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Further tech giants pledge funds, voice to fight racial injustice

Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and others are promising millions of dollars to support civil rights groups.

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- 04:05
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A woman holds a poster during a protest march Sunday on the streets of Manhattan.

Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Image

Apple, Facebook, Verizon and other tech giants are pledging to make donations to groups battling racial injustice after last week's killing of George Floyd sparked protests across the US. 

In a memo to Apple employees, as reported by Bloomberg on Sunday, CEO Tim Cook promised that Apple would make donations to several groups, including the Equal Justice Initiative, and match all employee donations two-to-one. The company didn't respond to a request for comment. On Thursday, Cook also called on Apple to do more to create change in an open letter on racism.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Sunday post that the social network is "committing an additional $10 million" to such groups, and noted that it's working with civil rights advisers and employees to figure out the ideal recipients. He also expressed gratitude to Darnella Frazier for posting the video of Floyd's encounter with police. However, Zuckerberg has also been criticized for refusing to remove or hide President Donald Trump's post about the protests that Twitter flagged as "glorifying violence."

Read more: Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg and the fight for social media's soul

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey pledged $3 million to Colin Kaepernick's Know Your Rights Camp.

Amazon promised $10 million to support social justice and black communities.

Google pledged $12 million in funding to civil rights groups, with the first grants of $1 million each to the Center for Policy Equality and the Equal Justice Initiative. 

Google-owned YouTube tweeted its promise of $1 million in support Saturday. "We stand in solidarity against racism and violence. When members of our community hurt, we all hurt," the company wrote.

TikTok said it's donating $3 million to nonprofits supporting the black community, "which has been disproportionately affected by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic." The social media company said it's also pledging $1 million "toward fighting the racial injustice and inequality that we are witnessing in this country."

Verizon will donate $10 million to various groups, CEO Hans Vestberg said in a livestreamed address Monday, including the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the National Urban League.

Intel on Sunday pledged $1 million, CEO Bob Swan noted in a memo. He also encouraged employees to donate to the Black Lives Matter Foundation, the Center for Policing Equity and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Donations to those groups, he noted, are eligible for the company's matching program. 

Disney on Wednesday pledged $5 million to support organizations that advance social justice, beginning with a $2 million donation to the NAACP.

Pokemon Go maker Niantic said it'd donate a minimum of $5 million from this year's Pokemon Go Fest ticket sales.

The nationwide protests followed Floyd's death in Minneapolis on May 25. According to Frazier's video, other footage and prosecutors, a police officer pressed his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd, handcuffed and on the ground, said repeatedly "I can't breathe."

Floyd, who was 46, was taken away in an ambulance and later pronounced dead. Authorities on Friday charged the officer, Derek Chauvin, with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Since then, a new charge of second-degree murder has been added. The three other officers who were involved in the arrest have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. All four have been fired.

Taking a 'stand for equality'

Here's what some other tech companies have said amid the protests.

Microsoft: CEO Satya Nadella on Monday tweeted that there's no place for hate and racism in our society. The company said it would use its platform to "amplify voices from the black and African American community at Microsoft."

Disney: Disney on Sunday tweeted an image with a message of unity, saying the company stands with "black employees, storytellers, creators and the entire black community." In a message to employees, Disney executives Bob Chapek, Bob Iger and Latondra Newton said the company will use its resources to "compassionately and constructively talk" about diversity and inclusion.

Amazon: "The inequitable and brutal treatment of black people in our country must stop," the e-commerce giant said in a message posted to Twitter. "Together we stand in solidarity with the black community -- our employees, customers and partners -- in the fight against systemic racism and injustice."

In an Instagram post on Sunday, CEO Jeff Bezos shared an essay titled Maintaining Professionalism In The Age of Black Death Is….A Lot by journalist Shenequa Golding.

"The pain and emotional trauma caused by the racism and violence we are witnessing toward the black community has a long reach," Bezos said. "I recommend you take a moment to read this powerful essay from @goldinggirl617, especially if you're a manager or leader." 

AT&T: The mobile carrier said in a message shared on Twitter that its "advocacy toward equality and inclusivity continues today and will for the future."

T-Mobile: "Racism, hatred, inequality must have no place in our world," the mobile carrier tweeted on Saturday. "Every person has the right to feel safe, seen and heard."

Netflix: The streaming giant on Saturday tweeted that it has "a duty to our Black members, employees, creators and talent to speak up," adding the message "Black lives matter."

Hulu: "We support Black lives. Today, and every day," the streaming service said in a tweet on Saturday. "You are seen. You are heard. And we are with you."

Instagram: "We stand against racism. We stand with our Black community -- and all those working toward justice in honor of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and far too many others whose names will not be forgotten," the social media company said in a tweet on Monday. 

HBO: "We stand with our Black colleagues, employees, fans, actors, storytellers -- and all affected by senseless violence," the company said in a tweet on Saturday.  

TikTok: "We deeply value the diverse voices among our users, creators, artists, partners, and employees," the video-sharing app said in a tweet on Saturday. "We are committed to fostering a space where everyone is seen and heard." 

In a Monday statement, TikTok addressed "tough but fair questions" about whether it equally promotes content from all creators. The company apologized to "our Black creators and community who have felt unsafe, unsupported, or suppressed." Measures the platform is taking to address these issues include establishing a creator diversity council and asking organizations and experts to look into "how our products and policies can better serve people of all backgrounds." 

HP: "We've all been following the news in Minneapolis and elsewhere," the company's president and CEO Enrique Lores said in a tweet on Saturday, linking to a post on LinkedIn. "Yesterday, I shared these thoughts with HP employees. Also want to share them here with our broader HP community of customers and partners."

Verizon: Chairman & CEO Hans Vestberg shared a tweet on Monday saying: "We cannot commit to a brand purpose of moving the world forward unless we are committed to helping ensure we move it forward for everyone. We stand united as one Verizon."

Google and Alphabet: CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted that US Google and YouTube homepages on Sunday shared "support for racial equality in solidarity with the Black community and in memory of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery & others who don't have a voice," with a black ribbon under the search bar beside the phrase "we stand in support of racial equality, and all those who search for it." 

Uber: The ride-hailing company shared a tweet from CEO Dara Khosrowshahi on Sunday saying  "@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."

Khosrowshahi also shared on Twitter that the company will be donating $1 million to the Equal Justice Initiative and Policing Equality "to support their important work in making criminal justice in America more just for all."