To our customers: In recent weeks, we have shared with you the work we are doing to support communities during the unprecedented social impact from COVID-19. These initiatives span opening our public WiFi hotspots, offering two months free service to low-income families, offering free educational content for students, and many more.
Today I want to share with you how we are committed to doing our part to help foster equality and inclusion. Last week, we announced a comprehensive plan for all Comcast companies to be champions for equality. This work includes a new $100 million pledge over the next three years to help fight racism, injustice, and inequality — on top of the commitments we currently make to many organizations supporting underrepresented communities.
Committed to Action: What We are Doing
We are harnessing our resources and skills across the company to build a focused multi-year, multi-phase action plan to help create sustainable and lasting change. As we build out our plan, we have taken these first steps:
We will elevate voices that need to be heard. Leveraging the reach and scale of our X1 and Flex video platforms, we will promote and amplify multicultural content, building on our commitment to educate, inform, and inspire. Say "Black Voices. Black Stories." into your Xfinity Voice Remote to explore a deep collection of documentaries, movies and series on Black culture and the history of racial inequality.
We will invest even more in our communities. Digital inequity disproportionately impacts communities of color. Over nearly a decade, our Internet Essentials program has connected more than two million households to the Internet at home, serving eight million people in need. We partner with thousands of school districts every day to ensure their students have the in-home connectivity they need to learn remotely. To help connect even more, we are extending our two months of free service offer for new customers through the end of 2020, and extending payment options for Internet Essentials customers.
We will grow our support of small businesses. Many small businesses have been affected by extended closures in the wake of COVID-19. An important part of our $100 million pledge is to help small businesses owned by people of color.
We will accelerate our diversity and inclusion efforts in our teams. We are proud of our efforts to date on advancing inclusion — over 11,000 employees have joined our Black Employee Network, which provides thought-provoking speaker series, leading training & development programs, and plays a critical role in driving our business forward. We have now established an internal council to accelerate further our efforts to recruit, develop, advance and support people of color, as well as to promote the importance of being an effective ally.
We approach our efforts with a humble responsibility, but an important and dedicated purpose. We know we are only part of the solution, but I am personally committed to ensuring that our employees and you, our customers, feel the impact of our actions now and into the future.
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