American telecommunications conglomerate Comcast has announced a multiyear plan to allocate $100 million to fight injustice and inequality. In a press release shared by Brian L Roberts, chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation, the company said that this plan is a response to structural racism and the many issues afflicting the Black community in the United States. The initiative hopes to advance social justice and equality and fight ‘injustice and inequality against any race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation or ability.’ It includes a $75 million cash commitment and $25 million in media that will be invested over the next three years.
It was also announced that Craig Robinson, EVP and Chief Diversity Officer for NBC Universal, will be leading these efforts along with Roberts and will coordinate with business leaders across the various Group companies such as NBC Universal and Sky to build programmes, allocate resources, and partner with organisations. This new initiative is in addition to existing commitments supporting underrepresented communities through the Comcast NBC Universal Foundation and social impact programmes.
The key focus areas will be:
- Social justice: Partner with organisations working to eradicate injustice and inequity, such as the National Urban League, the Equal Justice Initiative, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
- Employees: Accelerate efforts in all areas of diversity & inclusion, including advancement, hiring and training, through Town Halls, speaker series, and mandatory anti-racism and anti-bias training
- Awareness and education: Using the company’s media resources behind highlighting Black voices and Black stories and educating viewers on diverse and inclusive cultures, perspectives and experiences. NBC News will host a series of Town Halls and platforms like X1, Flex, Peacock and Sky platforms will be used to promote and amplify multicultural content
- Digital equity: Addressing digital inequities by providing digital skills training to young people and to upskilling, supporting organisations such as Black Girls Code and BUILD
- Small business opportunity: Funding small businesses that have been affected by extended closures due to Covid-19, and allocating a substantial portion of those funds to businesses owned by people of color. Comcast Business and Effectv will support businesses impacted by the pandemic and provide airtime and commercial production when they are ready to open. Additionally, Comcast Corp will create new LIFT Labs programmes for Black founders, invest in diverse entrepreneurs through Comcast Ventures and accelerators, and expand the Catalyst programme which focuses on investing in Black, Latinx and female entrepreneurs
Sky has committed £10.0 million ($12.7 million) per year for three years across its markets to ‘help tackle racial injustice’. Its three focus areas will be: improving ‘black and minority ethnic representation at all levels’, making a difference in communities impacted by racism, and using ‘the power of Sky’s voice and platform to highlight racial injustice’.