By Natasha Martell Jackson, Social Equity Program Office at Intel
At Intel, we acknowledge that what happens outside of Intel affects our employees inside the company as well. I’ve been an Intel employee for more than 20 years and held many roles throughout my career. My most important role, however, is a mother of a young Black son. Therefore, racial injustices and social inequities within the U.S. criminal justice system, which disproportionately affect Black people and communities of color, have a deep and profound effect for me and my family. Last year, our nation and mothers everywhere – collectively grieved over the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and too many others, hopeful for justice amidst our heartache.
The data tells the painful story of inequalities within our criminal justice system, especially for Black people and people of color. Millions of Americans are impacted and left behind by our criminal justice system annually. An overwhelming 65% of Black adults have felt targeted because of their race. Similarly, approximately 35% of Latinx and Asian adults have felt targeted because of race. A Black person is five times more likely to be stopped without just cause than a white person. And while Black people make up 12% of the population, we make up an estimated 28% of all arrests. Racial bias, targeted over-policing of communities of color, and excessive enforcement of minor offenses are among the factors leading to these enormous disparities.
The gravity and pervasiveness of the inequities within the criminal justice system demand our attention. I am moved by Intel’s support of equitable justice and racial and social equity. As an industry leader, we are not standing on the sidelines. Intel will continue to leverage our full capabilities to drive equitable change inside the company and in our communities. Our commitment to social equity is fueled by our technologies, philanthropy, public policy advocacy, and our employees’ lived experiences and passions. We have fearlessly made equitable justice one of our Global Social Equity Policy_Principles. These Principles will inform our policy advocacy with governments and organizations globally. Additionally, we will continue to provide grants and in-kind support to several organizations at the forefront of this work, including Vera Institute of Justice, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Center for Policing Equity.
It gives me hope that the House of Representatives recently passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. This bill addresses a range of policing practices and aligns with Intel’s policy support of improved data collection, enhanced transparency, and additional training for law enforcement officers. Once again, we are looking to the Senate for supportive action so we can see these urgent changes signed into law and implemented in our communities.
Workforce diversity and inclusion are essential to driving innovation. Informed by employees’ stories like mine, we know that equitable justice matters to many within our workforce. I am proud that we are taking bold steps toward equity and justice. It inspires me to show up and participate fully inside Intel toward our purpose of creating world-changing technology that enriches the lives of every person on Earth. As mothers, a fully inclusive, equitable, and just world is what we are all striving collectively to pass on to our children, my son included.