Under fire from civil rights groups, Facebook highlights Black stories, pledges to hire more African Americans
Carolyn Wysinger is a teacher and activist who says Facebook censors her from discussing racism online, sometimes locking her out of her account. USA TODAY
Facebook is creating “Lift Black Voices” to highlight stories from Black people and share educational resources,the latest effort from a major corporation to show solidarity with the Black community following nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd.
The announcement was made the day before the social media company recognizes Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the actual end of slavery in the United States.
It also comes as Facebook is under Equal Justice Initiative, Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Innocence Project. Facebook itself is donating $5 million or the first $19 donation to over 250,000 fundraisers created for those three organizations, the company said.
In addition, Facebook said it would invest $100 million in Black-owned small businesses, Black content creators and nonprofit organizations that serve the Black community.
Another initiative calls for Facebook also pledged to spend at least $100 million annually with Black-owned suppliers, including construction and marketing agencies.
For the past six years, Facebook has shown slow progress in diversifying its employee ranks. In Thursday's announcement, Facebook committed to bringing aboard more Black and Hispanic employees. By 2023, Facebook pledged that 50% of its workforce would be from underrepresented communities and that it would increase the number of people of color in leadership roles by 30% over the next five years.
None of Facebook's top six leaders is Black. According to Facebook's most recent filing with the federal government, just 3% – or 32 – of its executives, senior officials and managers are Black.
Contributing: Jessica Guynn