Google.org is donating $7.5 million to racial justice organizations Vera Institute for Justice, LatinoJustice, The Leadership Conference and R Street’s Justice for Work Coalition. This brings Google.org’s total amount of funding to racial justice organizations to $32 million since 2015.
Google.org’s racial justice portfolio arc has focused on what Justin Steele, principal at Google.org, calls the three Ps: policing, prosecution and prisons.
“We’re thinking about bringing more transparency to racial disparities about those three systems,” Steele told TechCrunch.
The largest grant in this batch went to Vera Institute for Justice, which received $4 million from Google.org. Vera is committed to securing equal justice, ending mass incarceration and strengthening families and communities. The grant money should help Vera build a data set to help researchers better measure the economic impact of incarceration rates in rural areas.
“Counter to the narrative that exists nationally around incarceration being an urban, big city program, incarceration in cities is declining but in rural communities it’s increasing,” Steele told me.
With LatinoJustice, Goolge.org donated $1 million to improve the quality of data around incarcerated Latinx people. Often times, Latinx people are misclassified or not classified at all, Steele said. There also are several states that don’t have categories for Latinx groups.
“We’re committed to expanding the mass incarceration conversation beyond white and black,” Steele said.
Google.org plans to continue supporting racial justice efforts for the foreseeable future, Steele said. The organization, which has completed its budget planning for 2018, has allocated resources to continue doing this work.
“As we pivot toward the solutions phase, we’re thinking about how we can support more work and spur some innovations and alternatives to incarceration in the field,” Steele said. “Now that we have a pretty robust portfolio, how can we use our convening power to promote conversations in the field. A lot of times, corporate philanthropy programs tend to be short-lived but this has good staying power mostly in part because Google employees are on board.”
For example, a group of 10 Google engineers and data scientists participated in a six-week, full-time volunteer program with the Center for Policing Equity. The volunteer immersion came following Google.org’s $5 million grant to the CPE in February.
You can learn more about Google.org’s racial justice efforts here.