The death of George Floyd in Minnesota in the United States has brought into spotlight the controversial topic of racism and inequality across the world. His death has sparked a range of protests in nations of the world, showing solidarity with the cause of social justice and equality.
And in a rare show of unity, a host of major organizations across the world and CEOs of well-known brands are speaking out actively against racial inequality, discrimination, and police brutality.
Nike was one of the first few brands to have spoken up, putting up a strong message against inequality by tweaking its slogan to ‘Don’t Do It!’
— Nike (@Nike) May 29, 2020
Meanwhile, its arch rival Reebok also released its own statement on social media, showing solidarity with the African American community. It put up a powerful message that said: “Without the black community, Reebok would not exist. America would not exist.”
To the black community:
We see you.
We stand in solidarity with you.
This can no longer be the status quo. pic.twitter.com/LpE7HHp3qU
— Reebok (@Reebok) May 30, 2020
Ben & Jerry’s put up a profound post on social media about why silence is not an option in today’s times.
— Ben & Jerry’s (@benandjerrys) June 2, 2020
Also, inbound marketing and customer service company HubSpot put up a message promoting equality and justice.
At HubSpot, we believe in equality and justice, and we stand with the Black community against violence and racism, now more than ever. pic.twitter.com/dndFZIzZEk
— HubSpot (@HubSpot) May 29, 2020
Many technology companies have also come forward to raise their voice to fight racial abuse and injustice.
For instance, internet giant Google would donate $37 million to fight racism, which would include $12 million to organizations that work in tackling racial inequalities. CEO Sundar Pichai also urged its employees to stand in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to show solidarity and honour the “memories of Black lives lost.”
“Our first grants of USD 1 million each will go to our long-term partners at the Center for Policing Equity and the Equal Justice Initiative. And we’ll be providing technical support through our Google.org Fellows program. This builds on the USD 32 million we have donated to racial justice over the past five years,” CEO of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, Sundar Pichai said.
Today Googlers are holding an 8-minute, 46-second moment of silence to honor the memories of George Floyd and Black lives lost. Read our CEO’s note to the company → https://t.co/7h2rCADg1d https://t.co/GUWZBRXNBU
— Google (@Google) June 3, 2020
E-commerce giant Amazon also pledged $10 million to organizations that “support economic opportunities, education, and justice for Black Americans.”
Amazon stands in solidarity with the Black community — we remain steadfast in our support for our employees, customers, partners, and the communities where they live and work. And we stand in support of organizations that are making a difference. https://t.co/r29sVMNosA pic.twitter.com/Jn9QIiS34g
— Amazon (@amazon) June 3, 2020
Verizon also pledged to donate $10 million to organizations dedicated to equality and social justice. Among the many beneficiaries are civil rights organizations such as The National Urban League, National Action Network, and National Coalition on Black Civic Participation.
Also, the CEO of Intel, Bob Swan pledged $1 million to anti-racism groups. In a memo to his employees, Swan wrote, “While racism can look very different around the world, one thing that does not look different is that racism of any kind will not be tolerated here at Intel or in our communities.”
YouTube changed its Twitter bio to read ‘Black Lives Matter’ and pledged $1 million “in support of efforts to address social injustice.”
We stand in solidarity against racism and violence. When members of our community hurt, we all hurt. We’re pledging $1M in support of efforts to address social injustice.
— YouTube (@YouTube) May 30, 2020
The Walt Disney Company also pledged $5 million “to support nonprofit organizations that advance social justice, beginning with a $2 million donation to the NAACP.”
The Walt Disney Company has pledged $5 million to support nonprofit organizations that advance social justice, beginning with a $2 million donation to the NAACP: https://t.co/Heo5DKaiuf pic.twitter.com/FpSECsstXS
— Walt Disney Company (@WaltDisneyCo) June 3, 2020
Streaming giant Netflix also came out in support of the African American community, emphasizing that “to be silent is to be complicit.”
To be silent is to be complicit.
Black lives matter.
We have a platform, and we have a duty to our Black members, employees, creators and talent to speak up.
— Netflix (@netflix) May 30, 2020
Also, the CEO of Uber Technologies, Dara Khosrowshahi put up a post on social media pledging $1 million to make “criminal justice in America more just for all.”
.@Uber stands in solidarity with the Black community and with peaceful protests against the injustice and racism that have plagued our nation for too long. My hope is that if each of us recommits to doing all we can to counter bigotry wherever we see it, change will follow. (1/2)
— dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) May 31, 2020
One of the biggest and most renowned technology investing firms, SoftBank announced a $100 million ‘Opportunity Growth Fund’ to invest in companies led by black Americans and people of colour. The fund would also be overseen by two black leaders in tech: TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpo and Pindrop cofounder Paul Judge.
“When it comes to diversity, SoftBank absolutely has to do better as an employer, investor, and partner. But we can’t just talk — we have to put money behind it, set plans, and hold ourselves accountable,” SoftBank Group’s chief operating officer, Marcelo Claure wrote in an email to his employees.
While it is commendable that all these organizations have rallied together to show solidarity towards the cause of social injustice, it is also unfortunate that it took a George Floyd to get them here.
Nevertheless, we hope that no more George Floyds would have to give up their lives for such a change to occur.