Tag Archives: google.org

Andra Day sings “Strange Fruit” in support of Google.org grantee Equal Justice Initiative

Music has the power to ignite change—to encourage introspection and galvanize people.

Earlier this year Google.org grantee the Equal Justice Initiative launched the Lynching in America digital experience. This platform, built with support from Google, brings together the Equal Justice Initiative’s data and research on the 4,000+ victims of lynchings with the oral histories of families who still suffer the legacy of lynching today.

This week, Grammy-nominated artist Andra Day released a new cover of the anti-lynching protest song “Strange Fruit,” originally sung by Billie Holiday in 1939. Andra's cover—recorded to raise awareness for the Lynching in America project—encourages us to take an honest look at this painful period in American history.

Our struggle does not stop. It simply continues. Black history does not repeat itself. It evolves. Andra Day

Since EJI launched the Lynching in America platform earlier this summer, the oral histories and site content have been viewed more than 35 million times. We’re proud to help EJI make this data and research more broadly accessible, and to support their efforts to memorialize the more than 4,000 victims of lynching and racial terror.

Tomorrow, Andra will perform “Strange Fruit” at the Global Citizen Festival, the annual concert in Central Park promoting freedom and justice for all. Tune into the live stream to watch her performance and  join us in supporting EJI in their movement for truth and reconciliation in America.

Hector Mujica on “showing grace to those in the margins” and his social impact work at Google

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re celebrating the fascinating stories and important contributions of our Hispanic Googlers—their histories, their families, and what keeps them busy inside and outside of work. 

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Any Venezuelan football fans out there? Here I am showing some love for "Vino Tinto."

Next up is Hector Mujica, social justice champion, enthusiast of the outdoors, and self-proclaimed acronym inventor (SPAI).

Give us the 10-second, one-sentence version of what you do at Google.

I work on Google.org, Google’s philanthropy team, where I manage our programs across Latin America, and support our disaster relief giving and volunteering work globally.

When did you (or generations before you) immigrate to the U.S.?

My family immigrated to the U.S. from Venezuela when I was a young child, after my dad landed a job at Oracle in Miami. Of all the places to start in America, South Florida must be one of the best—with the rich cultural diversity and ample Latin food, it made the transition smooth, and kept me close to my Hispanic heritage.

How are you involved in the Hispanic community at Google, and why is it important to you?

I worked closely on the founding of HOLA, our Hispanic employee resource group (ERG). Through HOLA, I’ve gotten to meet many of our Latino Googlers over the years—all of whom continue to amaze me with their stories, talents, and passions to make this company, and the world, a better, more equitable place. The Hispanic community is vital to Google because it brings in people who might otherwise feel like cultural strangers and tells them, “come as you are—you belong.”

The Hispanic community is vital to Google because it brings in people who might otherwise feel like cultural strangers and tells them, “come as you are—you belong.”

How did you find your way to Google? Have you always pictured yourself working here?

I actually never had ambitions to work in tech or at Google. While in my junior year of undergrad at Florida International University, I looked for internships around the country, and was intrigued by working at company that was breaking all the established norms in corporate America. I applied to Google’s BOLD internship program, thinking it was a long shot, and after a few interviews, I found myself living out the coldest summer of my life in San Francisco, interning at Google on the People Operations team. I fell in love with Northern California and Google, and anxiously awaited the opportunities that lay ahead.

40279_10150238167060245_4366738_n.jpg
Day one of my BOLD internship at Google in 2010, before I learned that dress shirts and ties are not part of the dress code at Google.

Who has been the most influential person in your life?

My dad’s hustle, grit, passion and optimism have taught me much about life and the world. As a first-generation immigrant, he taught me about risk-taking and tenacity. As a man of faith, he’s taught me about unapologetically straying true to my convictions. As a family man, he’s been a caretaker and steward of not only his nuclear family, but—like a good Latino—his extended family as well. He’s always balanced family life with the needs of the community. Whether it meant taking immigrant families into our home while they got on their feet, working with the homeless to help them rehabilitate, or volunteering to feed the needy at nearby shelters, my dad never turned down a chance show grace to those in the margins. These experiences shaped my worldview and gave me sense of social justice and altruism, which continues to influence the work I do today at Google.org.

