SAN FRANCISCO — Google is handing out $11.5 million in grants to organizations combating racial disparities in the criminal justice system, double what it has given so far. And, in keeping with a company built on information, the latest wave of grants target organizations that crunch data to pinpoint problems and propose solutions.
“There is significant ambiguity regarding the extent of racial bias in policing and criminal sentencing,” says Justin Steele, principal with Google.org, the Internet giant’s philanthropic arm. “We must find ways to improve the accessibility and usefulness of information.” Among the organizations receiving funds from Google.org is the Center for Policing Equity, a national research center that collaborates with police departments and the communities they serve to track statistics on law enforcement actions, from police stops to the use of force.
In addition to the grant of $5 million, Google engineers will put their time and skills to work on improving the center’s national database.”It’s hard to measure justice,” says Phillip Atiba Goff, the center’s co-founder and president. “In policing, data are so sparse and they are not shared broadly. The National Justice Database is an attempt to measure justice so that people who want to do the right thing can use that metric to lay out a GPS for getting where we are trying to go. That’s really what we see Google as being a key partner in helping us do.”
Like other major technology companies, Google is trying to address the racial imbalance in the demographics of its workforce. Hispanics make up 3% of Google employees and African Americans 2%. In 2015, Google gave $2.35 million to community organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area tackling systemic racism in America’s criminal justice, prison and educational systems.
Four more grants totaling $3 million followed in 2016, including $1 million to Bryan Stevenson and his nonprofit Equal Justice Initiative to push America to confront its violent racial history including lynchings. The latest round of grants again put Google in the thick of a national conversation on race prompted by the police shooting deaths and mass incarceration of African Americans.
This holiday season, why not do some good and purchase (RED) products. (RED) was founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver in 2006 with a simple mission to fight AIDS and an ultimate goal of an AIDS-free generation. Through the years, companies have partnered with (RED) to offer great products. When we buy these products, 100% of the money goes directly to work in the fight against AIDS.
Throughout the past decade, (RED) has raised $320 million… but more can be raised and hopefully an AIDS-free generation is coming… This year why not give the gift that helps save a life.
SUGA (RED) LIP TREATMENT SPF 22.50
Gimme some suga! A limited-edition Sugar Lip Treatment wrapped in red to support the fight against AIDS. Can’t think of a better stocking stuffer.
Six days have passed since 14 people were killed and 17 injured at a social services center in San Bernardino, California. And five days have passed since Muslim groups and leaders from across the nation united to help raise nearly $100,000 for the victims’ families.
Faisal Qazi, a neurologist and the co-founder of the family centered development organization MiNDS, and Tarek El-Messidi, co-founder of the Islamic nonprofit CelebrateMercy, joined forces to start the donation fund on LaunchGood Thursday, with a goal of combating hate with love. Their mission: to raise money for the families of the 14 victims killed during a shooting at the Inland Regional Center by Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. FBI investigators said Monday that the couple had been radicalized by the Islamic State.
We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action. Our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: “Have mercy to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens (God) will have mercy upon you.” And the Quran teaches to “Repel evil by that which is better” (41:34).
Groups like MECASoCal and the Islamic Networks Group, as well as prominent national Muslim leaders, put their names on the fund, which raised more than $88,000 by Tuesday evening. El-Messidi told The Huffington Post the money will go to the San Bernardino families in batches.
“We’re planning within a week to give the first batch of donations to the families so it can help with more short-term immediate expenses,” he said. “The idea is to help alleviate the burden on the families, potentially funeral expenses and whatnot. We know no amount of money will bring back their loved ones, but hopefully this will make things a little easier for them.”
El-Messidi said he hopes the fund will send a message about the Muslim community.
“I think it sends a clear message that American Muslims are here to build and not destroy,” he told HuffPost. “We do not want to be associated at all with extremists who are putting people in harm’s way, and we want to show this as just one example of how American Muslims are contributors to society, trying to make our society a better place. … We are hoping in this time of crises, those who are Muslim and those who are not will get to know each other. Dialogue is the only way to clear up this state of confusion and tension.”
According to Billboard.com, Usher was in Hollywood on Thursday evening to celebrate the launch of the Grammy Award-winning singer’s collaboration with year-old Los Angeles-based school supplies company Yoobi, co-founded by CEO Ido Leffler.
“Mixing street smarts with school smarts” is the slogan for Yoobi X Usher, a new back-to-school collection being sold at Target exclusively and on Yoobi.com. Curated by Usher and designed by artist Jonni Cheatwood, the collection features folders, pencil cases, composition books and binders splattered with vibrant slashes of pink, yellow-green, black and gray. For every product purchased, one product will be donated to a classroom in need. “So it’s philanthropic in addition to culturally just being cool,” says Usher.
When asked why he partnered with Yoobi, Usher said, “Preparing future leaders through my New Look Foundation has always been about having the proper tools to succeed in life. If they don’t have the tools, young men and women from underserved communities can’t even begin to understand the idea of having a new or different perspective. So that’s where this collaboration came together: giving young people the tools and supplying them with hope.”
NBA legend and business mogul Earvin “Magic” Johnson, multi-Grammy Award-winning musician, actor and philanthropist Common, and Black Entertainment Television (BET) chairman and CEO Debra Lee join forces with Coca-Cola this month in a movement to uplift and pay it forward to the next generation.
Kicking off the second year of its signature program, “Coca-Cola Pay it Forward,” the world’s most recognized brand enlists the help of some of today’s leading African-American history makers to offer exciting apprenticeship experiences to aspiring youth. Magic Johnson, Common and Debra Lee will serve as mentors, giving four lucky young people the opportunity to shadow them and their teams for a week during the summer. The four apprenticeship experiences will focus on: business (Johnson); music and community (Common); and media/entertainment (Lee). Expanding this year’s program offering, the Company has partnered with UNCF (United Negro College Fund), the country’s largest minority education organization, for a text-to-donate program.
“I have and always will remain committed to uplifting the urban community in my business and nonprofit endeavors, and that makes the Coca-Cola ‘Pay It Forward’ program a perfect fit,” said Johnson. “There is no better way to empower a community than to arm its youth with the necessary skills to succeed.”