EA has announced multiple charitable and outreach endeavors to support the Black community and show the company is committed to attempting to make a change both internally and in the world around it. CEO Andrew Wilson outlined a number of endeavors that detailed the EA charity outreach efforts, donation double-matching YourCause program, Community Conversation day, and efforts to encourage volunteering in the community.
The EA charity efforts are twofold. The company already has a YourCause program in effect, which has it match employees’ donations. During June 2020, EA will double donations to the charities the company supports and to local organizations. As for EA itself, it is committing a $1 million donation to charity, with the two recipients so far being Equal Justice Initiative and the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund.
There are also multiple volunteering efforts that will be put into effect. An EA Community Conversation will be held for employees on June 9, 2020 to offer feedback and suggestions. On June 19, 2020, Juneteenth will be celebrated with events from the Black Electronic Arts Team ERG and with what is described as a “company-wide volunteering day.” Going forward, the company will have a volunteering program that will give participants “an additional paid day each year to apply to volunteering in your community.”
Here is House’s full statement, taken from the official site:
We are in the midst of a global outcry for change. The pain and anger over the senseless and tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement, and so many others before him, is driving some of the largest demonstrations in decades against the systemic racism present in the U.S. There is deep-rooted discrimination that is still unquestionably present towards the African-American / Black community, and it is unacceptable. Racism should not exist in our society. We stand with all of our African-American / Black colleagues and partners, families and friends, and everyone around the world who is ready to see it end.
Blake shared some thoughts last Friday on behalf of all of us on the executive team as protests around the U.S. began. Importantly, yesterday our African-American / Black employees came together in the first of several conversations we are holding over the course of the next week. Tomorrow, the executive team and I are meeting with the leadership of our Black Electronic Arts Team employee resource group to discuss our path forward as individuals, as a company, and as a community working towards change. We’ve also heard from many of you with notes sharing your feelings, perspectives and ideas on the role we can play. Thank you to everyone that has spoken up, and we encourage you all to do so. This dialogue is vital if we are to understand the evolving challenges faced by our African-American / Black community, and the privilege and unconscious bias present in our world.
However, we must also go beyond listening and talking and commit ourselves to education and driving meaningful change through actions. We need to do more, and must do more. This is a long-term commitment, and I want to share some additional steps we are taking today.
We’re contributing $1 million to organizations dedicated to the fight for racial justice in the U.S. and against discrimination around the world. Beginning with the Equal Justice Initiative, the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, and with more partners to come, we are deepening our support of organizations working to stop systemic racial injustice, fight discrimination and protect human rights in the U.S. and beyond. In addition to our company contribution, we’ll double match any funds that you donate to these and any other local organizations through our YourCause program during the month of June.
In addition to supporting these organizations, driving change needs action from us all. The biggest impact can often be felt at local levels, and we encourage everyone to safely get involved. To that end, we’re launching a new program to give everyone in the company an additional paid day each year to apply to volunteering in your community. With all of our employees around the world, that will represent more than 75,000 hours applied to the change we can make. In the coming days, we’ll share a list of volunteer activities focused on fighting racial injustice, most of which can be undertaken from home while we still follow pandemic health guidelines. Then, on June 19, we will celebrate the Juneteenth holiday with an additional company-wide volunteering day, and participate in forums and virtual activities organized by our Black Electronic Arts Team ERG. We’ll share more details on all of this next week.
On June 9, we’re holding a Community Conversation open to the entire company. I look forward to seeing and hearing from many of you about your thoughts and feelings on these issues, what we can do in our community at Electronic Arts, and where we must focus our efforts to make an impact fighting bias, discrimination and injustice in today’s world.
In the meantime, please continue to be here for each other. Join the Black Electronic Arts Team and our other ERGs, and take it upon yourself to be an ally that can amplify the voices of underrepresented groups. If you are feeling alone, afraid or struggling amongst all of this, please let us know. We are here for you. We stand with you.
Black Lives Matter. Racial justice matters. We’ve long held equality, inclusion and diversity at the center of our beliefs at Electronic Arts. Let’s stand together, act together, and drive change together.