Kilimanjaro.jpg
Sunrise on top of the world, at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Climbing mountains is tough, but the summit is always worth it.

How do you spend your time outside of work?

Outdoors. Or traveling to experience the outdoors in the rest of the world. I’ve always been in awe of nature. Oceans and mountains both scare me and inspire me. Whenever I have a chance to see the natural world from a new angle, I usually take it. That wanderlust has taken me to nearly every continent (Antarctica, I’m coming for you!), 51 countries, and from the deepest depths (I’m a scuba diver) to some of the highest highs (just did Kilimanjaro last year!).

What career advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

Invest wisely in people and moments. The networks of people around you will help shape your perspectives, career and open doors to new opportunities ... and when these opportunities present themselves, capitalize on the moments. They will teach you more than any classroom can.

What has been a big moment for you at Google?

I’ve had many Google “magic moments,” but the one that comes to mind was Googlers’ collective reaction to the travel ban earlier this year. Within days of the ban, Googlers organized a demonstration and showed up in full force, with messages of encouragement and enthusiasm during grim times. My team and I assembled a $4 million crisis fund to support key organizations that were leading the way in fighting injustice and intolerance. This moment reinforced in me the power of unity and comradery at Google, and within immigrant communities, who bring their best selves to this great country of ours.

As a Venezuelan-American that has benefited from ample opportunity, I am compelled to give back to my community. That’s why I’m so thankful of the opportunity I have at Google.org to invest in a better, most just, and more equitable world, for everyone.

Supporting new ideas in the fight against hate

Addressing the threat posed by violence and hate is a critical challenge for us all. Google has taken steps to tackle violent extremist content online—putting our best talent and technology to the task, and partnering with law enforcement agencies, civil society groups, and the wider technology industry. We can’t do it alone, but we’re making progress.

Our efforts to disrupt terrorists’ ability to use the Internet focus on three areas: leveraging technology, conducting and sharing research, and sharing best practices and encouraging affirmative efforts against dangerous radicalization. Today we’re announcing a new effort to build on that third pillar. Over the last year we’ve made $2 million in grants to nonprofits around the world seeking to empower and amplify counter-extremist voices. Today we’re expanding that effort and launching a $5 million Google.org innovation fund to counter hate and extremism. Over the next two years, this funding will support technology-driven solutions, as well as grassroots efforts like community youth projects that help build communities and promote resistance to radicalization.

We’re making our first grant from the fund to the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), an expert counter-extremist organization in the U.K. ISD will use our $1.3 million grant to help leaders from the U.K.’s technology, academic, and charity sectors develop projects to counter extremism. This will be the largest project of its kind outside of government and aims to produce innovative, effective and data-driven solutions that can undermine and overcome radicalization propaganda. We’ll provide an update in the coming months with more information on how to apply.

By funding experts like ISD, we hope to support sustainable solutions to extremism both online and offline. We don’t have all the answers, but we’re committed to playing our part. We’re looking forward to helping bring new ideas and technologies to life.

Continuing to support hurricane relief efforts

Update: In less than 24 hours, together we raised $2 million for Hurricane Irma relief and recovery. Thanks to your donations, we have met our goal. However, the crisis isn’t over. Your contributions can still provide critical relief to those in need. Although Google is no longer matching donations, please consider giving directly to these organizations. 

Hurricane Irma has impacted communities throughout the Caribbean and the southeastern United States. Hitting the Caribbean islands the hardest, Irma has left millions of people to rebuild in its wake.

Today, we’re kicking off a matching campaign to support relief and recovery efforts for this deadly storm, part of our overall $5 million hurricane relief effort this month.

Google.org will be matching up to $1 million in donations at https://www.google.org/irma-relief to support the Catholic Relief Service (CRS), UNICEF, and the American Red Cross (ARC).
Irma matching

Each of these organizations is providing critical relief and recovery resources to those in the affected regions:

  • Catholic Relief Services is responding to the most remote places across the Caribbean, fulfilling essential needs such as food, water and shelter.
  • UNICEF is on the ground supporting more than 2.8 million children, and their families, impacted across the Caribbean with emergency supplies and temporary education solutions.
  • American Red Cross is the leading nonprofit responder in the Southeastern United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, working diligently to shelter, feed and support families impacted by the storm. 
In the last two weeks, our total donations include $3 million donated directly by Google.org, as well as $2 million raised so far from Google employees and public donations, for relief efforts in the areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Crisis Response and SOS Alerts

