Racial Equity Initiative
We are committed to helping 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 by 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 also includes our employees and their communities.
Increasing representation & strengthening inclusion
We are building on our momentum, adding a $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 Black and African American communities in the US, and to help improve the safety and wellbeing of our employees and their communities.
We are working to empower communities and advance racial equity in the justice system. We provide grants to organizations supporting community members and policy makers working to prevent unnecessary justice system involvement and eliminate racial disparities in policing and prosecution practices.
Skills and education
We are expanding our work to help Black and African American students and adults develop the skills needed 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 Black and African American communities in eight major urban areas and the Black Rural South.
Using technology, we are empowering digital transformation for nonprofits that help Black and African American communities. This supports nonprofits in their mission tied to the communities they serve.
In June 2020, we committed $50 million over five years to strengthen and expand our existing Justice Reform Initiative. We’re expanding access to data driven insights and to date, we’ve established 80+ distinct partnerships with 70 unique organizations working to provide alternatives to incarceration and accelerate the adoption of new models of public safety. Together, these organizations serve 145 different cities and counties across the US.
As part of our commitment to eliminating racial disparities in prosecution practices, for example, we support the Vera Institute of Justice Reshaping Prosecution program which partners with prosecutors to use the power of their offices to improve safety in their communities by addressing systemic racism. The Reshaping Prosecution program has helped three prosecutor offices implement policies to deter engagement in pretextual stops in Ingham County, MI; Chittenden County, VT; and Ramsey County, MN. Under these policies, prosecutors will not take cases if they arise from a non-public safety stop, which disproportionately impact Black and African American communities and have not been shown to improve or enhance public safety.
Skills and education grants
We completed the first year of programming for 50 nonprofit workforce development and digital skilling groups led by and serving Black and African American communities accounting for $15 million in grants, capacity building support, and tech enablement services that have reached nearly 8,000 people.
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 given $8 million in grants to 18 Historically Black Colleges and Universities and associations to support curriculum development, student scholarships and mentoring, faculty training, and virtual learning.
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 work to connect Black and African American families and families from other marginalized backgrounds to affordable broadband, computers, and digital skills, with a goal of improving outcomes in education, healthcare, and economic opportunity.
We also began addressing broadband availability and adoption across the Black Rural South through new connectivity partnerships in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, as well as support for Black Churches 4 Digital Equity, a Multicultural Media, Telecom, and Internet Council (MMTC) coalition. Additionally, to influence and target public investments for communities most impacted by the digital divide, we implemented a policy and advocacy strategy through our Digital Equity Playbook for state and local policymakers.
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 technology donations, discounts, and services.
The program works with organizations large and small at all stages, including startup nonprofits. To date, we have helped more than 1,500 local organizations across more than 1,100 communities accelerate their missions and drive greater impact through digital transformation. We’re currently tracking towards our long-term goal of helping more than 20,000 nonprofits.
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 2022 D&I data disclosure and report
Understand our progress on increasing representation and strengthening a culture of inclusion.
Impact investing for more diversity in business ownership
Microsoft’s partnership with First Women’s Bank supports efforts to close the gender lending gap and create opportunities that have community impact.
Mapping a Path to Community Impact
The Nonprofit Tech Acceleration (NTA) for Black and African American Communities supplies digital technology resources and free consulting to support local nonprofits in the US making a difference in the lives of Black Americans.
Celebrating Black and African American entrepreneurs
Nonprofit leaders from cities across the US are helping to make sure each industry ‘looks like America’.
Building projects help minority-owned businesses
A program designed to give minority-owned suppliers training and networking opportunities for bigger, more lucrative real estate development and building management projects is contributing to economic development.
Microsoft Black Partner Growth Initiative
The Microsoft Black Partner Growth Initiative is dedicated to providing access to a global community, technical enablement, and key resources available through the Microsoft Partner Network.
Diversity & Inclusion
For press information:
Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications, (425) 638-7777, firstname.lastname@example.org