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Technology Giants Back Social Equality Initiatives

Amid the homicide of George Floyd that triggered protests across the United States, some technology companies are taking multiple steps to help fight social injustice.

Among those speaking out: Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins, who says the networking giant has postponed this week's Cisco Live conference in order to ensure we all can focus on more pressing issues in our lives -- particularly to give us all the space we need to support each other, our organizations and our communities.

Moreover, Robbins addressed the main issue -- social injustice -- head-on. In a video posted on YouTube, Robbins explains the Cisco Live postponement decision before stating: "The recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many more before them are horrific, maddening and truly abhorring."

Robbins described how Cisco will help to fight such social injustices, and extend its own inclusivity efforts beyond the company and out into communities worldwide.

Video link

Technology CEOs Address Racism In United States

Cisco and Robbins are not standing alone. Among those speaking up, according to Silicon Valley Business Journal:

  • EBay CEO Jamie Iannone wrote to employees May 31 that “the reality is that we in America have not yet left our terrible legacy of racism and violence behind.”
  • Intel CEO Bob Swan wrote May 31 that “the sidelines are not an option” and stated “Black lives matter. Period. While racism can look very different around the world, one thing that does not look different is that racism of any kind will not be tolerated here at Intel or in our communities.”
  • HP Inc. CEO Enrique Lores wrote that in addition to the killings of Floyd, Taylor and Arbery, the Covid-19 pandemic had “also laid bare the need to address the systemic inequities — racial, economic and otherwise — that have plagued society for too long.”
  • Zoom CEO Eric Yuan told employees in a memo on May 31 that he is “now, more than ever, open to listening, understanding and lending our voice — as a company that connects the world — to take action for social and racial equity.”
  • Executives from Amazon Web Services, Apple, Vista Equity Partners, and VMware have also issued statements about the need to fight against social injustice, Channelnomics reports.

Technology Companies Assist Social Equality Efforts

Some technology companies are backing up their words with actions. Silicon Valley Business Journal notes: Facebook Inc. pledged $10 million, Cisco Systems Inc. pledged $5 million and Intel Corp. pledged $1 million to causes that include the Black Lives Matter Foundation, the Equal Justice Initiative, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Color of Change.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.