Google just unveiled the 10 finalists for its second Impact Challenge: Bay Area, an effort to drive social change through funding local nonprofit organizations and charities. The top four organizations get $500,000 in grant funding and the remaining six get $250,000 each.* Google is also awarding $100,000 grants to an additional 15 non-profit organizations, bringing the total amount of money contributed up to $5 million.
Google is leaving it up to the public to decide which four organizations will walk away with $500,000 grants. You can vote for up to four ideas and you have until October 20 to do so. All of the ideas are great, so I suggest looking at all of them before voting. That being said, these four really stood out to me:
The Reset Foundation wants to reimagine the justice system for young adults (between the ages of 18 and 24) by building an alternative to prison. The idea is to open a residential campus for young adults to learn technology, access career training and receive social-emotional wellness support.
The Essie Justice Group is building a network to empower and equip women with the tools and resources to effect social change through its Healing to Advocacy curriculum. If awarded the grant money, Essie Justice Group would be able to reach 1,000 women and families over the next two years.
826 Valencia wants to convert a liquor store in the Tenderloin to a tutoring center for kids to learn how to write, find their voices and explore their imaginations. The aim is to address the inequity that about one in three fifth graders in the Bay Area is not proficient in reading and writing.
The Hidden Genius Project trains and mentors young black men in technology, entrepreneurship and leadership skills. With a $500,000 grant, The Hidden Genius Project would launch a multi-year program to train 100 additional young black men, and serve a total of 2,000 over the next three years.
Last year, Google gave $39.63 million to Bay Area charities, according to the San Francisco Business Times. It’s great that Google is actively coming up with ways to give back to the community, but we can’t help but notice there’s still a giant elephant in the room: displacement of low-income people due to gentrification.
*An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the remaining six get $100,000 each. The story has since been edited to reflect the correct amount of $250,000.