Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau said in a letter to employees today that the company is creating a $25 million fund to donate money or invest in educational and charitable causes related to diversity and inclusion. The move is part of Zynga’s response to the recent protests against police brutality and racial injustice that is affecting members of its community of gamers, employees, and others.
On June 4, Gibeau said the company was making moves in support of racial equity, including investing in employee groups, university partnerships, and full-time leadership for diversity and inclusion. Now the Zynga board has approved the fund to invest in educational and charitable purposes related to diversity and inclusion within Zynga and within the games industry. This is in addition to a $1 million donation that Zynga made toward these causes and matching funds for $70,000 in employee donations in recent weeks. And Gibeau said that employees can take June 19, or Juneteenth, off for reflection and education, as part of “acknowledgment of this day and the issues faced by our African-American and Black communities.”
Zynga also led a coalition of game companies to support the World Health Organization and its message for physical distancing with the Play Apart Together campaign. Other companies are also taking action. Riot Games said it will invest $10 million in minority and women-owned game studios, and many others have spoken out against racism and injustice.
Here’s the full letter:
I am writing to update you about the actions Zynga is taking to support the members of our community who are uniquely impacted by current events.
On June 4, we communicated a series of actions our company was taking in support of racial equity. These actions include increasing investments in the Zynga Employee Resource Groups (Zergs), our university partnerships, and full-time leadership for diversity and inclusion — all of which are underway. Additionally, we are now providing everyone at Zynga with time off to vote, as well as allyship resources and support.
Today, we are announcing that the Zynga Board of Directors has approved in principle a USD $25 million fund that will be directed to educational and charitable purposes over the next 5 years. The focus of the fund is to increase diversity and inclusion within Zynga and the games industry. As we build out our programming, there will be opportunities for you and the Zergs to participate and contribute ideas.
In addition to completing the company’s $1 million donation, Zynga team members in the last two weeks have contributed more than USD $70,000 in funds that qualify for the combined 4 to 1 matching programs from Zynga and Mark Pincus. We will continue to match donations at this enhanced rate through the end of the year.
While we are committed to growth and progress, we also recognize the importance of increased awareness. This Friday, June 19, is recognized as the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. In acknowledgement of this day and the issues faced by our African-American and Black communities, we encourage our team members to embrace Friday as a day of reflection and education. We also ask managers to support those planning to commemorate Juneteenth to be able to take the time off.
There is much work to be done, and this is just the start. Thank you for your commitment and the efforts you have demonstrated to be part of a positive change in our society and world.
We will continue to keep you updated on our progress as we move forward.