Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Honoring Black Women: Comcast NBCUniversal Celebrates Black History Month and the Contributions of Black Women
Every February we honor Black History Month by celebrating the central role that Black people have and continue to play in shaping the culture and history of the United States. This year, we are focused on honoring the groundbreaking contributions and accomplishments of Black women. Despite longstanding challenges, Black women have remained the progressive backbone of major social movements, leading innovation across industries and achieving historic firsts. Recognized as catalysts who inspire change and drive bold action, Black women continue to play a vital role in shaping technology, arts, culture, civil rights, and politics across the globe. This Black History Month, please join Comcast NBCUniversal as we celebrate the efforts of Black creators, Black leaders, and Black women via our special Black History Month web page.
In June 2020, Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts announced a multiyear plan to allocate $100 million to fight the injustice and inequality against any race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or ability. We’ve made considerable progress towards this goal, investing in initiatives that address racial inequities, using our platforms and resources to address digital equity and education issues and disparities, and elevating Black-owned businesses. Through Comcast RISE – an initiative created to empower small businesses, specifically those owned by Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), affected by the COVID-19 crisis – we have awarded more than 700 Black entrepreneurs with marketing and technology resources. Our work is ongoing, but this month we will be announcing the next phase of Comcast RISE featuring new monetary grant opportunities for BIPOC business owners.
At Comcast NBCUniversal, we recognize the value in having a diversity of voices, and know this makes our Company and our communities stronger and better. We’re excited to honor and share stories on Black excellence – people who inspire us and give us meaning well beyond just one month.
As a leader in addressing digital equity, Comcast has long been at the forefront of providing Internet connectivity and digital literacy training in the communities we serve, with a focus on underserved and under resourced communities/groups. We partner with trusted organizations across the country like Black Girls CODE, Reboot Representation and BUILD to provide training, programs, and new platforms for young, diverse voices. Our goal is to provide digital skills training that leads to improved economic mobility for students and adults, creating opportunity and helping to ensure individuals have access to the education, tools, and resources needed to succeed in an increasingly digital world.
As a media and technology company, promoting diversity, advancing equity, and fostering inclusion is pivotal to our work across the organization. At NBCUniversal we work to amplify diverse voices, empower underrepresented creatives, and expose our audiences to new perspectives and stories. In 2020, NBCUniversal News Group Chairman Cesar Conde set a goal of having a 50% diverse workforce and we’ve begun taking steps toward achieving it. For example, we applaud the accomplishments of Rashida Jones, Joy-Ann Reid, and Tiffany Cross, three outstanding Black women blazing trails at MSNBC in the boardroom and on-air. On Feb. 1, Ms. Jones will become the president of MSNBC and the first Black woman to lead a major television news network. On air, Joy-Ann Reid’s hosts “The ReidOut,” placing her among a handful of Black women to anchor an American evening news program. Ms. Reid’s transition from her former weekend show, “A.M. Joy,” opened the door for “The Cross Connection” with journalist, author, and political analyst Tiffany Cross. We look forward to their continued success as we work to further diversity, equity, and inclusion across Comcast NBCUniversal.
Among our employees, Comcast’s Black Employee Network (BEN) will lead the “Come BENge with Us” campaign throughout Black History Month – showcasing the stories of Black heroes, legends, and leaders. Each week, BEN will host panel discussions, virtual entertainment events, workshops and leadership showcases spotlighting Black leaders, artists and authors with lists of bingeable movies, music, and literature. We invite all audiences to join us in binging content from Black creators throughout the month, and following along on BEN’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Our employees are also engaging in service together, while apart. We’ve partnered with Mural Arts Philadelphia and City Year New York to paint and install uplifting murals highlighting various achievements, contributions, and leadership of Black women. In late January, close to 200 employees across Comcast NBCUniversal, Telemundo, and Spectacor were mailed different sections of a mural designed by Philadelphia-based artist Serena Saunders to paint at home. Upon completion, each employee returned their individual masterpiece to Comcast to create a cohesive work of art. At a future date, the mural will be installed in Comcast NBCUniversal’s home city of Philadelphia, where it can inspire young people for years to come.
Black creatives and voices have profoundly shaped the content we share across our platforms. We are launching the Black Experience on Xfinity Channel across our X1, Flex, and Stream platforms. The Black Experience on Xfinity is a first-of-its kind destination of Black entertainment, movies, TV shows, news, and more - curated by industry leaders, film critics, and top networks and endorsed by the African American Film Critics Association. The Black Experience on Xfinity is another element of our commitment to amplifying diverse voices and elevating diverse stories using our platforms and represents the investment of millions of dollars in fostering and showcasing emerging Black content creators. At Telemundo, our Black History Month programming will focus on the contributions of Afro-Latinos throughout history. As part of this programming, Telemundo will host segments about the many facets of Afro-Latino culture, from profiles of notable athletes and artists to tutorials on how to cook the traditional Latin cuisine we know and love.
Finally, aligned with our goal of celebrating the achievements of Black women, Comcast will honor the legacy and impact of America's civil rights champions in the ongoing “Voices of the Civil Rights Movement” series. This month, stories of pioneers including Johnnie R. Turner, who endured harassment riding buses in her youth and later became a Tennessee State Representative, and Elizabeth Williams, a trailblazing nurse who helped integrate Pennsylvania’s health care system, will be shared digitally and on NBCUniversal owned-and-operated stations. We’ve also curated essays on 11 trailblazing civil rights leaders, which will be shared on local NBCU affiliate websites and throughout their markets.
Each year, Black History Month provides a special opportunity to recognize the countless contributions of the Black community, celebrate Black culture, and honor iconic Black leaders who paved the way for a more just and equitable society. At Comcast, we promise to continue this tradition year-round, as we continue to empower and support our employees, audiences, and the communities we serve.