About a year after accelerating its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts across its service territory, Comcast offered an update on its progress, adding that its programs targeted to help low-income communities and minority-owned enterprises have helped thousands of students, employees and small businesses, and are on track to do more this year and beyond.
Comcast said in June 2020 that it would accelerate its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, which occurred one year ago Tuesday (May 25), and in that time has made strides to support businesses owned by people of color and create new job opportunities.
In the past year Comcast has opened hundreds of Lift Zones across the country and expects to connect more than 1,000 this year, helping students, seniors, veterans, and others have access to free internet and the tools needed to complete homework, participate in digital skills training, and apply for jobs. The company added that its Comcast RISE program, which launched last fall, will award 13,000 small businesses owned by people of color across the country with grants, technology upgrades, and marketing services by 2022.
Comcast has also worked to improve employment diversity throughout the company at every level, pointing to its NBCU Academy, launched in January, which provides underrepresented students with training, experience, and scholarships. In addition, the company noted it has committed $1 billion over the next 10 years to help close the digital equity gap, reaching an additional 50 million low-income Americans in that timeframe to ensure that communities of color have the skills and tools necessary to succeed in the digital economy.
“Ultimately, across all that we do, our mission remains the same – we connect people to what matters most,” Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said in a blog post. “We use our platforms and resources to help elevate potential and provide everyone with access to the opportunities they need to succeed.”
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