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Internet Association Releases Proposal For Racial Justice And Reform And Reaffirms Commitment To Diversity & Inclusion

Washington, DC – Internet Association (IA) today released racial justice and reform considerations for policymakers as they work to address systemic racism and inequality. IA also announced industry-wide actions it’s leading to improve diversity within the internet industry workforce. 

“IA and its member companies believe that Black Lives Matter. We intend to be a part of the national conversation and are committed to using our legislative resources to help pass meaningful racial justice reforms,” said IA Director of Social Impact Sean Perryman. “At the same time, our members recognize much work can be done to improve the diversity of the industry’s workforce, and we are taking concrete steps to improve transparency and implement viable practices to promote diversity and inclusion in all aspects of their business.” 

IA-led industry-wide actions include: 

  • IA D&I Benchmark Report: IA is conducting its second annual D&I Benchmark Report, which provides workforce data for companies in the internet industry. This annual survey serves as an important tool for transparency and goes beyond traditional workforce data by examining existing D&I efforts and infrastructure of IA member companies that vary in age, size, and business model to better understand and improve the current landscape of historically underrepresented populations in the workforce. 
  • IA D&I Job Referral Site: IA is launching a D&I job referral site on August 3, 2020. This site will compile jobs from across IA member companies, and will serve as a centralized location for diverse job applicants who are typically underrepresented in the industry. Those interested can apply through the referral website for open positions at IA member companies, refer colleagues and contacts, and gain general awareness of opportunities in the internet industry.

IA’s racial justice and reform considerations for policymakers include: 

  •  Introduce More Accountability And Transparency In Policing 
    • Pass federal legislation ending qualified immunity for law enforcement to disincentivize police misconduct
    • Require law enforcement to collect data on all investigatory activities (stops, ticketing, arrests, etc.) with demographic breakdowns
    • Create a grant program that authorizes state attorneys general to to conduct investigations into police departments with problematic histories
    • Create a nationwide police misconduct registry
  • Invest In Community Programs As Alternatives To Incarceration
    • Create local commissions and task forces to help communities reimagine and develop concrete, just, and equitable public safety approaches 
    • Fund programs that develop alternative methods to incarceration 
    • Invest in alternatives to traditional police response, such as programs that engage social workers and emergency mental health professionals from the outset
    • Support greater investment in early childhood education to address racial disparities in schooling through K-12
  • Demilitarize Law Enforcement
    • Repeal Section 1033 of the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the Department of Defense to transfer “defense material” to state and local law enforcement 

IA and its member companies recognize this is only the beginning. Over the coming weeks and months, IA will continue to highlight additional steps internet companies are taking to promote diversity and inclusion within our own industry, as well as legislative proposals for policymakers to consider as they tackle this very important issue. 

To read the full proposal, click here.