After successfully debuting its Amplified Unscripted series this summer, Facebook has been making strides to amplify Black leadership and attract more Black professionals to work with them and create change from within.
In August the social media giant did it again, unveiling another installment of the web series in an episode titled “Lifting the Voices of Black Businesses, Entrepreneurs and Community.” To date, Facebook has created a small business program and committed $100 million in grants to the Black community. A related initiative is the Facebook Elevate program, dedicated to increasing the economic success of minority-owned businesses. The program allows minority businesses to gain mentoring, training, and guidance from subject matter experts who work at Facebook. Whether it’s commerce, digital marketing, or content creation, Facebook is empowering minority owners with tools to transform their business. In the second episode of the series, Facebook leaders from global marketing solutions, global business solutions, and marketing teams spoke about how their teams can propel Black businesses and entrepreneurs globally.
Jason Trimiew, Director of Global Supplier Diversity
Kicking off the event, Jason prepared for the tough conversations ahead by starting with the transparency of the series being created “to gather real people together and real leaders of Facebook to talk about real issues.”
This is a conversation with the current environment that we are in, [it’s needed] and we’re going to get into that. Each of us has our experiences in tech and other things that you will hear about – we look forward to sharing our insights with you. We also look forward to having a conversation with you.
I will start first, my name is Jason and I’m the Director of the Global Supplier at Facebook. I feel like my career has been dedicated to what I call the intersection of the marketplace and social impact. I started my career early on in microfinance in East Africa, helping connect businesses to opportunities. I’ve moved on since then, learning how to connect diverse contracting opportunities with companies large and small across industries that help Facebook operate on a global scale.
This is a rich group of people in terms of their experiences, specifically as you heard, connecting with, supporting, and lifting up Black businesses and Black entrepreneurs. We want to start the conversation really with what is on all of our minds today, and particularly those leading an organization, and what it’s like right now leading at Facebook and being Black.
Gene Alston, Vice President of Commerce Business & Operations
The key decision as a leader is how do you best make use of your voice? For me, given the way that Facebook operates, very bottoms up. I truly believe that we can use our voice to make things better and what is at stake is not one decision, and we’ve done the work over time to make things better. That is really meaningful at our scale. We talk about a million Black and a million Latin folks receiving more training, $100,000 scholarships, a $1 billion investment for diversity. I know without your leadership Jason, that is a big part of some impacts driven in this company. All these things we are talking about really started as ideas on folks roadmaps in the company. It was really celebrated [at] this moment, but it really takes all the people in the company to make these things actually true and bring them to life. A big part of that for me is just the power of the community at Facebook. What we can accomplish, with more of us pulling together on it.
Rich Rao, Vice President of Small Business Group
It is a privilege for me to be a part of this community and supported as an ally. I manage a Small Business Group, we are responsible for and like to think of it as serving and supporting small businesses who use our platforms. During my career, I’ve spent all of my time in tech and helping businesses and I love being here at Facebook helping small businesses because we are helping them grow and to sustain their business, which right now, is incredibly important as you can imagine.
With all that’s going on in 2020, it’s reassuring to see a platform like Facebook open up a dialogue about what is being done to close the disparity gaps in the Black business community. Don’t miss another episode of Facebook’s Amplified Unscripted series, stay connected here. Interested in joining the Facebook team? Click here to discover current listings and opportunities.
This editorial is brought to you in partnership with Facebook.