The past few weeks have compelled Facebook to confront the reality of violence and injustice which members of the Black community face on a daily basis. Although the social media company have shared words of support for its friends, colleagues and communities. Facebook believes it needs to take action as well.
The social-media company is focused on building powerful tools and resources. They are taking steps to improve its products, programmes and policies. They have pooled ideas from diverse groups of its employees across different teams on how the company can better fight against racial injustice.
Building on earlier investments, Facebook is committing an additional US$200m/£161m to support Black-owned businesses and organisations. This commitment is part of a broader US$1.1bn/£885.8m investment in Black and diverse suppliers and communities in the US. Facebook is also creating a new space in the Facebook app called Lift Black Voices and is building a more diverse and inclusive workforce so they can better support communities around the world.
From the early days of the pandemic, Facebook has been listening to small businesses and have tried to do what they can to help them weather the storm – including direct financial help through their US$40m/£32.2m US grant programme. Since the launch of the applications for the programme, Facebook has seen a huge amount of interest from Black-owned businesses – so the company knows they are facing enormous challenges.
Facebook is investing US$100m this year in Black-owned small businesses, Black creators, and nonprofits that serve the Black community in the US. This includes US$25m/£20.1m in support of Black content creators and US$75m/£60.3m in grants of cash and ad credits to support Black-owned businesses and nonprofits that serve the Black community.
Facebook is setting a goal to spend at least US$1bn/£805m with diverse suppliers next year and every year thereafter. As part of this, the company will spend at least US$100m/£80.5m annually with Black-owned suppliers, from facilities to construction to marketing agencies and more.
Over the next three years, Facebook will reach 1 million members of the Black community and 1 million members of the Latinx community in the US through a programme called Elevate that provides free training in the digital skills they need to succeed, from setting up an online presence to creating marketing materials and more. The company has also pivoted its Boost with a Facebook programme to all virtual training this summer, starting with the Summer of Support programme, launching on 24 June.
Facebook is giving 100,000 scholarships to Black students working toward digital skills certifications through its Facebook Blueprint programme. This is in addition to its CodeFWD and TechPrep programmes that offer resources and support to help underrepresented communities get started in computer science and programming.
To support people raising money for causes they care about on Juneteenth, Facebook will donate US$5m/£4m to over 250,000 Facebook Fundraisers created for three racial justice organisations: Equal Justice Initiative, Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Innocence Project.
Facebook is creating a new space in its app called Lift Black Voices to highlight stories from Black people, share educational resources, and inspire people to take action through fundraising for racial justice causes. The company asked its employees to share ideas for new products and features to help fight racial injustice, and this was one of the more than 700 ideas submitted so far.
In Instagram search, Facebook will surface accounts to help people take action for racial justice. The company is also continuing its #ShareBlackStories editorial series on @instagram, @instagramforbusiness, @creators, @shop and @design to amplify the voices of Black creators, artists, activists and businesses. The company will continue to build on these over time.
Knowing that more diverse teams will make better decisions and build better products. The company is invested in increasing diversity and inclusion because it cares about doing better at serving diverse communities all around the world.
Facebook is committed to have 50% of its workforce be from underrepresented communities by the end of 2023 and is working to double their number of Black and Latinx employees in the same timeframe. And over the next five years, the social-media company is committing to having 30% more people of colour, including 30% more Black people, in leadership positions. The company will also continue its ongoing efforts to increase the representation of women in leadership.
The social-media company is taking a closer look at how they make decisions. Facebook has already made some shifts and investments and are continuing the work to get more voices and diverse perspectives included in the development of its products, policies and programmes.
Achieving racial justice and equity is a goal all of us share – and a goal that will take real work to achieve. This is just the start of how the company plans to help in this fight. Facebook will continue to listen and take action to support the long-term success of the Black community.