Tech giants pledge funds to fight racial injustice


Tim Cook reportedly told employees that Apple would make donations to several civil rights groups.

James Martin/CNET

Apple, Facebook, Verizon and other tech giants are pledging to make donations to groups battling racial injustice after last week’s killing of George Floyd sparked unrest across the US. 

In a memo to Apple employees, as reported by Bloomberg, CEO Tim Cook promised that Apple would make donations to several groups, including the Equal Justice Initiative, and match all employee donations two-to-one. The company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Sunday post that the social network is “committing an additional $10 million” to such groups, and noted that it’s working with civil rights advisers and employees to figure out the ideal recipients. He also expressed gratitude to Darnella Frazier for posting the video of Floyd’s encounter with police.

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Verizon will donate $10 million to various groups, CEO Hans Vestberg said in a livestreamed address Monday, including the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the National Urban League.

Intel on Sunday pledged $1 million, CEO Bob Swan noted in a memo. He also encouraged employees to donate to the Black Lives Matter Foundation, the Center for Policing Equity and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Donations to those groups, he noted, are eligible for the company’s matching program. 

Google-owned YouTube tweeted its promise of $1 million in support Saturday. “We stand in solidarity against racism and violence. When members of our community hurt, we all hurt,” the company wrote.

The nationwide protests followed Floyd’s slaying in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25. In the video posted by Frazier, a police officer presses his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd, who is handcuffed and on the ground, says repeatedly “I can’t breathe.” 

Floyd, who was 46, was taken away in an ambulance, and later pronounced dead. Authorities on Friday charged the now-fired officer, Derek Chauvin, with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. 

Taking a ‘stand for equality’

Here’s what some other tech companies have said amid the protests.

Microsoft: CEO Satya Nadella on Monday tweeted that there’s no place for hate and racism in our society. The company said it would use its platform to “amplify voices from the Black and African American community at Microsoft.”

Disney: Disney on Sunday tweeted an image with a message unity, saying the company stands with “black employees, storytellers, creators and the entire black community.” In a message to employees, Disney executives Bob Chapek, Bob Iger and Latondra Newton said the company will use its resources to “compassionately and constructively talk” about diversity and inclusion. 

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