Ensuring people have access to timely, official information in a time of crisis is crucial. To help, ahead of the storm, our Crisis Response team launched an SOS Alert in Search for the Caribbean, Florida and Georgia in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole. Now, as people across the region return to their homes and search for information about Hurricane Irma, or related searches, they’ll see:

  • Information on power outages
  • Emergency information contacts
  • Crisis maps in both English and Spanish, providing people with the local news, road closures, tweets, latest traffic and transit information, gas stations with crowdsourced fuel status, and post-Irma satellite and aerial imagery from partners NOAA and Digital Globe (e.g., Key West).
irma response - steph

We hope these features will help people stay safe and informed—and we’ll continue to update with relevant resources in the coming days.

Continuing to support hurricane relief efforts

Hurricane Irma has impacted communities throughout the Caribbean and the southeastern United States. Hitting the Caribbean islands the hardest, Irma has left millions of people to rebuild in its wake.

Today, we’re kicking off a matching campaign to support relief and recovery efforts for this deadly storm, part of our overall $5 million hurricane relief effort this month.

Google.org will be matching up to $1 million in donations at https://www.google.org/irma-relief to support the Catholic Relief Service (CRS), UNICEF, and the American Red Cross (ARC).

Each of these organizations is providing critical relief and recovery resources to those in the affected regions:

  • Catholic Relief Services is responding to the most remote places across the Caribbean, fulfilling essential needs such as food, water and shelter.
  • UNICEF is on the ground supporting more than 2.8 million children, and their families, impacted across the Caribbean with emergency supplies and temporary education solutions.
  • American Red Cross is the leading nonprofit responder in the Southeastern United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, working diligently to shelter, feed and support families impacted by the storm. 
In the last two weeks, our total donations include $3 million donated directly by Google.org, as well as $2 million raised so far from Google employees and public donations, for relief efforts in the areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Crisis Response and SOS Alerts

Ensuring people have access to timely, official information in a time of crisis is crucial. To help, ahead of the storm, our Crisis Response team launched an SOS Alert in Search for the Caribbean, Florida and Georgia in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole. Now, as people across the region return to their homes and search for information about Hurricane Irma, or related searches, they’ll see:

  • Information on power outages
  • Emergency information contacts
  • Crisis maps in both English and Spanish, providing people with the local news, road closures, tweets, latest traffic and transit information, gas stations with crowdsourced fuel status, and post-Irma satellite and aerial imagery from partners NOAA and Digital Globe (e.g., Key West).
irma response - steph

We hope these features will help people stay safe and informed—and we’ll continue to update with relevant resources in the coming days.

Celebrating International Literacy Day

UNESCO’s International Literacy Day is a moment to celebrate the magic of reading, and to find solutions that can help the more than 250 million children around the world who lack basic literacy skills. Many of these children are at risk of falling even further behind due to a lack of sufficient reading materials or access to environments that promote learning. For example, in the U.S., each year 43.2 books are published for every 100,000 people, while in India, a country with 22 official languages, that number is only 6.3.

Earlier this year, Google.org announced a $50 million commitment to support organizations that are using technology to increase literacy and close the global education gap. As part of this effort, Pratham Books received a grant to accelerate development of their StoryWeaver platform, which allows anyone to read, write and translate digital stories for free. These translations, as well as the original stories, are openly licensed, meaning they’re available for free for anyone to download, remix and distribute for use in the classroom and beyond.

Today marks StoryWeaver’s second birthday. When the platform launched in 2015 it featured 800 stories in 24 languages. Since receiving a grant from Google.org, StoryWeaver has grown dramatically to now have 4,600 stories in more than 90 languages and a global readership of 2 million. StoryWeaver also recently won the 2017 Library of Congress Literacy Award.

To celebrate International Literacy Day, during the month of September we’re mobilizing Googlers from Dublin to Singapore to Mountain View to volunteer to translate stories for young readers. Googlers speak more than 70 languages, so we’re hosting hour-long volunteer events (“translate-a-thons”) in our global offices, where Googlers can come together to translate books.

