Racial Equity

To create a more equitable career connection for young students of color, Fund II Foundation launched internXL, a program that matches students with internship openings at companies, in 2018. The program acts on one of the key aspects of Smith’s philanthropy — creating opportunities for underserved individuals and communities.

Closing opportunity gaps, which Smith notes can be economic deserts in Black and Latinx communities, is a crucial task in order to create an equitable future. One sure way to give voice to Black and other underrepresented communities is to protect voting rights.

Diverse voters in side by side booths with a sign reading "vote"
“Impeding the right to vote is an assault on democracy. No matter our skin color or our political beliefs, we must all agree that the right to vote is foundational to our democracy and who we are.”

-Robert F. Smith

In March 2021 and again in January 2022 Smith collaborated with dozens of Black executives and the Freedom to Vote Alliance to condemn new voting restrictions that harken back to Jim Crow. They voiced support for bills that would protect and extend fair and equal voting rights for all Americans. Smith has been outspoken in his view that the civil rights his parents’ generation won, should not be rolled back. By speaking at a virtual ecumenical service of The Conference of National Black Churches and helping to create the youth platform Be Woke.Vote, Smith continues to use his platform to reach all of our communities where they live to ensure the equity of all under the law.

Continuing the work of equity is also a mission of REFORM Alliance, a criminal justice nonprofit Smith co-founded to dismantle oppressive probation laws, which negatively impact parolees by separating families and limiting job opportunities.