Black executives and other corporate leaders of color in Massachusetts have launched a social justice fund to support minority communities.
The goal of the New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund is to provide “essential support, resources and thought leadership for uncovering and dismantling systemic racism and all of its various and insidious forms,” the organization said in an announcement over the weekend.
Organizers say they have about $20 million in commitments to help launch the fund, primarily from the companies where the 19 founding members work, as well as from their own personal wealth. They hope to raise at least $100 million, and begin issuing grants in a few months.
Organizers say they’ll initially be focused on supporting initiatives and nonprofit organizations working on policing and criminal justice reform, health-care equity, economic empowerment, youth education and civic engagement.
Paul Francisco, chief diversity officer at the financial firm State Street and one of the leaders involved in the effort, said a fund of this kind has never been attempted in Massachusetts.
“It’s time to change the narrative on race in Boston,” he said. “We firmly believe we can make the lasting and meaningful changes our communities of color so desperately need.”
Starbucks latest to say it will pause social media ads
Starbucks is the latest company to say it will pause social media ads after a campaign led by civil rights organizations called for an ad boycott of Facebook, saying it doesn’t do enough to stop racist and violent content.
The coffee chain’s announcement follows statements from Unilever, the European consumer-goods giant behind Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Dove soap; Coca-Cola; Verizon and outdoors companies like Patagonia, Eddie Bauer and REI.
In response to companies halting advertising, Facebook executive Carolyn Everson said earlier this week the social networking platform is committed to purging hateful content from its services.
“Our conversations with marketers and civil rights organizations are about how, together, we can be a force for good,” said Everson, vice president of Facebook’s global business group.