Apple's Tim Cook, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg donate millions to fight racism
With the US reeling from social unrest, big tech CEOs are promising millions of dollars to support civil rights groups.
The death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer on May 25 has sparked protests across the US, some of which have taken a violent turn with riots and looting. In light of continued social unrest, big tech CEOs such as Twitter's Jack Dorsey, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Apple's Tim Cook, as well as Airbnb's Brian Chesky, have announced millions of dollars in donations to civil rights movements fighting for racial justice.
Mark Zuckerberg announced in a Facebook post that the company has pledged US$10 million to organisations campaigning for racial justice. “We're working with our civil rights advisors and our employees to identify organisations locally and nationally that could most effectively use this right now,” Zuckerberg wrote.
The commitment is in addition to approximately US$40 million that the Chan Zuckerberg initiative has invested “annually for several years” in organisations working to combat racial injustice, the Facebook founder revealed in the post.
Meanwhile, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey has donated US$3 million to former NFL player and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp. The donation would be used to help “advance the liberation and well-being of black and brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilisation to elevate the next generation of change leaders,” Dorsey wrote on Twitter.
In a memo addressed to employees obtained by Bloomberg, Apple’s Tim Cook discussed the ongoing discrimination and inequality in the US. In the memo, Cook pledged to donate an undisclosed sum to groups such as the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit committed to challenging racial injustice, ending mass incarceration and protecting the human rights of the most vulnerable people in American society.
“This is a moment when many people may want nothing more than a return to normalcy, or to a status quo that is only comfortable if we avert our gaze from injustice,” Cook wrote. “As difficult as it may be to admit, that desire is itself a sign of privilege. George Floyd’s death is shocking and tragic proof that we must aim far higher than a ‘normal’ future, and build one that lives up to the highest ideals of equality and justice.”
"George Floyd’s death is shocking and tragic proof that we must aim far higher than a ‘normal’ future, and build one that lives up to the highest ideals of equality and justice." – Tim Cook
Airbnb’s Brian Chesky has also spoken out in support of racial equality. “Black lives matter. We stand with those using their voices and peacefully calling for justice, fairness and racial equality,” Chesky wrote on twitter.
In addition, Airbnb has announced a US$500,000 donation to Black Lives Matter and NAACP. Airbnb’s donation comes after it recently cut 1,900 jobs, reducing its workforce by about 25 per cent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We stand with #BlackLivesMatter," the company said on Instagram. "We are donating a total of US$500,000 to the @NAACP and the @Blklivesmatter Foundation in support of their fight for equality and justice. And we'll be matching employee donations to both groups. Because a world where we all belong takes all of us."