Googler participating in a StoryWeaver Translate-a-thon
Googler Mahmoud Ramadan participates in a StoryWeaver Translate-a-thon

Earlier this week, Googlers in our Dublin office—itself home to 65+ languages—kicked off our very first translate-a-thon. Xime Daud decided to translate “Gul in Space," a story about a young girl traveling to the International Space Station, from English into Spanish. Halfway across the world, a Singapore-based Googler, Marv Echipare, also translated “Gul in Space,” this time into Tagalog. Afterward, he said: “In the Philippines, there is a dichotomy between those who are well off and have access to books, and those on the other side, where you see small rural villages that hardly have access to anything. If technology can bring learning material like these books to them, that’d be great, and the first step is putting it in a language they understand.”

Have 20 minutes to spare? Consider authoring, translating, illustrating or reading a story on StoryWeaver!

Celebrating International Literacy Day

UNESCO’s International Literacy Day is a moment to celebrate the magic of reading, and to find solutions that can help the more than 250 million children around the world who lack basic literacy skills. Many of these children are at risk of falling even further behind due to a lack of sufficient reading materials or access to environments that promote learning. For example, in the U.S., each year 43.2 books are published for every 100,000 people, while in India, a country with 22 official languages, that number is only 6.3.

Earlier this year, Google.org announced a $50 million commitment to support organizations that are using technology to increase literacy and close the global education gap. As part of this effort, Pratham Books received a grant to accelerate development of their StoryWeaver platform, which allows anyone to read, write and translate digital stories for free. These translations, as well as the original stories, are openly licensed, meaning they’re available for free for anyone to download, remix and distribute for use in the classroom and beyond.

Today marks StoryWeaver’s second birthday. When the platform launched in 2015 it featured 800 stories in 24 languages. Since receiving a grant from Google.org, StoryWeaver has grown dramatically to now have 4,600 stories in more than 90 languages and a global readership of 2 million. StoryWeaver also recently won the 2017 Library of Congress Literacy Award.

To celebrate International Literacy Day, during the month of September we’re mobilizing Googlers from Dublin to Singapore to Mountain View to volunteer to translate stories for young readers. Googlers speak more than 70 languages, so we’re hosting hour-long volunteer events (“translate-a-thons”) in our global offices, where Googlers can come together to translate books.

Googler participating in a StoryWeaver Translate-a-thon
Googler Mahmoud Ramadan participates in a StoryWeaver Translate-a-thon

Earlier this week, Googlers in our Dublin office—itself home to 65+ languages—kicked off our very first translate-a-thon. Xime Daud decided to translate “Gul in Space," a story about a young girl traveling to the International Space Station, from English into Spanish. Halfway across the world, a Singapore-based Googler, Marv Echipare, also translated “Gul in Space,” this time into Tagalog. Afterward, he said: “In the Philippines, there is a dichotomy between those who are well off and have access to books, and those on the other side, where you see small rural villages that hardly have access to anything. If technology can bring learning material like these books to them, that’d be great, and the first step is putting it in a language they understand.”

Have 20 minutes to spare? Consider authoring, translating, illustrating or reading a story on StoryWeaver!

Celebrating International Literacy Day

UNESCO’s International Literacy Day is a moment to celebrate the magic of reading, and to find solutions that can help the more than 250 million children around the world who lack basic literacy skills. Many of these children are at risk of falling even further behind due to a lack of sufficient reading materials or access to environments that promote learning. For example, in the U.S., each year 43.2 books are published for every 100,000 people, while in India, a country with 22 official languages, that number is only 6.3.

Earlier this year, Google.org announced a $50 million commitment to support organizations that are using technology to increase literacy and close the global education gap. As part of this effort, Pratham Books received a grant to accelerate development of their StoryWeaver platform, which allows anyone to read, write and translate digital stories for free. These translations, as well as the original stories, are openly licensed, meaning they’re available for free for anyone to download, remix and distribute for use in the classroom and beyond.

Today marks StoryWeaver’s second birthday. When the platform launched in 2015 it featured 800 stories in 24 languages. Since receiving a grant from Google.org, StoryWeaver has grown dramatically to now have 4,600 stories in more than 90 languages and a global readership of 2 million. StoryWeaver also recently won the 2017 Library of Congress Literacy Award.

