In a blog post, COO Sheryl Sandberg said Facebook would invest $200 million in support of black-owned companies and groups in the US. It’s one of the campaigns on Facebook announced today to help black communities.
The organization will soon add a segment to the Facebook app highlighting black community videos, fundraisers for groups battling social inequality, and educational services, Sandberg added.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg had already said on May 31 that Facebook would commit $10 million to “racial justice groups,” although he noted that the company was working with consultants and staff to figure out how to best distribute the money.
The platform has been under scrutiny to allow for past discrimination. For example, a 2016 study by ProPublica showed that Facebook marketers may opt to prevent users from seeing advertisements from a specific race. That tool, if used with housing ads, could breach the Fair Housing Act, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development charged Facebook in March 2019 for that breach. White supremacists have flourished on the platform too, despite the announced ban on them by Facebook.
The $200 million to be split into two main buckets for black-owned businesses. Sandberg said in her blog post that it would be spent in black-owned small companies, black developers, and non-profits associated with minority populations. Of that $100 million, $25 million will go to creators of black content, while $75 million will be “cash and ad credit grants” to support small and non-profit enterprises.
According to Sandberg, the other $100 million will go to black-owned vendors, “from installations to manufacturing to communications firms, and more.” The organization further commits to investing $100 million per year on black-owned vendors. Additionally, the company is making a goal to spend at least $ 1 billion annually starting next year with “diversity suppliers,” Sandberg said.
Facebook will donate $5 million to more than 250,000 fundraisers on Facebook, supporting the Equal Justice Initiative, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and the Innocence Project, in honor of Juneteenth.
The company also plans to surface accounts in the search for Instagram to “help people take action for racial justice,” though Sandberg’s post did not elaborate on what that meant any further.
Furthermore, Facebook plans to increase diversity in its ranks of leadership over the next five years by adding 30 percent more colored people, including 30 percent more Black people, Sandberg said. The firm also committed to doubling the number of black and Latinx personnel by the end of 2023. Facebook had previously announced that by the same date it would have 50 percent of its workforce made up of “underrepresented communities.”
Other tech giants also announced financial commitments to racial equity by nine-digits. Google committed $175 million last week to support Black businesses, Black businesses, and more.