Tech companies poured 3.8 billion USD into racial justice, but to what avail?

The Plug and Fast Company looked at what happened to the 3.8 billion dollars that US-based tech companies committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion as their response to the Black Lives Matter protests.

The beautiful web-production (with interactive graphs and short pieces of audio) makes it clear that not much has really changed. One interviewee is dismayed that tech companies are working on going to Mars, yet seem to throw their hands up when they need to solve a social problem like increasing the diversity of their staff. Another is convinced that the companies spend more on the marketing around their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programmes, than on the actual programmes themselves.

Answers to the question: Do you currently have one or more Black board members?

Surveillance expert Chris Gilliard doesn’t believe you can have an anti-racist tech company at scale. The imperatives for growth for these companies will always be stronger than their sense of justice. Companies say that Black lives matter, but the core functions of their products tell a different story (see here for plenty of examples of that fact).

See: Black in Tech: 1 year, $3.8 billion later: How 2020’s race reckoning shook up Big Tech at Fast Company.

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