Making history A graphic image that reads Making history now

Empowering change and Black voices, today and every day

We’re proud to amplify the voices of those who are working to build a better, more inclusive future—because change is happening all around us and Black history is now.

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Learn more about innovators and trailblazers at Microsoft who are driving change and shaping history today.​​

A portrait of Khulile Vilakazi-Ofosu

Khulile Vilakazi-Ofosu, Microsoft employee & creator of diverse dolls

“I don’t want any child to ever feel less than—we want to encourage our kids to embrace and celebrate diversity.” 

Learn more about Khulile →

A portrait of Kari Fulton

Kari Fulton, climate justice advocate & educator

“If you live on this Earth, if you breathe this air—you’re an environmentalist. And so climate justice is about empowering communities for the future that we want to build.”

A portrait of Tim Fielder

Tim Fielder, Afrofuturist illustrator & author

“More expansive and more diverse voices are coming into being. Digital technology is about moving the human race forward. That’s where it’s at.”

Turning inclusion into action

Meet four Microsoft employees as they share their journeys and how they're taking on challenges to help build a better world—today, and for generations to come.

A portrait of Sarah Bond

Empowering Black voices in tech and beyond →

Sarah Bond, CVP of Microsoft’s Gaming Ecosystem and Executive Sponsor of Blacks at Microsoft, reflects on her own history and the lessons that Black History Month can offer all of us

A portrait of Awa Diaw

Tapping into tradition to redefine beauty →

Awa Diaw, founder of Nekawa Beauty, an organic skin and hair care company inspired by techniques and traditions from her family’s roots in Senegal

A portrait of Phillip Hale

Building a sustainable world with Zero Waste →

Phillip Hale, a former college football player who’s now tackling the complex challenges of sustainability through his Zero Waste initiative

A portrait of Shavonne Verdree

Driving change and inclusion in sports →

Shavonne Verdree, middle linebacker and running back for a women’s semi-professional football league in the Pacific Northwest

Spark conversation, ideas, and change

Learn more about these offerings and events from Microsoft that bring together diverse tech leaders, empower conversations representation, and celebrate Black history.

An image representing the Black Founders Symposium

Attend the Black
Founders Symposium
 →

Join us at Microsoft for Startups’ first Black Founders Symposium (February 23-24, 8AM-12PM PST), bringing together diverse tech leaders to exchange ideas and build a strong community of Black founders. Register now and learn more about our guest speakers.

An image of a woman representing the ConversationsForChange event

Join #ConversationsForChange on LinkedIn →

Join #ConversationsForChange on LinkedIn for honest conversations among Black professionals about their experiences and their paths forward. Come share career ideas and connections, and get inspired by the unique perspectives and passionate voices of our notable guests. Find us on LinkedIn and learn more.

A Microsoft Teams background for Black History Month

Celebrate Black history
with Teams
 →

Show your support for Black History Month and honor Black history in the making with our new background for desktops and Microsoft Teams.

Bringing
Black History Month
to life for students

Microsoft is joining forces with 13 museums and cultural institutions from across the country to create a virtual journey through Black history. The experience uses immersive technology to take students on a tour of the past—including a chance to walk virtually with Martin Luther King, fly through the eyes of WWII’s Tuskegee Airmen, or replay sports history with Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali—while showcasing achievers who are making Black history today. Read more about the experience.

How to register your school →

Victor Glover, NASA astronaut and pilot of the SpaceX Dragon capsule Resilience, made history last year when he became the first Black crew member to live on the International Space Station. Now, from 250 miles above the earth, he reflects on the power of resilience and his inclusion in the Legacy Project, Microsoft’s virtual Black history museum. He pays tribute to the leaders and history-makers before him who overcame barriers, sacrificed in the name of progress, and persevered in the face of adversity to pave the way.

Curating a virtual
museum

At a time when most learning has been forced to go online, Shy Averett, Community Program and Events Manager at Microsoft, wanted to create an experience that offers a rich Black history curriculum to all schools.

“Growing up in Detroit … we leaned on our museums as the main source of history and historical reflection during Black History Month,” says Shy. “[But now] museums are closed and students can’t go to them. I knew 90-plus percent of schools in America were not going to have a rich, diverse, educational Black History Month because they lean so heavily on museums.”

Shy was determined to find a way to make museums virtual and “bring Black history to life” for students across the country. She led a video crew on an emotional and enlightening months-long journey around the country, capturing footage of museums, landmarks, and artifacts.

