Comcast is committing $100 million to a three-year plan to advance social justice and equality and fight “injustice and inequality against any race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation or ability.” The initiative, unveiled on Monday, includes a $75 million cash commitment and $25 million in media.
Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts had last week discussed the social upheaval following the May 25 death of George Floyd, vowing that the company was looking to play a “constructive role” amid the debate about social and racial divides and launch initiatives in the weeks, months and years ahead to help address them.
“Last Sunday, I wrote to you to express my outrage over the far too familiar and frequent acts of violence against the black community, and to acknowledge the structural racism that fuels these injustices,” Roberts wrote in a blog post published on Monday. “I’ve spoken with many employees – as have our leaders across Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal and Sky – and we have begun to mobilize as a company. While we recognize we don’t have all the answers, we agree it’s time that we start putting our words into real, sustainable action. We know that Comcast alone can’t remedy this complex issue. But you have my commitment that our company will try to play an integral role in driving lasting reform.”
Craig Robinson, executive vp and chief diversity officer for NBCUniversal, will be spearheading the efforts with Roberts at the corporate level and will coordinate with business leaders across Comcast, NBCUniversal and Sky to “build programs, allocate resources and partner with national and local organizations to drive meaningful change,” the Comcast boss said.
The key focus areas will be social justice (where Comcast said it would “partner with, and provide significant grants to, organizations working to eradicate injustice and inequity,” including the likes of the National Urban League, the Equal Justice Initiative, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund); employees (with the company promising to “accelerate our efforts in all areas of diversity and inclusion, including advancement, hiring and training); awareness and education (with Comcast saying it would “put the full weight of our company’s media resources behind highlighting black voices and black stories and educating our viewers on diverse and inclusive cultures, perspectives and experiences”); digital equity; and small business opportunity (with Comcast committing to fund and help small businesses that have been affected by extended closures in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic).
Sky in a statement detailed a series of its commitments to “help tackle racial injustice,” saying it would invest £10.0 million ($12.7 million) per year for three years across its markets. It highlighted its three focus areas as being 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.”
“I want to sincerely thank those of you who have reached out and courageously shared your experiences and fears,” Roberts concluded his blog post. “We look forward to hearing more of your insightful ideas for our path ahead to a better future. Together we are facing a painful yet powerful moment – one that presents us with a renewed opportunity to do better, and to create substantive and sustainable change.”