HBCU 20x20, which says it is the largest job network connecting students and graduates of historically black colleges and universities, said it was canceling its partnership with Google. (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report
The decision is in response to a tweet from a person who says she was a diversity liaison for the company since 2014 before she was fired in September.
"We refuse to partner with a company that continues to oust/disrespect Black people. Black people deserve better, and it's clear Google has not find (sic) the need to do better. We do not encourage working or interning at Google," Nicole Tinson, founder and chief executive of HBCU 20x20, said in a tweet.
A Twitter user named @RealAbril said she was fired from Google despite being the "most successful diversity recruiter in the history of their company."
The user said she increased black engineering hiring from HBCU at Google by over 300% during her time at the company, but that she also "experienced active abuse and retaliation from several managers" who took issue with her advocacy efforts.
"We don’t agree with the way April describes her departure, but it’s not appropriate for us to provide a commentary about her claims," a Google spokesperson said.
The company says it has a dedicated team that partners with HBCUs and it has expanded its recruiting efforts to more than 800 historically black schools.
That termination followed the firing of former artificial intelligence researcher Timnit Gebru, who is black.
Timnit said she was terminated from Alphabet-owned Google for refusing to retract a research paper that said AI discriminates against darker-skinned people and for complaining about the company in an email to colleagues.
The email itself, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, began with "Hi friends," and then proceeded to criticize her superiors, alleging among other things that Google executives quashed her research and ignored her feedback on issues like the proportion of female employees in the company.