Shy Averett sitting at desk

“Kids today are living Black history. Black history is not something of the past—it is living and alive and it’s being made every single day, and it’s up to them to be the next generation of history-makers.”

— Shy Averett

The resulting experience brings history to life in more ways than one. Students can learn about the past by marching virtually with Dr. King from Selma to Montgomery, exploring secret passageways of the Underground Railroad, listening to music that shaped the Civil Rights Movement, or hitting a homerun with Jackie Robinson. But they can also get inspired by the Legacy Project, a virtual gallery honoring achievers who are shaping the future today.

Get a glimpse of Black history in the making

Visit the exhibit →

You don’t need to be a student or part of a school to meet some of the changemakers from the Legacy Project, a virtual experience open to the general public that honors 30 Black Americans who are making history right now.

An animation of the Black History Month virtual exhibit
A portrait of Mikaila Ulmer

Young and gifted →

Mikaila Ulmer, teen CEO who inked a Whole Foods deal for her BeeSweet Lemonade worth $11 million

A portrait of Noah Harris

Achievers in education →

Noah Harris, first Black student body president at Harvard

A portrait of Cori Gauff

Changing the game →

Cori “Coco” Gauff, youngest singles title-holder on the WTA Tour since 2004

A portrait of Tyler Perry

Making entertainment history →

Tyler Perry, first African American to own and operate a major film studio in the US

A portrait of Loretta Lynch

The justice league →

Loretta Lynch, first Black female Attorney General

A portrait of John Wendell Thompson

Boss moves →

John Wendell Thompson, first Black Chairman of Microsoft Corporation

Celebrating diversity in gaming

Microsoft is honoring Black History Month across Xbox and Windows through a series of games and initiatives—from a “Good Trouble” world in Minecraft that offers lessons in social justice inspired by the late Rep. John Lewis to collections of games, movies, and TV shows selected by Black communities at Microsoft that bring focus to Black creators, protagonists, and more.

Check it out →

For Garron Ballard, Global Games Category Manager for Xbox and Windows Digital Stores, these initiatives aren’t just a celebration of inclusion in gaming—they’re also a chance to challenge assumptions around what a gamer or game developer looks like.

A screenshot of a Black Lives Matter scene in Minecraft
A portrait of Garron Ballard

“I grew up playing video games, I’ve always been really interested in science fiction and fantasy. Growing up in an African American family and going to school in spaces where I was really in the minority … I always felt very abnormal,” says Garron. “There are a lot of people who have preconceived notions of what a Black person is or what a Black person should like.”

— Garron Ballard

Garron became interested in changing this narrative and the reality that underrepresented groups—including women, LGBTQI+, and Black gamers—often don’t feel welcome in gaming. He partnered with communities of Black players, developers, and teams to research and curate collections of games, movies, and TV for the Xbox and Windows Digital Stores that highlight Black creators and experiences.

His work is part of a larger goal to drive inclusion in gaming. In honor of Black History Month, Xbox is also launching a series of initiatives including fundraising campaigns for the NAACP, Gameheads, and Black Girls Code; a “Lessons in Good Trouble” world in Minecraft: Education Edition offering lessons in Black history; a special Black History Month nameplate in Halo: The Master Chief Collection; and programming on Twitch all month long featuring Black protagonists, developers, content creators, and streamers.

This work isn’t limited to Black History Month—it’s part of the inclusion work happening at Microsoft to make gaming for everyone. “Black History Month is now, it’s ongoing,” says Garron. “Yes, it’s about celebrating legacies and achievements. But it’s also about empowering the future.”

A screenshot of Minecraft: Lessons in Good Trouble

Lessons in
Good Trouble

Minecraft: Education Edition is offering "Lessons in Good Trouble" as a free demo from 1/14 through 2/28 to support educators, students, and families learning during Black History Month. That means anyone can access the lesson for free.

Get the free lesson →

Microsoft’s commitments

In order to address racial injustice and inequity for the Black and African American community in the United States, Microsoft is focused on three multiyear, sustained efforts:

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Increasing our representation and culture of inclusion. We will build on our diversity and inclusion (D&I) momentum from the past five years by adding an additional $150M of D&I investment, and will double the number of Black and African American people managers, senior individual contributors, and senior leaders in the United States by 2025.

Engaging our ecosystem. We will use our balance sheet and engagement with suppliers and partners to extend the vision for societal change throughout our ecosystem, creating new opportunities for them and the communities they serve.

Strengthening our communities. We will use the power of data, technology, and partnership to help improve the lives of Black and African American citizens across our country, including to address the safety and well-being of our own employees in the communities in which they live.

For more details →