Strengthening our communities
We are using data, technology, and partnerships to help improve the lives of Black and African American people in the US, including our employees and their communities.
Increasing representation & strengthening inclusion
We are building on our momentum with an additional $150 million investment to strengthen inclusion and double the number of Black and African American, Hispanic, and Latinx leaders in the US 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 experienced by 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 by advancing racial equity and fairness in the justice system. We partner with organizations using data and technology to help prevent unnecessary justice system involvement and eliminate racial disparities in policing and prosecution practices.
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.
We are working with partners to expand internet access and meaningful connectivity through adoption of affordable broadband, devices, and digital skills within Black and African American communities across 14 geographies, including the Black Rural South.
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 (HBCUs).
In June 2020, we committed $50 million over five years to strengthen and expand our existing Justice Reform Initiative. To date, we’ve established more than 130 distinct partnerships with more than 100 unique organizations, working to provide alternatives to incarceration, accelerate innovative models of public safety, and expand access to data-driven insights. Together, these organizations have improved access to data-driven insights in more than 200 communities across the US, which led to implementation policy or practice changes in many of these communities.
As part of our commitment to expanding access to data-driven insights, for example, we support Prosecutorial Performance Indicators which is working with eight District Attorney’s offices in Colorado to help identify opportunities to proactively reduce racial and ethnic disparities. Colorado is the first state in the country to have multiple prosecutors’ offices working together to proactively provide an in-depth data analysis to identify and prioritize actions that can be taken at points of prosecutorial discretion to make sure defendants and victims are treated fairly. To ensure accountability, each office identified key takeaways and a set of next steps based on the analyses. For instance, one jurisdiction submitted a proposal to further expand diversionary programs as a result of the analysis, which can have significant long-term impacts on public safety, crime rates, and overall cost efficiencies.
We grew our Nonprofit Tech Acceleration for Black and African American Communities program, which uses data, technology, and partnerships to help more than 2,300 local organizations across the country modernize and streamline operations with technical solutions including licensing, discounts, implementation consulting and concierge services.
The program works with organizations large and small at all stages, including startup nonprofits. To date, we have helped more than 2,600 local organizations across more than 1,700 communities accelerate their missions and drive greater impact through digital transformation. We’re currently tracking towards our long-term goal of helping more than 25,000 nonprofits.
Our partnerships and projects drive adoption of affordable broadband services, computing devices, and digital literacy across 14 geographies—Atlanta, Baltimore, Birmingham, Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit, El Paso, Los Angeles, Memphis, Milwaukee, New York and rural Alabama, North Carolina, and Virginia.
Using the power of Microsoft’s data and technology, our new Digital Equity Data Dashboard enables policymakers to identify broadband gaps and target public investments for communities most in need, including state broadband offices such as Louisiana (“Connect Louisiana”) and Michigan (Michigan High-Speed Internet Office).
Some of the largest broadband gaps are fueled by lack of affordable service options. The FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a powerful tool to help address the affordability challenge. To increase awareness and enrollment in the ACP, we collaborated with Communications Workers of America marshaling Microsoft employees and partners to implement a five-city event series entitled, “Get Connected,” leaning into new funding to address affordability. Local and national nonprofit partners, such as EveryoneOn, United Way of Greater Milwaukee, and Black Churches 4 Digital Equity, a Multicultural Media, Telecom, and Internet Council (MMTC) coalition, also convened affordable broadband enrollment events and digital skills for adoption programs.
Driving connectivity efforts further—Airband partners are using the power of connectivity to deliver digital solutions for community-specific challenges. In Charlotte, Airband partner Open Broadband provides connectivity for Black-owned firm Druid to use the power of Azure to address food insecurity. We are also working with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), which are important anchor institutions, to use connectivity to digitally transform surrounding neighborhoods that are often broadband deserts. As part of this work, in the Black Rural South, our HBCU project with Tuskegee University (AL) offers no-cost, virtual telemedicine access on-campus for students, faculty, and residents, while Prairie View A&M University (TX) leverages their precision agriculture research capabilities using Azure-based platforms.
Skills and education
Through our Technology Education and Learning Support (TEALS) program, we have expanded access to computer science education in more than 500 schools across 21 racial equity expansion regions providing computer science education to high school students with the support of more than 10 percent of the 1,500+ volunteers identifying as Black and African American for the 2022-2023 school year.
We completed the third 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 40,000 people.
Of the 50 organizations, 49 were 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 $10 million in grants to 18 HBCUs and associations to support curriculum development, student scholarships and mentoring, faculty training, and virtual learning.
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 American people.
Engaging globally in critical conversations
We regularly engage with some of the top minds in academia, law, social justice, and human behavior, who speak to how we can create a culture of inclusion and enable audiences to learn about the community from the community. We share these critical global conversations, along with learning content and employee stories, to continue our commitment to help accelerate diversity & inclusion across our ecosystem.
Bold in our vision, unwavering in our focus
At Microsoft, diversity and inclusion is central to our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
How Black-owned companies are using corporate connections to give back
Read the story of three business owners making an impact on their communities through partnership and investment.
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.
Pursuing justice through data and insights
Explore some of the ways Microsoft employees and partnerships are supporting data transparency efforts and access to insights to promote change in the justice system.
Celebrating Black and African American entrepreneurs
Nonprofit leaders from cities across the US are helping to make sure each industry ‘looks like America’.
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.
Racial Equity Initiative reports
For press information:
Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications, (425) 638-7777, firstname.lastname@example.org