Cisco, one of the biggest manufacturers of networking equipment, announced that it will be putting in more money to mitigate the effects of the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and to tackle systemic racism. The funds will be added to Cisco's contribution of $275 million dollars in ongoing efforts to help homeless people in Silicon Valley and fighting the pandemic. This will increase the total investment to half a billion dollars and include the initiative to curb racial inequality.
With regard to the initiative, Chief Executive Officer of Cisco, Chuck Robbins, commented that the current efforts of corporate social responsibility programs worldwide fall short and have led to centuries of inequality and injustice:
“It is clear to me that our notions of corporate social responsibility, advocacy or even the most recent notion of stakeholder capitalism simply aren’t doing enough to care for our world. The successive battles of COVID-19, the resulting economic contraction and job losses, and our own reckoning with deep-rooted systemic racism and bigotry have brought to light centuries of inequality, injustice, and fragility underpinning our society for far too long.”
The California giant's announcement comes at a time when nationwide protests have sprung up after an African-American man named George Floyd was killed in police custody. Other prominent tech firms have chimed in and have taken part in reducing social injustice and racism as well. Microsoft, IBM, Amazon have all taken measures to curb the use of facial recognition systems that could potentially demonstrate racial bias in the past week.