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Bob Swan: Intel Pledges $1 Million To Anti-Racism, Social Justice Groups

'Black lives matter. Period. While racism can look very different around the world, one thing that does not look different is that racism of any kind will not be tolerated here at Intel or in our communities,' Intel CEO Bob Swan says in a memo to employees that was published Monday.

Intel CEO Bob Swan said the company is pledging $1 million in donations to anti-racism and social justice groups in response to the "senseless acts of racism and violence that recently took the lives” of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

"Black lives matter. Period," Swan wrote in a memo to employees that was published to the company's website early Monday morning, addressing the high-profile deaths of the two black men and black woman. "While racism can look very different around the world, one thing that does not look different is that racism of any kind will not be tolerated here at Intel or in our communities."

[Related: Intel CEO Bob Swan To Partners: 'You Can Count On Us']

Swan did not specify which groups will receive the funds, but he said the Black Lives Matter Foundation, the Center for Policing Equity and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund are among the organizations that are eligible for Intel's program for matching donations made by employees, which he encouraged.

Swan began his letter by addressing the deaths of Floyd, Arbery and Taylor, which have prompted massive protests in cities across the United States in the past few days. A white police officer has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's death while three white men were charged with murder in Arbery's death but only after months of growing uproar over prosecutors' failure to make initial arrests. No charges have been made in Taylor's death, but the FBI has opened an investigation while her family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the police officers who shot and killed her.

Intel's CEO also cited Christian Cooper, a black man who recorded a video of a white woman calling the police on him and falsely accusing him of threatening her life after he asked her to leash her dog in New York City's Central Park.

"The senseless acts of racism and violence that recently took the lives of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and threatened Christian Cooper are abhorrent and wrong," Swan said. "We stand with Ahmaud, Breonna, George, Christian, their families, their friends and their communities, and we call for an end to acts of racism, inequity and social injustice."

Swan, who became Intel's CEO at the beginning of 2019, directly addressed the company's black employees as well as the black communities inside and outside of Intel in his letter.

"I hear you and see you. You are hurting deeply. You are angry. You are tired," said Swan, who then referenced a letter addressing the incidents that was written by Barbara Whye, Intel's chief diversity and inclusion officer. "When any part of our One Intel team is hurting, we all hurt. We stand with you and support you," he added. "Standing on the sidelines is not an option. My commitment to you is to open my mind and my heart to listen and act. I ask all of us to do this, together."

Swan said the company needs to embrace inclusion, "one of the six values that shapes who we are and the culture we are creating at Intel," and ask hard questions about whether teams are inclusive and whether individuals are doing enough to address racism. He said it's also important for Intel managers to have open conversations with their teams about current events.

Intel recently announced its 2030 corporate responsibility strategy and goals that includes calls to make the chipmaker and other companies more inclusive, which Swan said the company needs to double down on as "some companies are disinvesting in diversity and inclusion." Only 4.9 percent of Intel employees are black, according to the company's 2019 diversity report.

Swan said he wrote the memo with a "heavy heart" because he's heard from many employees "who are feeling deep pain and sadness right now."

"I know I speak for the leadership team, our board of directors and our employees around the globe when I say: We are here for you," he said. Together we will get through this. Together we will change the world and enrich the lives of EVERY person on Earth."

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