Twitter invests $100 million to combat racial injustice

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Twitter invests $100 million to combat racial injustice and poverty

Twitter Inc. is investing $100 million in a Community Development Financial Institutions Fund to combat racial injustice and persistent poverty by lending to communities of color across the United States.

The investment will be used to provide long-term, below-market loans to Black, Latino, Indian lenders and people in rural areas, Twitter said in a statement Thursday.

There are more than 1,100 CDFIs in the country managing more than $222 billion. In 2018, approximately 85% of CDFI clients were low-income, 58% were people of colour, and 26% were from rural populations.

Twitter is the first corporate investor in the fund, which aims to raise $1 billion in capital from corporate and philanthropic partners.

Other companies engaged in combating racial inequality

The announcement comes as other companies also pledged to combat racial inequality this year. In recent months, racial discrimination has become highly visible. Journalists have been sharing videos of violence and brutality against black and indigenous communities. It has often happened at the hands of police officers.

Square Inc., which, like Twitter, is run by Jack Dorsey, pledged in September to invest $100 million through a series of funds for underserved communities of colour. Netflix Inc. in June allocated $100 million to lenders serving the black community, and PayPal Inc. in October pledged to inject $50 million into the venture capital funds led by the founders of Black and Latinx. Besides, Black financial services and regulatory experts have announced the launch of National Black Bank Foundation to raise public awareness about the critical role these Black-owned banks play in providing financial literacy for underbanked people of colour. 

Twitter also said that it had partnered with Operation HOPE. It’s a nonprofit organization that provides financial education and economic inclusion to underserved communities. The organization is the leading global provider of financial dignity education and economic empowerment programs for low-income or moderate-income youth. Operation HOPE currently operates in more than 300 US cities. Besides, it runs in South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates. Since its establishment in 1992, Operation HOPE has served more than 2.8 million people. HOPE has also directed more than $2.4 billion in private capital to America’s low-wealth communities.

According to Twitter, the organization will reinvest part of its proceeds from loans. Ned Segal, Twitter’s Chief Financial Officer, stated that this is an enduring and renewable corporate philanthropy creating a plan for other companies to join in this critical work.

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