Google is giving $11.5 million in donations and grants to groups combatting racial injustices in the US’ criminal justice system, which is double what they previously have given.
The most recent wave of contributions from the company are targeting organizations that process data, pinpointing issues and proposing solutions of their own.
“There is significant ambiguity regarding the extent of racial bias in policing and criminal sentencing,” said Justin Steele, who works with with the site Google.org, the company’s philanthropic section. “We must find ways to improve the accessibility and usefulness of information.”
Some organizations who will receive funding from Google is the Center for Policing Equity, a research center that often collaborates with local police departments and communities to track law enforcement statistics and actions.
Along with the $5 million grant, Google will use their engineers time and talents to help improve the center’s databases nationwide.
“It’s hard to measure justice,” stated Phillip Atiba Goff, the president and co-founder of the center. “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.”
Tech Companies Doing the Right Thing
Similar to many other huge tech companies, Google hopes to address the imbalances due to race in its workforce demographics.
So far, Hispanics only make up a mere 3% of the company’s employees, and even less for African Americans at 2%.
Back in 2015, Google had given $2.35 million towards community organizations in San Francisco’s Bay Area in order to tackle the systematic racism of the nation’s criminal justice, education, and prison systems.
The most recent round of donations put Google in the center of conversation regarding race that was prompted recently by increasing police shootings resulting in mass incarceration and deaths of those in the African American community.