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Mellody Hobson's Ariel Alternatives Receives $1.45B In Commitments For Inaugural 'Project Black' Fund

Ariel Alternatives has announced the raise of $1.45 billion for Project Black LP, the first private equity initiative of Ariel Investments.

Samantha Dorisca

Feb 2, 2023

Michael Jordan And The Jordan Brand Announce Multimillion-Dollar Commitments Toward Black Excellence

Michael Jordan, together with his eponymous Jordan Brand, has announced a new set of financial initiatives for Black excellence. In a press release announcement, it was revealed that they’ve issued grants to three renowned institutions: Morehouse College, a popular Historically Black College and University; Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture; and Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting. Jordan will be donating $3 million to the Smithsonian over the course of three years. He will be donating $1 million over two years to Morehouse, and he will be donating $1 million over two years to the Ida B. Wells Society. “Education is crucial for understanding the Black experience today,” says Michael Jordan in the press release announcement. “We want to help people understand the truth of our past, and help tell the stories that will shape our future.” Legendary director Spike Lee, a 1979 graduate of Morehouse College, said that Michael...

10 Must-Attend Startup Events For Founders In 2024

Now is the perfect time to begin planning to attend some of the many startup events already gearing up for 2024. These events can be a transformative opportunity for a growing business or an entrepreneur with an idea that has the potential to become something big. Startup events often bring together entrepreneurs, investors, industry experts, and innovators to discuss emerging trends, share knowledge, network, and showcase new ideas or products. These events typically feature keynote speeches, panel discussions, pitch competitions, workshops, and networking sessions. Registering early for 2024 events could be a smart financial investment , as many offer reduced prices for early commitments. This is especially true as many of these startup events are occurring in different cities worldwide. Below are some of the best startup events for those who want to take their business to the next level and make connections that will open doors to new opportunities and potential success. 1....

Leah Jones

Jan 5, 2024

Op-Ed: How Tech Can Move Beyond Empty Promises To Truly Advance DEI

By Freada Kapor Klein, Founding Partner of Kapor Capital and Allison Scott, CEO of Kapor Foundation The Supreme Court’s decision banning affirmative action in higher education on June 29, 2023, is part of a larger series of organized attacks on momentum and progress towards racial equity, particularly in the tech industry–including the lawsuit and recent injunction against Fearless Fund, for alleging racial discrimination and temporarily halting the VC firm from awarding its grants exclusively to Black female entrepreneurs; lawsuits against Perkins Coie and Morrison Foerster for their diversity law fellowship programs; the overturning of the Small Business Association’s focus on minority businesses; 13 State Attorneys General threatening Fortune 100 companies regarding their DEI programs and initiatives; legislation in Texas and Florida banning DEI offices in higher education and restricting related courses; backlash against organizational diversity statements; and tech diversity...

Kapor Center

Oct 17, 2023

Op-Ed: Corporate Donors Opt For Capacity-Building, Not Just Capital Donations, To Drive Racial Equity

In June 2020, financial institutions nationwide committed a record-breaking $4.2 billion to racial equity. Nonprofits directly received $300 million, representing 51% of total donation volume that month. However just six months later, funding for racial equity fell to 5% of the donation share. Now three years later, while energy has further slowed, racial justice remains a top concern across demographics. We know nonprofits steered by Black leaders and people of color are best positioned to drive racial equity. However, it’s simply not enough for corporate funders looking to affirm their values to financially empower BIPOC leaders. To properly equip nonprofit leaders, financial institutions and other corporate funders must embrace a two-pronged approach of capital and capacity building. One of the most effective interventions in capacity-building for BIPOC-led nonprofits lies in technology. Seventy-four percent of nonprofits say digital transformation is a need-to or must-have, yet...

