A Matter of Impact: May updates from Google.org
While many countries appear to be rounding the corner on COVID-19, our global humanitarian crisis is far from over. India, Brazil, and other regions of Latin America are experiencing high levels of COVID-19 infections and deaths, propelled in part by inequities in vaccine distribution and healthcare infrastructure. In this month’s digest we share updates on our relief efforts in India and Latin America, as well as other projects happening around the world.
Lately, friends and family have asked me how they can most effectively contribute to global COVID-19 relief. In the short run, all generosity is needed and quickly getting resources to those who are affected should be the top priority. That’s why we’ve made it easyto donate vaccines and critical supplies through vetted charities. But recovery is a long process, so at Google.org we think about crisis response in three phases:
- Responding to the immediate need. In this case, providing critical supplies — like rapid testing, protective equipment, and oxygen — to bend the COVID-19 curve.
- Addressing the inevitable knock-on effects to family incomes that come from loss of life and work. Through our grantees, we’re directing support to cash assistance organizations, food relief, and other resources that help families stay afloat.
- Supporting recovery and resilience. Crisis relief doesn’t stop when the headlines quiet down. When attention turns away, local organizations are often left struggling to rebuild and prepare for the next crisis. We’re focused on investing in technologies, like data monitoring about the disease spread, that will help organizations to react to this crisis and improve readiness for the next one.
We’ve still got a ways to go, but the global outpouring of support makes me optimistic that recovery and renewal lies near ahead.
In case you missed it
On May 26, Google.org and the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine announced the launch of the Health Equity Tracker (HET), a public facing data dashboard that displays and contextualizes health disparities facing communities of color throughout the U.S. Google.org also joined celebrations for Teacher’s Appreciation week. We continued our support for the DonorsChoose #ISeeMe campaign and matched donations up to $500,000 for projects created by teachers of color and projects from all teachers requesting culturally responsive and antiracist resources.
Hear from one of our grantees: DonorsChoose
Kristina “Steen” Joye Lyles is the Head of Equity & Impact at DonorsChoose, an organization committed to a future where students across the country, particularly students of color from low-income households, have access to the resources they need to learn.
“This year, Teacher Appreciation Week sat at the crux of compounding crises: a heightened racial climate, the global COVID-19 pandemic, and exacerbated inequities in students’ access to continue learning amid school closures. Through teacher surveys, we learned that educators at schools in low-income communities or where a majority of students identify as Black, Latino or Indigenous were more likely to have been teaching fully remote all year, and that their students were having a harder time finding reliable internet access. With continued support from Google.org, we rallied funding around educators on the front lines, including teachers of color, to fund their most immediate classroom needs — from classroom basics to identity-affirming resources such as books and art supplies.
This Teacher Appreciation Week alone, Google.org’s support activated matching donations from the public to classroom projects for 1,500 teachers across 1,300 schools over the course of just three days, evidence of the necessary attention being given to address the equity gap during and beyond this pandemic.”
A few words with a Google.org Fellow: Gabriel Doss
Gabriel Doss is a software engineer at Google who is participating in a Google.org Fellowship with the City of Detroit.
"As a native Detroiter, the pursuit of making my hometown a world-class city for its citizens is a mission that has been a consistent north star for me. When I heard that the Google.org Fellowship would endeavor to make affordable housing more accessible for Detroiters who need it the most, I knew that the Fellowship was something I wanted to be a part of. The most surprising thing I’ve learned is that our cohort of Google.org Fellows are working to solve a problem for Detroit that has never been approached in this way before. We consider it to be a huge responsibility and have set our expectations accordingly. We aren’t just delivering on an OKR, we’re working to deliver a product solution that will have sustainable impact."
Hear more about the project in Gabriel’s interview with Fox 2 Detroit.