants were required to submit a three- to five-minute video describing the program requesting funds and how technology could be used to further enhance that program. (Watch AustinTalks video.)

Empowerment Grant recipients engage in a wide variety of outreach activities, ranging from technology-literacy education and equipping classrooms with new technology to teacher training and driving solutions that promote healthy behavior through the use of technology.

View the complete list of this year’s Empowerment Grant winners.

For more information about the Empowerment Grants program, e-mail

To get more information about signing up for Speak Up, Speak Out for Austin, e-mail

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