Facebook announced that it is committing $200 million to support Black-owned businesses, Black creators, and nonprofits serving the Black community.
The funding — in the form of cash grants and ad credits — is part of the social giant’s pledge to invest $1.1 billion to support Black and diverse suppliers and communities in the U.S by the end of 2021.
The company also said it will offer free digital skills training with the goal to reach 2 million members of the Black and Latinx communities over the next three years, as well as give 100,000 scholarships to Black students working toward digital skills certifications. In addition, Facebook said it creating a new area of the Facebook app called Lift Black Voices.
“The last few weeks have made clear how much work is ahead to achieve racial justice and equity in this country,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a memo to staffers, posted to the site Thursday. “We’ve been speaking with Black business owners to understand how we can best support them, and in the short term, we’ve heard that financial support can go a long way, especially during a pandemic and economic downturn that have disproportionately impacted communities of color.”
Of the $200 million Facebook is promising, $100 million will be earmarked for Black-owned businesses, creators and non-profits. That includes $25 million in support of Black content creators and $75 million in grants of cash and ad credits to support Black-owned businesses and nonprofits that serve the Black community.
Facebook also will spend at least $100 million with Black-owned suppliers in the next year, Zuckerberg said.
To support users raising money for causes on Juneteenth — June 19, a day celebrating the end of slavery in the U.S. — Facebook is donating $5 million to over 250,000 Facebook Fundraisers ($19 each) created for three racial justice organizations: Equal Justice Initiative, Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Innocence Project.
Meanwhile, Facebook has set a goal for 50% of our workforce to be “from underrepresented communities” by the end of 2023, with a further promise to double the number of Black and Latinx employees in the same timeframe, Zuckerberg said. “Over the next five years, we’re committing to have 30% more people of color, including 30% more Black people, in leadership positions,” he wrote. “We will also continue our ongoing efforts to increase the representation of women in leadership.”
The moves by Facebook come after weeks of nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.
In a separate post, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg wrote, “The widely felt anger and grief following the killings of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Breonna Taylor and so many others, and the protests against racial injustice and police brutality, have made many of us focus on what more we can do to support America’s Black community.”