The current social and political climate in the United States has made way for some of the most unexpected turns of events in recent history.
Employees of Mark Zuckerberg’s foundation, taking a stand against him, is a perfect example of such surprising events.
According to Recode, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative workers are making demands from the organization and its leaders to make significant changes within the organization. The foundation is run and funded by the Facebook CEO and his wife, Priscilla Chan.
In a letter, which was signed by 74 employees, the workers acknowledged specific ‘deeper’ causes that the Initiative still hasn’t addressed, especially the topic of race relations. The group then urged their boss to commit to making 12 changes.
Their list includes the hiring of more Black people in leadership positions within the foundation, and the creation of an advisory board made up of workers who come from marginalized backgrounds. The new board would reportedly help in determining philanthropic initiatives.
The employees’ demands come at a time when society is grappling with the outrage against the various forms of racism that Black people and other people of color (POC) still face in present-day America.
Meanwhile, the Initiative’s education team spokesperson Raymonde Charles said that their mission is to build a better future for all people and that racial equity is already a focus. He did acknowledge that the foundation is still committed to expanding its current efforts while working with employees at all levels.
The sudden activism of the Initiative’s workforce comes shortly after a group of over 140 scientists publicly slammed Zuckerberg, who is also their benefactor.
The scientists criticized the CEO for refusing to take action against the controversial and divisive posts made by President Donald Trump. They also condemned him for Facebook’s current content-moderation policies.
Zuckerberg’s perceived shortcomings have resulted in many companies pulling out of the social media platform as advertisers. Among those that have taken a stance are Upwork, North Face, and Patagonia.
The brands said that they won’t be working with Facebook again until it has addressed the issues of hate speech and misinformation. Some smaller companies have also come out with similar sentiments.
If more large companies follow suit, the tech giant may face some serious blows as it reportedly earns 85% of its money from advertising.