Valentine Ollawa

Jun 22, 2023

Op-Ed: What Do You Stand For? Aligning Company And Personal Values At Work

Editorial Note: Opinions are the writer’s own and not those of AfroTech. The values that a company upholds are an integral part of its very DNA, and reversing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts can greatly impact how companies attract and retain talent. Companies who want to attract and engage Black, Latino, and underrepresented talent and consumers, must build a culture founded on values that permeate every part of the business. Amidst ongoing news of layoffs, inflation, and economic uncertainty, many businesses have made the unfortunate decision to scale back on DEI efforts. These initiatives should not be considered an afterthought, but rather an essential piece of an organization’s culture helping businesses attract and retain talent, boost innovation, and drive growth. Company culture is increasingly important to employees – and can be a deciding factor for those considering quitting or choosing a new job. Whether that means creating inclusive environments, adopting...

Rosanna Durruthy

May 9, 2023

Op-Ed: White Men Prove Incapable Of Handling More Than One Task At A Time

So, Who Killed Silicon Valley Bank? Despite all the indicators of incompetence on the part of a senior leadership team consisting of over 60% men and 60% white people, the “Andy Kesslers” of the world flocked to The Wall Street Journal’s opinion section. The op-ed entertained the classic argument that focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion was distracting from the “real” business of running Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). How original and worthy of publication! Those who promote this idea seem oblivious to the fact that they are essentially admitting that homogeneous leadership teams are incapable of multitasking. If incorporating the perspectives of women, LGBTQ, and Black people is enough to cause a group of white men to fail in leading SVB, then they were not competent to manage a bank in the first place. So, let’s be clear — a focus and commitment to diversity is a strength and never a distraction. Research has shown that companies with diverse leadership teams are more likely...

AfroTech

Mar 15, 2023

Accelerating Progress: An In-Depth Look At How PwC Is Building on Their Culture of Belonging

The past few years have marked a period of time like no other — from ongoing societal challenges to geopolitical events that have transformed the way we live and work. Organizations across all industries are navigating changes amidst the backdrop of an evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation, the rise of hybrid work, climate change and escalating racial and socioeconomic disparities. So what’s the best move for a business in turbulent times like these? Lean into its purpose. That’s exactly what PwC is doing. If you ask what the firm’s purpose is, they haven’t switched it up. It’s to build trust in society and solve important problems. By doing this, PwC aims to make a meaningful difference in the world. In a year where there were many moments in which PwC might have shifted focus or let up, they instead are accelerating their commitment to transparency and are doubling down on their investment in their workforce in order to continue to build trust with their people,...

Josh Rodgers

Feb 1, 2023

A Whole New World: Southern Company is Committed to Advancing Equity One Community at a Time

Talking the talk is one thing, but walking the walk is another. Southern Company is walking the walk by taking action to pursue a more equitable and inclusive future for its customers, communities, and employees. Southern Company launched its ‘Moving to Equity’ framework in 2020 amid national conversations around racism and inequality. After a period of listening, learning, and understanding, the company’s Management Council decided to focus its efforts on five key areas: talent, workplace environment, community, political engagement, and supplier diversity. In 2022, Southern Company released its inaugural “Transformation Report: Moving to Equity”, a complete framework outlining the company’s specific commitments to uplifting and strengthening communities that have been historically underserved. From advancing educational equity to building an inclusive internal culture, Southern Company has proven to be deeply connected to its aim of advancing justice and equity. HBCU Support...

Josh Rodgers

Jan 3, 2023

“We are not spectators:” Inclusion Leaders at dentsu International On How They’re Creating More Equitable Environments For Black Employees

In today’s quickly changing job market, people are looking for companies that check all of their boxes. They want to show up and be inspired by their work, be inspired by company leadership and make an impact with the projects they work on. Many job seekers are also seriously considering how a company handles diversity in its workforce for the first time. Unfortunately, finding a company that meets those criteria in today’s job market can be challenging. In the past few years, employers have loudly proclaimed that diversity was a core part of their values and that the voices and contributions of Black talent were central to how they saw their company futures. But the reality of how Black employees are compensated, trained and valued hasn’t matched up to those claims. Fortunately, integrated advertising agencies within dentsu International’s network are showing up in a real way for Black employees. Through diversity initiatives and other social impact efforts, dentsu hopes to...

