Author Archives: Jacquelline Fuller

A Matter of Impact: November updates from Google.org

COP26 wrapped up last week, and world leaders and industry experts headed home with commitments made to work together to further reduce emissions. You can learn more about Google’s commitments in this blog post.

Even for climate negotiators, transparent and trustworthy data around emissions can be hard to come by. Historically, there has been a limited push to build the kind of data sets and models needed to create a shared fact base for everyone. So we asked ourselves: How can we help advocates, citizens, governments and businesses take action on climate, faster?

We believe philanthropic dollars can play a critical role in creating important public goods, like transparent data sets and accessible digital tools, that might not otherwise exist. The world urgently needs a solid foundation of data and tools to monitor and verify our progress to make better decisions. That’s why much of our sustainability-related philanthropy is now focused on funding the creation and organization of data and the tools to make this data easily usable.

Three of our grantees launched tools around COP26 that are examples of this in action. Climate TRACE, the world’s first independent, comprehensive, near-real time greenhouse gas (GHG) monitoring platform uses large-scale data and AI models to provide neutral, accurate data for everyone. On the small business side, the work of Normative is hugely promising. They’re building out emissions estimates for SMBs and helping companies automatically compile detailed carbon reports so that they have actionable data to make better decisions around reducing their footprint. And for consumers, there’s Open Food Facts, an open-access food products database where users can see the eco-score of food products with a simple scan of the barcode from a mobile device.

We’re proud to support these organizations and look forward to more opportunities to combine philanthropic funding with technology to help everyone take action on climate change.

In case you missed it 

Here’s recent progress our grantees have made to close these data gaps.

  • BlueConduit is mapping out lead pipes across the U.S, for remediation.
  • Open Food Facts expanded to 50 countries — you’ll hear more on that from their co-founder Pierre Slamich below.
  • Normative debuted their Industry CO2 Insights carbon emissions accounting engine for small businesses at COP26.
  • Restor launched an open data platform built on Google Earth Engine that allows anyone to select an area around the world and analyze its restoration potential.
  • Dark Matter Labs launched their first version of TreesAI (Trees As Infrastructure), an open source platform to make it easy to map, monitor and forecast ecosystem services. The tool helps local authorities attract funds to develop and maintain urban nature-focused tools to fight climate change.
  • Climate TRACE, supported by $8 million in funding from Google.org and a team of Google.org Fellows, talked about their emissions tracking project in this video.

Hear from one of our grantees: Open Food Facts

Pierre Slamich is the co-founder of Open Food Facts, a collaborative effort to create a worldwide database of food products, thanks to mobile apps that also empower citizens to make more informed food choices. Last spring, Open Food Facts received a $1.3 million Google.org grant and support from a team of 11 Google.org Fellows.

A few words with a Google.org Fellow: Astrid Weber

Astrid Weber is a UX Manager on the Google Assistant team and currently working with Normative for a six month Fellowship.

34 organizations lifting up women and girls around the world

"Our program trains and lifts women who never thought they could rise," says Mariel Reyes Milk. Mariel is the CEO of Reprograma, which teaches computer programming to Black and transgender women in Brazil. Reprograma is one of the 34 organizations receiving funding and additional support from the Google.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls. Though the mission of each organization is unique, they share a common goal to create economic opportunities that lift up women and girls around the world.

In March, recognizing that COVID-19 was quickly widening the gender equity gap, Google.org put out a $25 million call for project proposals to economically empower women and girls. The response was greater than we have seen for any other Google.org Impact Challenge, with 7,800 applications coming in from more than 160 countries.

With the help of anall star panel of female experts and our Impact Challenge partners, Vital Voices and Project Everyone, we narrowed the field to 34. Their solutions help women and girls, especially those from geographically, economically or socially marginalized populations, reach their full economic potential, and in doing so, strengthen the well-being of entire communities.

Moving forward, recipients will participate in a four-month Google accelerator program led by our Women Techmaker community and supported by Vital Voices. Select organizations will also receive a Google.org Fellowship and donated ads to promote their mission.

You can learn more about our selected organizations on our Impact Challenge website. I am so thrilled Google.org is supporting these organizations in their work to improve the lives of women and girls around the world. The organizations are pretty excited, too.

A new path to jobs for our military community

Dissatisfied with her job in retail, U.S. Marine Corps veteran Amie Hanbury enrolled in the Google Career Certificate program on Coursera to learn job-ready skills that could help her start a new career in IT support. The flexible online training allowed Amie to learn while maintaining her full-time job. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, her retail store closed to customers, leaving her with less to do while at work, but more time to study. As she worked through the curriculum, she learned new skills, her confidence grew and soon she was applying for jobs in IT. Today, Amie is a Google Career Certificate graduate and works as a lead field technician; she says she couldn’t be happier with her new career.

Amie’s story is just one example of how Google is helping make progress in expanding opportunity for the military community, and one that inspires me personally. As the proud daughter of a 20-year Army veteran, I’m honored to announce Google.org will provide $20 million in grant funding and in-kind product donations to support economic empowerment for veterans and the military community. This includes a $10 million cash grant to Hiring Our Heroes to launch the Career Forward program. The initiative will provide 8,000 veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses with the skills and career support they need to get great jobs through free access to the Google Career Certificates.