To celebrate International Literacy Day, during the month of September we’re mobilizing Googlers from Dublin to Singapore to Mountain View to volunteer to translate stories for young readers. Googlers speak more than 70 languages, so we’re hosting hour-long volunteer events (“translate-a-thons”) in our global offices, where Googlers can come together to translate books.

Googler participating in a StoryWeaver Translate-a-thon
Googler Mahmoud Ramadan participates in a StoryWeaver Translate-a-thon

Earlier this week, Googlers in our Dublin office—itself home to 65+ languages—kicked off our very first translate-a-thon. Xime Daud decided to translate “Gul in Space," a story about a young girl traveling to the International Space Station, from English into Spanish. Halfway across the world, a Singapore-based Googler, Marv Echipare, also translated “Gul in Space,” this time into Tagalog. Afterward, he said: “In the Philippines, there is a dichotomy between those who are well off and have access to books, and those on the other side, where you see small rural villages that hardly have access to anything. If technology can bring learning material like these books to them, that’d be great, and the first step is putting it in a language they understand.”

Have 20 minutes to spare? Consider authoring, translating, illustrating or reading a story on StoryWeaver!

Source: Education


Supporting flood relief efforts in South Asia

This summer, millions of people have been affected by severe flooding and landslides across Bangladesh, India, and Nepal. At least 1,200 people are known to have died, and tens of thousands of houses, schools, and hospitals have been destroyed, leaving people in urgent need of support during and after flood waters recede.
Today, we are committing $1 million from Google.org and Google employees to Goonj and Save the Children for their relief efforts in India and across South Asia.


Support for Save the Children and Goonj
Save the Children (SC) is responding to the floods in all three countries, with the aim of reaching a total of 160,000 people. Their efforts include providing food and livelihood support, temporary shelter materials for those most in need, hygiene items, and water source restoration. Children are often the most vulnerable in crises like these, and SC is also focused on setting up child-friendly spaces where children can gain access to educational materials and playtime, in a safe space away from the devastation.
Local NGO, Goonj, aims to reach 75,000 families across 9 affected states throughout rural India. Their relief efforts include providing families with basic needs kits that include food, mats, blankets, and hygiene items. In the long term, they aim to help rebuild and revive community structures like roads, bridges, and schools.
Save the Children - India Floods

SOS Alerts for South Asia Floods
Google’s Crisis Response team activated SOS Alerts for the flooding in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. These alerts include the latest news about the floods, an approximate map of the affected area, and local updates from Twitter and other resources.
These alerts are available on Search and Google Maps on mobile and desktop. The Crisis Response team will continue to monitor the floods throughout South Asia and provide additional information and alerts as the situation demands.
SOS Alerts - South Asia Flooding
Our thoughts are with the people of the region.


Posted by Rajan Anandan, Vice President, South East Asia and India

Supporting flood relief efforts in South Asia

This summer, millions of people have been affected by severe flooding and landslides across Bangladesh, India, and Nepal. At least 1,200 people are known to have died, and tens of thousands of houses, schools, and hospitals have been destroyed, leaving people in urgent need of support during and after flood waters recede.

Today, we are committing $1 million from Google.org and Google employees to Goonj and Save the Children for their relief efforts in India and across South Asia.

Support for Save the Children and Goonj

Save the Children (SC) is responding to the floods in all three countries, with the aim of reaching a total of 160,000 people. Their efforts include providing food and livelihood support, temporary shelter materials for those most in need, hygiene items, and water source restoration. Children are often the most vulnerable in crises like these, and SC is also focused on setting up child-friendly spaces where children can gain access to educational materials and playtime, in a safe space away from the devastation.

Local NGO, Goonj, aims to reach 75,000 families across 9 affected states throughout rural India. Their relief efforts include providing families with basic needs kits that include food, mats, blankets, and hygiene items. In the long term, they aim to help rebuild and revive community structures like roads, bridges, and schools.

Save the Children - India Floods

SOS Alerts for South Asia Floods

Google’s Crisis Response team activated SOS Alerts for the flooding in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. These alerts include the latest news about the floods, an approximate map of the affected area, and local updates from Twitter and other resources.

These alerts are available on Search and Google Maps on mobile and desktop. The Crisis Response team will continue to monitor the floods throughout South Asia and provide additional information and alerts as the situation demands.

SOS Alerts - South Asia Flooding

Our thoughts are with the people of the region.