Our commitments

In June 2020, Microsoft made a five-year commitment to address racial injustice and inequity, but the work doesn’t stop there. The Racial Equity Initiative focuses on three efforts.

Fact Sheet: Two Years of Racial Equity Initiative Progress

This fact sheet shares a high-level view of progress on our multi-year commitments to work towards long-term systemic change.

View the Fact Sheet

Learn more about our commitments

Strengthening our communities Strengthening our culture of inclusion Engaging our ecosystem

Progress to date

We are committed to work towards long-term systemic change. Here is some of our progress to date, but our work is never done.

Justice reform

In June 2020, we committed $50 million over five years to strengthen and expand our existing Justice Reform Initiative. To date, we’ve established 80+ distinct partnerships with 70 unique organizations working to provide alternatives to incarceration, accelerate the adoption of new models of public safety, and expand access to data driven insights. 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.

Broadband connectivity

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,2 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.

Nonprofits

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.


It takes all of us

Meet some of the employees who are working on our Racial Equity Initiative.

News and stories

See the latest news, announcements, and stories about our progress.

Additional resources

For press information:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com