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In a year of tragedy, injustice, and upheaval, have we seen progress in the quest for racial justice in technology?

On May 25, 2020, the world had been shaken by the brutal murder of George Floyd that forced a reckoning with our country’s history of racism, and led to subsequent calls for systemic change to finally address longstanding racial inequities across the United States. In the following weeks and months, companies across the nation issued statements of solidarity and pledged approximately $50B toward racial equity initiatives, with a significant commitment coming from the tech sector. Big tech companies, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, and Twitter, committed over $626M towards racial equity efforts. These commitments included donations to civil rights organizations, the launch of initiatives to support Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs, investing in financial institutions lending to Black borrowers, commitments to historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and initiatives supporting the development of coding and tech skills. Tech company investment arms, venture capital firms, and financial services firms launched large funds to invest in entrepreneurs of color,
including PayPal’s $500M Economic Opportunity Fund, SoftBank’s $100M Opportunity Fund, and Goldman Sachs $10B One Million Black Women initiative.

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