Supporting organizations fighting for racial justice

We’re committing an additional $12 million and 10,000 pro bono hours through the Google.org Fellowship to support organizations in the fight for racial justice. This commitment builds on $32 million and 15,000 pro bono hours we have directed since 2015 to support organizations focused on criminal justice reform.

Our society is not an equal playing field, which Black communities have experienced first-hand for generations. Systemic racism has created a legacy of oppressive discriminatory policies and a broken criminal justice system. Though only 12% of the U.S. population, Black citizens make up nearly 40% of people who are incarcerated in the United States.

Over the past five years, we’ve supported organizations that are using data science and innovative approaches to identify and analyze bias in the criminal justice system. Our latest commitment builds on this work, in addition to funding efforts to reduce disparate racial outcomes across sectors, like wealth, education, and health.

Product demo of MFJ data portal

Expanding quality data for a more equitable criminal justice system

People with the skills required to make complex datasets understandable and actionable can be difficult for nonprofits to employ or retain. To address these gaps, we connect Googlers that have a background in fields like engineering, design, or data science with frontline criminal justice organizations through the Google.org Fellowship.

Measuring bias in police behavior

The Center for Policing Equity (CPE) measures bias in policing. In 2017, 10 Google.org Fellows worked with CPE to help create a National Justice Database, the nation’s first database measuring statistics on police behavior, including stops and use of force. In 2020, a new cohort of 14 Google.org Fellows will support CPE as they scale the National Justice Database to bring transparency to even more police departments throughout the country.

Comparing criminal case performance by jurisdiction

Measures for Justice (MFJ) is digitizing and analyzing the performance of the U.S. criminal justice system. We gave MFJ $1.5 million in grants in 2016 to expand its work throughout the country and Google.org Fellows helped MFJ redesign their comparative performance data portal that measures how cases are being handled, from arrest to post-conviction, for counties nationwide. Access to this kind of comparative data has never been available before and is already being used by district attorneys and local leaders to inform policies and advance reform.

Making local jail population data accessible

Previously, the US did not have comprehensive data on how many people are currently in jail. We granted the Vera Institute of Justice $4 million in 2017 and a Google.org Fellowship to help develop the first real-time, publicly accessible local jail dataset in 2019. When COVID-19 infection rates began to rise in the US in 2020, states like Tennessee & Kentucky used Vera’s data to identify and release people who are held pre-trial. Since March 2020, there has been a 25% decrease in the total number of people in jail in the US.

Reducing disparate racial outcomes

Here are some other ways we are working to reduce disparate racial outcomes and affirm the flourishing of Black lives:

Reducing disparate racial outcomes A headshot of Daniel E. Dawes, Director of Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine Photo of Elle Hearns, Founder and Executive Director of the Marsha P. Johnson Institute Photo of three students of color writing in a notebook Photo of a person in front of a laptop
  • Supporting community banks investing in Black-owned SMBs

    Through our grantee Opportunity Finance Network, we are giving $5 million in Google.org grants and $45 million in loans to support community development financial institutions (CDFIs) supporting black-owned businesses and communities. In total, Google has supported CDFIs and the businesses they serve with $170M in loans and $10M in Google.org grants.

  • Disaggregating COVID-19 data by race

    We provided a $1 million grant and a Google.org Fellowship to support Morehouse's Satcher Health Leadership Institute to collect and map COVID-19 data by race and other demographic information to support efforts to bring transparency to racial disparities. The data will serve as a resource for researchers and jurisdictions seeking to incorporate health equity into public health policies and better serve communities of color.

  • Centering the experiences of the most marginalized Black communities

    As part of our $12 million commitment, we granted $500,000 to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, an organization working to end violence against Black Trans women in the United States and provide direct cash assistance to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Increasing the number of students of color enrolled in AP® STEM classes

    Students of color and low-income students are less likely to have access to computer science (CS) courses than their peers. We contributed a $10 million grant to support the launch of the Rising STEM Scholars Initiative, an initiative which will increase the number of students of color in AP® STEM and CS courses across the Bay Area. To date, Black and Latinx students taking AP® CS at participating high schools have increased 3x and 4x, respectively.

  • Supporting Black jobseekers

    As part of Google’s $15 million commitment to help Black jobseekers grow their skills, Googe.org has made a $5 million grant to the National Urban League, an organization that is dedicated to advancing the economic empowerment of Black Americans through education, housing, and community development. We've also contributed $6 million in grants to help Black jobseekers earn Google’s Career Certificates, online courses which teach job-ready skills for careers in high-demand fields.

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