May 12, 2016
Google Steps Up for Flint
Google announced it will award $250,000 in grant money to various efforts to help the water crisis situation in Flint, Michigan.
The grants will be delivered via Google’s foundation arm–Google.org.
The University of Michigan is receiving $150,000 to create a comprehensive data platform to help government and community leaders make decisions related to the water crisis and also to provide critical information to citizens.
Student researchers under the guidance of a Mark Allison, a computer science professor, will develop a mobile website and app that performs data visualization. The two will allow Flint citizens to request services such as reporting water concerns and requesting water- testing kits.
$100,000 is going to the Community Foundation of Greater Flint for its Flint Child Health & Development Fund. The foundation is working on short- and long-term positive outcomes for Flint children who were exposed to elevated levels of lead. The fund was created to help newborns to children up to 6 years old–this group is most vulnerable to the detriments of lead exposure.
The Black Googler Network, which is one of Google’s largest employee resource groups with 12 branches worldwide, is also working with the foundation on the project and will help raise funds and provide support.
Local Flint area Googlers, have also raised $30,000 for response efforts in Flint and are continuing matching campaigns.
In February, Google awarded $3 million in grants for social justice causes including San Francisco’s My Brother and Sister’s Keeper (MBSK) program; Oakland’s Roses in Concrete Community School; the tech-enabled college success startup, Beyond12; and the national Equal Justice Initiative, headed up by Bryan Stevenson.
Patrisse Cullors, the co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter, was one of the first recipients of Google.org’s new giving cause and received a $500,000 grant for her activism efforts.