Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Tech

Google commits $175 million to racial equity initiatives

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Google has announced commitments totaling more than $175 million in support of efforts to advance racial equity and inclusion.

Commitments in support of efforts to assist African-American business owners, startup founders, job seekers, and developers include $50 million in small business financing and grants to be administered in partnership with the Opportunity Finance Network and $100 million for Black-led capital firms, startups, and organizations that support African-American entrepreneurs, including additional investments in Plexo Capital and non-dilutive funding for African-American members of the Google for Startups network. The tech giant will also allocate $15 million through the National Urban League and others to help African-American jobseekers improve their skills, and more than $10 million to help improve African Americans’ access to education, equipment, and opportunities via the company’s developer ecosystem.

The company also pledged nearly $3 million in support of efforts to close the racial equity gaps in computer science education and to increase Black+ representation in STEM fields through an expansion of its CS First curriculum, Applied Digital Skills program, and exploreCSR awards and will contribute $250,000 to Black in AI and $1 million to the DonorsChoose #ISeeMe campaign, which aims to help teachers make their classrooms more inclusive. In addition, Google.org, which pledged $12 million earlier this month in support of racial justice organizations, announced grants of $1 million to the Leadership Conference Education Fund, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s Policing Reform Campaign, and the Movement for Black Lives.

Internally, the company’s commitments to build equity for its Black+ employees includes a goal to improve, by 2025, the representation of underrepresented groups among senior leadership by 30 percent; addressing representation challenges and strengthening its focus on hiring, retention, and promotion at all levels; developing practices and policies that foster a stronger sense of inclusion and belonging, especially among Black employees; creating anti-racism educational programs that can be scaled globally; and better supporting the mental and physical health and well-being of Black+ employees.

“Recognizing that racism is a problem the world over,” wrote Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai in a memo to employees shared on Google’s blog, “we will focus on more global solutions and will be giving grants to local community organizations tackling these issues in Brazil and across Europe and Africa.”

Source: PND

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