The George Floyd Effect has not been limited to police reform. Corporations, sports teams and athletes, as well as entertainers, have stepped up and spoken out for change in ways that open doors to employment, create greater investment in Black businesses, urge increased voter participation, and more.
- Comcast RISE, an initiative launched by the Comcast Corporation, seeks to help strengthen and empower small businesses hard hit by COVID-19. The Comcast RISE program will help thousands of small businesses over the next three years via grants of up to$10,000, marketing and technology upgrades, including media campaigns and connectivity, computer and voice equipment, as well as free marketing insights to all applicants. Apply at https://www.comcastrise.com/apply/.
- Juneteenth: Several U.S. corporations, led by Twitter and Square, made Juneteenth a paid company holiday. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said he wanted to make Juneteenth a permanent paid state holiday and started by giving state employees the day off, as did Nike, Twitter, Target, General Motors, the NFL and many other businesses. Several banks closed branches early, including JPMorgan Chase, Capital One and others.
- Quaker Oats — owned by PepsiCo — retired its Aunt Jemima brand of pancake mixes and syrups after 131 years.
- The manufacturers of Uncle Ben’s rice, Cream of Wheat porridge, Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup and the Eskimo Pie ice cream brand are considering renaming or retiring their products.
- Harper’s Bazaar named Samira Nasr the magazine’s new editor-in-chief; the first Black editor in the magazine’s 153-year history.
- Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian announced he was resigning from the board of the social media site and urged that his replacement be a Black candidate. Ohanian, who is White, is married to Serena Williams.
- Netflix committed to deposit up to 2% of its cash holdings (roughly $100 million), into Black-focused financial institutions to lend that money to Black business owners and others who don’t typically have access to that capital.
- Adidas committed to filling at least 30% of all open positions at Adidas and Reebok, which it also owns, with Black or Latinx individuals. Visit https://careers.adidas-group.com/?brand=adidas.
- Amazon has placed a one-year moratorium on police use of Rekognition, its facial recognition tech considered controversial for its unfair treatment of Blacks.
- Andreessen Horowitz, an investment firm, donated $2.2 million to start the Talent x Opportunity Fund, a program designed to support entrepreneurs from underserved communities via seed capital and training to help start their businesses. Visit https://a16z.com/talent-x-opportunity/)
- Apple is creating an entrepreneurship camp for Black software developers, and committed to increasing the number of Black-owned Apple suppliers. Visit https://developer.apple.com/entrepreneur-camp/.
- Estee Lauder Companies verbally promised several things, including matching the percentage of Black employees at all company levels with the percentage of Blacks in the U.S. population within the next five years, doubling recruits from HBCUs and doubling the amount it currently spends on services and supplies from Black-owned businesses. https://www.esteelauder.com/customer_service/careers/index.tmpl
- Facebook pledged to double the number of its Black and Latinx employees by 2023, increase the number of Blacks in leadership positions by 30% over the next five years and spend at least $100 million annually on Black-owned suppliers. https://www.facebook.com/careers/
- FitBit pledged to support research projects to address health conditions that disproportionately impact Black people, including COVID-19. FitBit also said it will offer more workouts from Black fitness influencers on its app and social media channels.
PayPal created a $500 million fund to support Black and minority businesses by strengthening ties with community banks and credit unions serving underrepresented communities as well as investing directly in Black- and other minority-led start-ups.
- PayPal has done several other things, including setting aside an additional $10 million for grants to assist Black-owned, COVID-19-impacted businesses, and another $5 million to fund program grants and employee matching gifts for nonprofits working with Black business owners.
****Check out the entire series of articles on the GEORGE FLOYD IMPACT in the November 19, 2020 edition of the Defender: https://defendernetwork.com/e-editions/november-19-2020/