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Amazon-owned Ring will stop allowing police departments to request user doorbell camera footage without a warrant or subpoena following concerns over privacy and racial profiling. Ring’s police partnerships The Ring Doorbell Cam is a wire-free video doorbell that can be installed into people’s front doors and homes. Amazon acquired Ring in 2015 for a reported $1 billion. In 2019, Amazon Ring partnered with police departments nationwide through their Neighbors app. Police could access Ring’s Law Enforcement Neighborhood Portal, which allowed them to view a map of the cameras’ locations and directly

Black-owned fintech startup Conduiit has raised $1 million in pre-seed funding to save entertainment companies time and money by centralizing their production finance operations. Disrupting the production finance space Conduiit is the brainchild of former Amazon and Netflix employees Shawn Hamilton, CEO, and Jason Thurman. The New York and New Jersey-based tech company provides users with digital workflows, SaaS, and DaaS solutions. It also offers budgeting, scheduling, cost tracking, and cash flow management guidance at project and corporate levels. Hamilton worked as a production accountant at Amazon from 2015 to 2017 when

The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation and Amazon have partnered to bring Native American and Indigenous teams together in Robotics. The REC Foundation The REC Foundation is a global organization dedicated to increasing student engagement in science, technology, engineering, math, and computer science (STEM). They engage students in hands-on, curriculum-based robotics and drone programs. The foundation empowers educators to inspire and equip students for success through comprehensive programs encompassing competitions, education, and workforce readiness. Now, partnering with Amazon, Indigitize, and Google, they are bringing Native American and Indigenous teams

Former Amazon manager Kayricka Wortham has been sentenced for stealing more than $9.4 million from the company. Wortham used the stolen funds to make several luxury purchases, including a million-dollar home, a Tesla, and a Lamborghini and had plans to open a hookah lounge. Seven other individuals have also been charged with the fraud scheme. What happened? According to US Attorney Ryan K Buchanan, Wortham abused her position at Amazon, submitting more than $10 million in fictitious invoices for fake vendors, leaving Amazon paying approximately $9.4 million to Wortham and

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched an educator-enablement program at its Machine Learning University to help HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions teach the ins and outs of AI.  Artificial intelligence has become one of the fastest-growing skill sets across multiple industries. Despite this, AI is still out of reach for many students, especially Black and Latinx students.   AWS Machine Learning University program aims to help HBCUs and other institutions serving historically underserved and underrepresented students to deliver courses in next-gen tech. “We need the best minds from all backgrounds entering these fields [database,

Amazon has announced the launch of Amazon Catalytic Capital, a $150 million commitment focused on investing in Black, Latinx, Indigenous, women, and LGBTQIA+ builders in tech.  Amazon Catalytic Capital The initiative will provide capital to funds, venture studios, accelerators, or incubators committed to backing startups led by underrepresented founders. Recipients will also receive 1:1 mentorship from Amazon executives and unique business opportunities for partnerships, technical support, and scaling resources. Amazon Catalytic Capital aims to support at least 10 funds and 200 companies through the next year. So far, recipients include Collide

Christian Smalls, primarily recognized as the brains behind the movement to unionize Amazon warehouse workers, was threatened by police in New York.  Smalls, who Amazon infamously fired, led one of the first labor actions of the pandemic in 2020. After being fed up with the company’s unsafe practices, he decided to fight back, which put many workers’ lives at risk.  So what happened? Earlier this week, workers at the warehouse in New York attempted to join the Amazon Labour Union. While organizing the rally at a fulfillment center bus stop,

Black Business Month isn’t over just yet! Amazon has announced that they are testing a new badge that aims to help boost the exposure of Black-owned businesses that buy and sell products through its online store.  The initiative, which comes just after the anniversary of the app’s first Black Business Accelerator program, will highlight to customers when a Black-owned business sells a featured offer product.  That way, customers can discover, shop, buy and support Black-owned businesses, ultimately helping small business owners expand their clientele and reach a broader demographic.  “As part of

Streaming video service, Amazon Prime, has announced the launch of a new localized version of its streaming service in Nigeria.  The company launched in Africa in 2016 and is committed to expanding its services to more than 200 countries. Amazon Prime also plans to expand its services in other markets like South Africa to boost its subscribers in new markets.   The video streaming services will feature local-language interfaces and subtitling. The launch will benefit the local community as the platform is committed to investing in local production and aims to

Amazon’s Alexa Startups has announced the first cohort for this year’s Black Founders Build with Alexa program. Seven North American startups founded by Black entrepreneurs were selected based on their ability to innovate with Alexa and build the next generation of voice, artificial intelligence (AI), and ambient experiences.  The application opened in April and will see up to 10 Black-founded startups partake in panel discussions, demo showcases, and mentorship programs. In addition, the initiative, which will span four months, will give all business owners the chance to develop their Alexa skills.  The

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