Antonia "Toni" Stone (1930-2002) created the United States' first community technology centers. In 1980, Toni Stone set up Playing to Win (PTW). Playing to Win, a nonprofit organization dedicated to countering inequities in computer access. PTW looked to serve inmates and ex-offenders by teaching them computer skills and offering technical assistance to prisons and rehabilitation agencies. In 1983, Stone and PTW Corporation opened the Harlem Community Computing Center. This center was located in the basement of a Harlem housing project it provided the neighborhood with public access to personal computers. Taking advantage of the success of PTW, Stone created a network of centers known as the PTWNet.
Playing to Win Network went on to form alliances with six other technology access programs in Harlem, some parts of Boston, Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh, by 1990. In 1992, Playing To Win was given a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation in order to provide neighborhood technology access to the northeastern United States. Three years later Stone changed the PTWNet name to the Community Technology Centers’ Network. The newly named network was a national membership organization of community technology centers.
Today, the CTCNet includes more than 600 member sites connected by the Internet. The network is an independent organization that provides services to 1,000 community technology centers on the country. PTW is still working to provide computer literacy programs in Harlem.
In 1997, Stone left CTCNet but continued working and advising in the area of technical literacy. Stone received the Norbert Wiener Award from Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility in 1994 and the Eugene L. Lawler Award from the Association for Computing Machinery in 1999 for her work in humanitarian application of computers. In 2001, Stone was awarded an honorary doctorate from DePaul University. Stone also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Harvard chapter of Women in Technology.
Antonia Stone died in 2002 due to complications from myelodysplastic leukemia.
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