Intel throws down against discrimination

Carla Axtman

Intel is a staple of the community in Washington County. One of the company's major philanthropic programs seen throughout the area is the Intel Involved Matching Grant Program. This program is meant to create incentives for volunteerism in the local community by donating to schools, qualified nonprofits and non-governmental organizations for which their employees volunteer. The matching grants program includes a non discrimination policy that excludes "Organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran, or disability statuses".

Recently, the American Independent report that Intel was one of the Boy Scouts of America's largest corporate donors in 2010, giving over $700k via the Involved Matching Grant Program. The Boy Scouts, as you may know, have a long standing policy disallowing gay scout leaders, which they doubled down on this year.

After a protest petition by Scouts for Equality founder Zach Wahl , Intel has told Think Progress that they have adjusted their policy:

As checks were being cut at the end of last year, Intel realized that many were going to organizations — including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts — that were out of step with those principles. This year, for the first time, prospective recipients of Intel grants will have to sign a statement confirming that they do not discriminate based on creed or sexual orientation, and any groups that cannot do so will be ineligible for funding.

A statement from Intel’s Chief Diversity Officer Rosalind Hudnell noted that the company hadn't given money to the BSA national organization, and that the $700k in 2010 went to local chapters where employees were volunteering. Nevertheless, this year prospective grant recipients must sign a statement confirming that they do not discriminate based on creed or sexual orientation. Groups that can't or won't do so will not be funded.

Some Boy Scout chapters are not heeding the national policy of discrimination. The policy would allow for those groups to be a recipient of Intel's program.

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