This Black History Month, Facebook is celebrating the Black community as people make their voices heard, raise awareness and inspire action across the Facebook app, Instagram and Messenger.
We are also sharing an update on the commitments we made in June, including $200 million to support Black-owned businesses and organizations as part of a broader $1.1 billion investment in Black and diverse suppliers and communities in the US.
Black history is not just a month. It is written every day. Black creators and community leaders are making their mark on the world and using our apps to share their stories — from pushing culture forward on Instagram to turning Facebook movements into lasting legacies.
In turn, Facebook has been using its platforms to elevate Black voices and businesses. This month, in particular, we’re spotlighting content from the Black community and the diversity of experiences, interests and definitions of “Blackness.”
We’re starting by launching “Written By,” a docuseries celebrating the powerful movements happening across our apps. Throughout the month, we’ll feature stories by award-winning director and cinematographer Bradford Young on our Facebook company page to promote conversations about how Black history continues to be written in real-time. https://www.facebook.com/v2.3/plugins/video.php?allowfullscreen=true&app_id=249643311490&channel=https%3A%2F%2Fstaticxx.facebook.com%2Fx%2Fconnect%2Fxd_arbiter%2F%3Fversion%3D46%23cb%3Df316bc70ed5536%26domain%3Dabout.fb.com%26origin%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fabout.fb.com%252Ff3a3a214d770cf4%26relation%3Dparent.parent&container_width=629&href=https%3A%2F%2Ffacebook.com%2Ffacebook%2Fvideos%2F329652768296446%2F&locale=en_US&sdk=joey
We will also officially kick off We The Culture, a creative community fueled and curated by Black creators dedicated to championing Black culture. Started by a passionate team of Black employees at Facebook, We The Culture’s goal is to partner with Black creators to spark community and empower them to build compelling and successful networks across our apps. Over the years, we’ve invested $25 million in support of Black content partnerships, and we’ll continue to elevate Black public figures and creators in film, television, fitness, sports, broadcasting, publishing and music.
Later this month, Facebook Watch is dropping a new original four-episode miniseries showcasing Black excellence in music. Each episode of “Forward: The Future of Black Music” will feature a music icon shining the light on a newcomer they believe to be the future. Influenced by the classic TV series “Iconoclasts,” viewers will be a fly-on-the-wall for a musical experience with a legend and their successor. The series will also be viewable on Messenger’s Watch Together.
On the Facebook app, the Lift Black Voices hub will feature an expansive view of the Black diaspora — honoring and celebrating the past, present and future of Black communities. Content will be refreshed throughout the month and will include themes such as Black history throughout the diaspora, Black love and Black creatives and the new vanguard.
Facebook app will also launch “Black Makes A Way” to spotlight the diversity within the Black experience. We’ve partnered with Theresa Tha Songbird to create a visual cypher of her poem “You So Black” and will showcase members of Facebook Groups who are lending their voice to further equity, inclusivity and excellence throughout the community.
On Instagram, we’ll be celebrating Black innovation with #ShareBlackStories, a multi-channel, call-to-action designed to support and inspire our Black community in the US. We’re publishing new creative tools in the Instagram Camera and stories visible on @instagram, @creators, @design, @shop and @instagramforbusiness throughout February and hosting workshops and other virtual community-focused moments for Black creators.
To encourage diversity on the Facebook Gaming platform, we have allocated $10 million over two years to fund the Black Gaming Creator Program, a path for Black gaming creators to apply for partnership status and exclusive benefits including mentorship and training on the platform.
This month and beyond, we’re using our platforms to elevate Black businesses.
Black-owned businesses have been facing enormous challenges during the pandemic. In June, Facebook committed an additional $200 million to Black-owned businesses, creators and nonprofits. Since then, we have awarded grants to over 10,000 Black-owned businesses in the US and launched additional resources and programming.
Facebook Elevate is our community and learning platform to accelerate the growth of Black and Latinx and Hispanic businesses. For Black History Month, Elevate is offering a slate of inspirational and educational programming, themed “Generation Black.” This is part of a three-year effort to reach 1 million Black and 1 million Latinx and Hispanic members of the community with training in digital skills and disburse 100,000 scholarships to Black learners.
Following our #BuyBlack Friday campaign during the holiday season, to make it easy for millions of consumers to find and buy directly from Black-owned small businesses, we are launching #BuyBlack shopping collections on Facebook and Instagram Shop tabs and on @shop.
Facebook continues to support initiatives that promote greater economic and health equity, diversity and inclusion.
Last year, we donated $10 million to 36 US nonprofit organizations — nominated by Facebook employees and selected with guidance from expert advisors — that are working to address the systemic barriers to race equity in this country. We supported organizations including All Star Code, Management Leadership for Tomorrow and the Shriver Center on Poverty Law.
We also provided grants and developed partnerships with community foundations across the US that will distribute $20 million to at least 400 local nonprofits serving Black communities, with a preference for Black-led organizations. We also partnered with the Association for Black Foundation Executives to provide racial equity training for community foundation staff, leadership and trustees.
Through Facebook’s Supplier Diversity program, we have spent more than $1.1 billion with diverse-owned US businesses over the past four years. Last year we launched the Facebook Receivables Financing Program to further support US-based diverse suppliers during the pandemic. The program provides immediate cash for work that suppliers have done and pay they’re owed by other, non-Facebook, companies.
We have also taken a closer look at how we make decisions and support a diverse and inclusive culture at our company. We established a Diversity Advisory Council, a group of 18 employees from diverse backgrounds across the globe who will meet quarterly to consult on our content policies, products and people program. In January, we announced that Roy Austin, a nationally renowned civil rights attorney and advocate, was joining our company to establish a new civil rights organization, an incredibly important role for Facebook and for the tech industry.
As the world navigates a historic health pandemic, a growing economic crisis and a racial justice awakening, it’s more important than ever that we support Black businesses, employees and communities.
We don’t see this work as tied to any one month and any given year. Counteracting historical and present-day inequities is something Facebook has and will continue to be committed to for years.