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Rep. Cleaver Lauds Facebook Effort to Hire Minority Execs

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver lauded a recent agreement by Facebook executives to include more minorities in its leadership posts.

After several discussions about diversity and inclusion, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced recently that outgoing American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault has agreed to join Facebook’s board of directors.

“There are a significant number of qualified minorities who are more than capable to be among the leadership of major companies such as Facebook — a social medium that is used by all races, colors, and creeds,” the Missouri Democrat said in an issued statement. “I am pleased to hear that Facebook has not only acknowledged the lack of diversity within its company but they listened to our concerns and chose a new direction for the future

Chenault is now the third African-American CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

Last year, Cleaver and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) sent a series of letters to Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, encouraging them to take immediate action to combat the spread of racially divisive communications on their sites.

The two legislators also encouraged Facebook and Twitter to realize that their social media sites needed to do more to include minorities and women within the workforce, especially in leadership positions.

Cleaver, who has been an advocate for racial justice and inequality, was among a group Congressional Black Caucus members who met with Sandberg to discuss allegations that Russian-backed agencies exploited the company’s system to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election through the spread of racial and discriminatory advertisements.

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