Sarah Estime

Nov 9, 2022

Black Women Are 3-5x More Likely To Die Of Pregnancy-Related Causes Than White Women — Baby Dove Is Looking To Change That

Baby Dove is working to create a safe space for Black mothers. According to a press release sent to AfroTech, Baby Dove has announced several new commitments that will improve maternal health outcomes. The company is doubling down on its investment in the Black Birth Equity Fund, bringing the total to $500,000. The aim is for doula services to become more accessible for expectant Black mothers as they will have a chance to receive up to $1,300 through a one-time grant.

Samantha Dorisca

Sep 12, 2022

Two Black Google Execs Help Change The Game In How Black Founders Access Capital For Their Businesses

Despite their many differences and approaches, one perspective many athletes share is that to change the game; you have to be in it. As we’ve seen repeatedly, a positive shift in any game does not always come from one person. It takes a combination of skill and investment to move from just getting by to finding success. And while Google doesn’t navigate on courts or fields, the organization is intentionally positioning itself as a game-changing catalyst for Black entrepreneurs. In 2020, the tech giant made a series of commitments to help ease access to funding for Black founders and funders. The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund has since expanded globally, and AfroTech had the opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with Jewel Burks Solomon, Head of Google for Startups U.S., and Jeremiah Gordon, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for CapitalG, about the future of the Black Founders Fund and its intended impact.

Josh Rodgers

Sep 8, 2022

adidas Announces Network That's Said To Offer Over 50,000 Student-Athletes NIL Opportunities

Student-athletes will have yet another opportunity to lock into the name, image, and likeness deals (NILs), thanks to adidas. According to CNBC, the company will support student-athletes at NCAA Division 1 adidas-sponsored schools. Over 50,000 athletes will have a chance to join the program and become paid affiliates for the sports brand. “The adidas NIL network embodies our belief that sport has the power to change lives by upskilling athletes and giving them the ability to begin to experience an entrepreneurial path that will carry them beyond their college years,” said Jim Murphy, adidas NCAA program lead, in a statement. The program is projected to lead with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) before expanding to Power-5 conference partners in fall 2022, then additional schools by April 2023, Footwear News reports. “At Adidas, we are committed to creating change through sport and recognize the important role student-athletes play in shaping the future,” said the...

Samantha Dorisca

Mar 23, 2022

Wells Fargo Under Fire Again For 'Discriminatory Modern Day 'Redlining' Practices,' According To A New Lawsuit

Wells Fargo will be facing a lawsuit for alleged discriminatory practices. As AfroTech previously reported, Bloomberg revealed various Black applicants hoping to refinance their homes were denied at an alarming rate in comparison to white homebuyers. Already, U.S. Senate Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, and other Democratic senators are keeping their eyes on Wells Fargo following Bloomberg’s recent report. As a collective, they are calling for regulators to look into Well Fargo’s refinancing practices during the pandemic. “Black applicants are further subjected to delays, feigned mistakes, and other obstacles, leading many Black Americans to withdraw their requests for refinancing, and leading others to wait indefinitely while Wells Fargo refuses to act upon their applications,” the complaint read, according to Bloomberg. Wells Fargo issued a statement exclusively to AfroTech following the Bloomberg News report. “We remain focused on pursuing our $185 billion...

Samantha Dorisca

Mar 22, 2022

Kerby Jean-Raymond Announces His Departure As Global Creative Director Of Reebok

It looks like Kerby Jean-Raymond’s time at Reebok is soon coming to an end. In October 2020, AfroTech reported that the Pyer Moss founder became the sneaker company’s global creative director. “I am thrilled to be evolving my role at Reebok and joining the leadership team as the head of Creative Direction,” he shared back in 2020, according to Sneaker News. “I welcome this opportunity to help invigorate the brand with new ideas, while also focusing on instilling a sense of social purpose into our work.” Prior to being appointed to the title, him and his company were a major key in bringing forward their ideas to build in collaboration with Reebok. Since his role as the head of creative direction, the fashion designer’s innovation within the space worked to breathe new life into the longtime brand. His creative leadership was behind multiple projects including “Product with Purpose,” which aimed to take the company’s United Against Racism commitments to a higher level. Now,...

Ngozi Nwanji

Feb 3, 2022