PayPal commits to invest $500 million in black and minority communities

The funding is part of a wave of support coming from major tech companies following the killing of George Floyd.

Ben Fox Rubin Former senior reporter
Ben Fox Rubin was a senior reporter for CNET News in Manhattan, reporting on Amazon, e-commerce and mobile payments. He previously worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and got his start at newspapers in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Ben Fox Rubin
2 min read
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PayPal on Thursday said it's offering $530 million in funding to black and minority communities to address racial and economic inequalities. Most of the money -- $500 million -- will be in the form of direct investments through PayPal Ventures, the payment company's investment arm, to minority businesses and startups.

"For far too long, Black people in America have faced deep-seated injustice and systemic economic inequality. Black lives matter and we need to drive transformative change," PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said in a statement.

Also on Thursday, Apple announced a $100 million program called the Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, which will focus on education, economic equality and criminal reform.

These efforts are part of a wave of support to black and minority communities being offered by major tech companies following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Memorial Day while he was in police custody. In recent days, Google has  committed $12 million; Amazon, $10 million; and Facebook, $10 million.

These donations come as Black Lives Matter protests have gone on for two weeks across the US, marking a tipping point for action on racial equality by elected officials and corporate leaders. Confederate monuments have been removed in Richmond, Virginia; Louisville, Kentucky; and other cities. NASCAR on Wednesday banned the presentation of the Confederate flag at its events.

Along with PayPal's $500 million direct investment fund, the company is offering $10 million in grants for black-owned businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic or civil unrest. This money will be provided in partnership with Association for Enterprise Opportunity, a nonprofit focused on providing economic opportunity for black entrepreneurs.

Additionally, $5 million will go to PayPal's nonprofit partners, and $15 million to the company's own diversity and inclusion programs.

The funding is part of a years-long history of PayPal under Schulman taking strong stances in support of minorities and the LGBTQ community. 

The company in 2016 pulled out of a new 400-person global operations center in North Carolina to protest against a controversial new state law that forces transgender public school and university students to use bathrooms according to their biological gender. In 2018, the company kicked out far-right conspiracy theory site InfoWars, around the same time the site was also booted by Facebook, YouTube and others. It followed up by banning the social site Gab.ai for hosting anti-Semitic posts.

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