In this ongoing discussion of the #TechTakeover (with Facebook expanding into phase II in Belle Haven and Amazon now expanding its second-leg of development in East Palo Alto), some contend that millennials such as myself should be disregarded on this topic because we are simply "anti-development." While we are not saying that underserved communities don't deserve to be developed, we are insisting that development should not result in the displacement of families (property values rise and often push low-income residents out of their communities) or the extinction of communities of color over time — therefore, the expansion of any corporation should have limits.
Facebook representatives have come forward and stated that they want to do their part in being a good neighbor. It is my position that this can be done through Facebook crafting a corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy (for example, see Sullivan principles). That way, they can continually and intentionally stitch the thread of being a good neighbor into the fabric and culture of a corporation that exists within a capitalistic society. The policy wouldn't only place limitations on the tech giant's expansion, it would list the ethics/values which govern that expansion. If Facebook doesn't create a CSR policy, the alternative is that we expect corporations to be socially responsible on their own.
Beyond my letter, I started to wonder what justice looks like, larger than monetary donations (although these can be helpful). I asked myself, "Is Facebook willing to question its values as a corporation in regards to growth and 'connecting the world,' write a CSR policy and take a hard look at what justice looks like tangibly, here in Silicon Valley, starting with East Palo Alto and Belle Haven communities?" I sure hope so.
Dr. King writes it this way:
"A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life's roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring."
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