“For nearly 30 years, the Amgen Foundation has worked to empower the next generation of innovators and invest in strengthening communities where Amgen staff members live and work,” said Eduardo Cetlin, president of the Amgen Foundation. “This commitment supports both the urgent and immediate need to address social inequality and injustice, while also investing in more equitable opportunities for the next generation to be able to excel in science and create meaningful change.”
The Amgen Foundation will immediately distribute $2.25 million to four national organizations: the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Equal Justice Initiative, Race Forward and Echoing Green.
“We are at a critical inflection point as we see the world standing up and demanding long-term systems change,” said Glenn Harris, president of Race Forward, an organization that will receive $500,000 in Amgen Foundation support. “It has made us redouble all our efforts in our work. This grant from the Amgen Foundation will support Race Forward to catalyze movement building for racial justice, and to work with Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color, institutions, and entire sectors, to build strategies to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture.”
Over the next three years, the remaining funds from the Foundation will be deployed in several ways:
- The Amgen Foundation will partner with local leaders in U.S. communities where Amgen has a significant presence to distribute grants that empower local and diverse team members to build a more just and equal society. Plans will be rolled out in Ventura County, California (where Amgen is headquartered); Los Angeles, California; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Juncos, Puerto Rico; Rhode Island; San Francisco, California; Tampa, Florida; Kentucky; Washington DC and New Jersey.
- The Amgen Foundation will continue expanding efforts in science education to reach even more students of color. For example, the Amgen Foundation is seeking partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities to increase the reach of programs such as LabXchange and Khan Academy, free online science education platforms, and the Amgen Biotech Experience, which empowers teachers to bring biotechnology to their classrooms.
- The Amgen Foundation will also double donations from all global Amgen staff to a set of organizations addressing social justice and equal opportunity, and the COVID-19 pandemic for a month’s time. Eligible organizations include NAACP, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Race Forward, Southern Poverty Law Center, National Urban League, Equal Justice Initiative, and Echoing Green.
“The continuing unjust killings of Black people across the country, coupled with a deadly global pandemic that disproportionately affects communities of color, requires swift and persistent action from all of us to create a more equitable environment for Black lives,” said Cynthia Patton, chair of the Amgen Foundation board. “It is our hope that these initial steps—and upcoming efforts—will help us move closer to a more inclusive and just society for all.”