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Civil groups, workers urge Google to support racial equity audit

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Civil groups, workers urge Google to support racial equity audit
The Google logo on a building in New York City on July 18, 2018. Google workers and civlil groups are urging Google founders to support or abstain in a vote on a racial equity audit proposal from investors. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

May 27 (UPI) -- Civil groups and Google workers are pressing Google's parent company, Alphabet, to back a racial equity audit proposal.

Letters were sent Friday to Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page and to former CEO Eric Schmidt urging them to support the proposal or abstain from voting on it at the Alphabet stockholder's meeting Wednesday.

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The investor racial equity audit proposal said, "Shareholders urge the Board of Directors to commission a third-party, independent racial equity audit analyzing Alphabet Inc.'s adverse impacts on Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities."

The three men control more than half of stockholder votes.

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The letters said the support or abstention of the three men would "have the power to make or break this popular and necessary investor-led advocacy."

The letters were signed by the groups Access Now, Accountable Tech, and Color of Change.

"Alphabet has allegedly retaliated against employees who flagged issues of discrimination," the racial equity audit proposal said.

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An Alphabet 2022 proxy statement said the company is against the investor proposal to do a racial equity audit.

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"Our Board has carefully considered this proposal and, while we share the proponent's overall goals of equity and inclusion as well as the belief that it is important to understand systems and processes, we do not believe the proponent's proposal is the best way to accomplish those shared goals," the Alphabet proxy statement said.

The racial equity audit proposal said "input from racial justice and civil rights organizations and employees, temporary vendors, and contractors should be considered in determining specific matters to be analyzed" at the tech giant.

It said "a report on the audit, prepared at reasonable cost and omitting confidential and proprietary information, should be published on Alphabet's website."

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