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November 05, 2015

Google.org Grants Back Grassroots Racial-Justice Groups

Google's charity arm has awarded $2.35 million in grants to Bay Area community organizations tackling systemic discrimination in education and law enforcement. This is the Silicon Valley giant's first foray into the burgeoning racial-justice movement, reports USA Today.

The Google.org grants are part of the company's stepped-up philanthropic efforts to address growing economic inequality in the region, said Justin Steele, head of the organization's Bay Area giving. "We hope to build on this work and contribute to this movement for racial justice," he said.

Big Silicon Valley firms have drawn criticism for their outsized economic impact in the Bay Area, with activists and politicians blaming the tech boom for skyrocketing property prices and widening income inequality, and for the paucity of blacks and Latinos in their workforces.

The Google.org funding includes $1 million for programs on job training and police violence run by Oakland's Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, $750,000 for the Oakland school district's African American Male Achievement program, and $600,000 to Silicon Valley De-Bug in San Jose, which advocates for people and families navigating the criminal-justice system.