On 31st May, Google and YouTube homepages had shared the US-based tech giant’s support for racial equality in solidarity with the Black community and in memory of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others who don’t have a voice. Asserting that for those feeling grief, anger, sadness and fear, Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google and Alphabet, said, “You are not alone.”
Later in an email sent by Sundar Pichai to Google employees, the CEO of Google and Alphabet said, “I realize that nothing about this week feels like business as usual—and it shouldn’t. Our Black community is hurting, and many of us are searching for ways to stand up for what we believe, and reach out to people we love to show solidarity.”
In an 8-minute-and-46-second moment of silence at 1 p.m. PDT on June 3 (which translated to 1:30 a.m. IST on June 4), Pichai along with Googlers stood together to honour the memories of Black lives lost. Mind you! The length of the moment of silence represents the amount of time George Floyd suffered before he was killed. It’s meant to serve as a visceral reminder of the injustice inflicted on Floyd and many others like him. With this, Pichai said that he wanted to provide space for all to come together as a community.
Pichai further added that Google acknowledges that racism and violence may look different in different parts of the world. Therefore, coming together as a community and showing support is important, but it isn’t enough. However, the 48-year-old also announced a few initial commitments to meet the urgency of the moment.
According to the email sent by Sundar Pichai to Google employees, “We’ll be giving $12 million in funding to organizations working to address racial inequities. Our first grants of $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 $32 million we have donated to racial justice over the past five years. We’ll also offer $25 million in Ad Grants to help organizations fighting racial injustice provide critical information.”
Moreover, Pichai also shared that Googlers have also contributed an additional $2.5 million in donations as a result of last week’s internal giving campaign that Google is matching. This represents the largest Googler giving campaign in the company’s history, with both the largest amount raised by employees and the broadest participation.
Asserting that the events of the past few weeks reflect deep structural challenges, Pichai stated that Google will work closely with the Black community to develop initiatives and product ideas that support long-term solutions. As part of this effort, the tech giant also welcome your ideas on how to use its products and technology to improve access and opportunity.
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