Racial Equity Initiative
We are committed to help address racial injustice and inequity in the US for Black and African American communities. The commitments we outlined in June 2020 are actions and progress we expect to make or exceed in 2025.
Strengthening our communities
We are using data, technology, and partnership to help improve the lives of Black and African American people in the US, which includes our employees and their communities.
Increasing representation & strengthening inclusion
We are building on our momentum, adding $150 million investment to strengthen inclusion and double the number of US Black and African American, and Hispanic and Latinx people managers, senior individual contributors, and senior leaders by 2025.
Engaging our ecosystem
We are using our balance sheet and relationships with suppliers and partners to foster societal change and create new opportunity.
Learn more about our commitments
Strengthening our communities
We are using data, technology, and partnerships to help address racial injustice and inequities of the Black and African American communities in the US and improve the safety and wellbeing of our employees and their communities.
We are working to empower communities and use technology and our expertise to accelerate progress towards a more equitable justice system. We’re focusing on improving policing policies and practices, diversion, and prosecution.
Skills and education
We are expanding our work to help Black and African American students and adults develop the skills needed to succeed in the digital economy. As a part of this effort, we are strengthening our support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
We are working with partners to help close the digital divide by expanding access to affordable broadband, devices, and digital skills within communities of color in eight major urban areas.
Using technology, we are empowering the digital transformation for nonprofits that support and are led by people of color. This helps them make the biggest impact possible within the communities they serve.
We’ve established 20+ new partnerships this fiscal year, collaborating on a variety of projects designed to help reduce racial disparities in the justice system. We’ve partnered with a variety of organizations using technology and data to better understand community needs and help improve policing, prosecution, and diversion practices.
For example, in 2020, in response to the ongoing racial injustice in the Black and African American community, we donated a total of $1.5 million to several racial justice organizations, including the Equal Justice Initiative, Innocence Project, Minnesota Freedom Fund, and NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund. Since June 2020, we have seen $11 million in donations (inclusive of employee match) to civil rights, social action, and advocacy nonprofit organizations.
In less than 12 months we have seen nearly two times the donations to these organizations than what we saw in the previous six years combined. We also committed another $50 million to strengthen and expand our existing Justice Reform Initiative by June 2025.
Skills and education grants
We have awarded grants to 50 nonprofit workforce development and digital skilling organizations to Black and African American-led and supported community-based nonprofits across the US. These nonprofits will collectively receive $15 million over three years to support operations and capacity building and will be provided with tech enablement services.
Of the 50 organizations, 49 are new grantees to Microsoft, including the Hidden Genius Project in Oakland, which trains and mentors young Black men in technology creation and entrepreneurship; and TechBridge in Atlanta, which aims to break the cycle of poverty through the innovative use of technology.
We have also provided $2 million in grants to 12 Historically Black Colleges and Universities to support curriculum development, student scholarship, faculty training, and online learning during COVID-19.
Expanding access to broadband
We have launched partnerships and projects driving adoption of affordable broadband, devices, and skilling in eight target cities: Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, El Paso, Los Angeles, Memphis, Milwaukee, and New York City.
Our projects will test a variety of models for connecting Black and African American families, and other families of color, to affordable internet service, computers, and digital skills, with a goal of improving outcomes in education, healthcare, and economic opportunity.
We introduced our Nonprofit Tech Acceleration for Black and African American Communities program, which uses data, technology, and partnerships to help local organizations across the country modernize and streamline operations with technical solutions including licenses, discounts, implementation consulting, and concierge services.
The program works with organizations large and small at all stages, including startup nonprofits. The short-term goal is to help 1,000 community-based organizations accelerate their missions and drive greater impact through digital transformation.
New ideas and energized employees fuel ongoing efforts toward racial equity
Explore some of the ways Microsoft employees who are focused on efforts towards racial equity share their stories and ideas.
Real progress doesn’t happen without real work
Microsoft hosted Include 2021, a global digital event on diversity & inclusion, to help us accelerate our cultural transformation by giving our ecosystem and employees access to the insights of some of the top minds in academia, law, social justice, and human behavior. Access the sessions, learning content and employee personal stories.
Microsoft 2020 D&I data disclosure and report
Understand our progress on increasing representation and strengthening a culture of inclusion.
Support for small biz and nonprofit recovery
National and local community lenders announce multi-million dollar fund to support small business and nonprofit recovery across the South.
Concern about Georgia’s new election law
We need laws that ensure that all people can vote legally, securely, and safely.
Building a more inclusive skills-based economy
Microsoft and LinkedIn expand global skills initiative with plans that are grounded in a vision of what is needed for a more inclusive post-pandemic recovery.
Video Podcast: Making more possible
Microsoft Partner Network and Black Channel Partner Alliance (BCPA) co- discuss the impetus for BCPA, and how partners can lean in to support Black and African American-owned partners.
Bloomberg Diversity and equity in American Business
As part of an initiative to track the corporate response to the Black Lives Matter movement, Bloomberg has obtained detailed breakdowns of US employee counts by race and gender across job categories for some of the nation’s biggest corporations
Diversity & Inclusion
For press information:
Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications, (425) 638-7777, firstname.lastname@example.org