The certificates are portable, industry-recognized credentials that prepare people for in-demand, entry-level jobs and allow certificate graduates to work in high-growth career fields across state and international boundaries — no degree or relevant experience required. The certificates are also flexible, so learners can study on their own time, and they have a track record of advancing economic mobility — 82% of graduates report a positive career impact within six months of completion, such as a raise, promotion or new job.

The cash grant will also enable Hiring Our Heroes to provide job search support, like interview prep and career workshops, to help learners succeed. They’ll assist in placing certificate graduates in 12-week paid job training fellowships at one of more than 400 employers in the Hiring Our Heroes network. After training, graduates can connect with employers like Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte, Freedom Learning Group, Verizon, Molecula and of course, Google. These companies are just a few of the more than 150 members of ouremployer consortium committed to hiring and reskilling veterans and military spouses.

Google.org will also donate $10 million in Ad Grants to veteran serving organizations — including Hiring Our Heroes, Code Platoon, Black Veterans Project and Minority Veterans of America — to help them connect with veterans and their families who are searching for their services on Google. To help ensure as many people as possible have access to resources for the military community, we’re also working with partners that serve our military community at the local and national levels. For example, the Department of Labor’s Transition Employment Assistance for Military Spouses (TEAMS) resource guide now includes information about the Google Career Certificates and links to our updated Military Spouse Career Roadmap, developed in partnership with Hiring Our Heroes, which provides helpful tools for military spouses as they forge ahead on new career paths.

To support transitioning service members as they make their moves to civilian life, our own Google Veterans Network (VetNet) — a community of veteran, military spouse and civilian ally Google employees — will volunteer with Hiring Our Heroes over the next year to host free workshops for thousands of service members. During these workshops, VetNet Googlers plan to provide career advice, resume support and job search training.

Today’s news builds on our longstanding commitment to increase economic opportunity in the military community. We've created Search capabilities to make it easier for veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses to find relevant job opportunities on Google. We also became an official partner of the Department of Defense Military Spouse Employment Partnership, and announced five days of paid leave for military spouses every time their service member receives orders.

Our hope is that increased access to portable career credentials and employment opportunities can ease some of the challenges our military community faces in reaching economic mobility. Visit our online hub to learn more about our free tools and resources for the military community.

A Matter of Impact: October updates from Google.org

Note: For this edition, Jacquelline Fuller is passing the pen to her colleague Hector Mujica, who leads our Economic Opportunity work, to share more about how we approach skill building and recent support from Google.org to honor Hispanic Heritage Month.

One of our goals is to help people — especially those without college degrees — gain the skills they need to pursue in-demand, higher-paying careers. This is a topic that is deeply personal to me, as a Latino in tech, and that is important to Google, as a company that strives to create greater equity and access to opportunity — particularly for underserved communities.

We know that 80% of middle-class jobs in the U.S. require a strong knowledge of digital skills, and that these jobs often pay better. That’s why we partner with nonprofit organizations to help them bring digital skilling solutions to historically underserved and excluded people, like the Latino community. We support organizations like the Hispanic Federation and Per Scholas to use solutions, like the Google Career Certificate and other digital skill training programs, that help job seekers gain the right skills to land jobs in the digital economy. These organizations provide not only training, but also the wraparound support needed to make sure participants can access jobs and success at them.

There’s not a single solution to tackle these economic challenges. In an effort to advance the dialog and create fulfilling opportunities for all, we’re also supporting research to unpack how to best support Latino digital inclusion in the workforce with organizations like [email protected] and Aspen Institute’s Latino and Society Program.

In case you missed it 

To mark Hispanic Heritage Month (which runs September 15-October 15), we’re announcing a $1M grant to the Latino Community Foundation’s Latino Entrepreneur Fund to support Latino micro-entrepreneurs across rural and urban communities in California; and donating $1M+ in ads to participants in a new Latino Founders Fund, helping them reach new audiences and address funding inequities. We’re also supporting Latinos searching for jobs: we announced a $1 million reinvestment in the Hispanic Federation.

Hear from one of our grantees: Hispanic Federation

Frankie Miranda is the President and CEO of the Hispanic Federation. Their mission is to empower the Latino community by increasing the capacity of Latino-led and Latino-serving community-based organizations (CBOs) with funding, technical assistance and a resource sharing network.

A few words with a Google.org Fellow: Rosalva Gallardo

Rosalva Gallardo is a Program Manager for Google Shopping.

A Matter of Impact: September updates from Google.org

Jacquelline’s Corner

The pandemic laid bare existing inequalities across gender, race, class and country lines. And at the same time, other disasters — like hurricanes, wildfires and earthquakes — continue to affect people globally and strain already tight resources. To have the greatest impact, we rely on strong relationships with nonprofit organizations around the world that are working on disaster preparedness, relief and recovery — like the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and GiveDirectly, that you’ll hear more about below. We learn about their needs and search for where our philanthropic capital — coupled with technology, data and an eye toward equity — can help make the biggest difference.

But we’re also asking ourselves this: what if cities and organizations could predict disasters and be better prepared with resources before they even happen? With a changing climate, we know there’s more to do in advance of crises to mitigate loss of lives and livelihoods. That’s why we’re betting more and more on the role that technologies like AI and machine learning can play in generating the data we need to be better informed and prepared ahead of disasters.

Last year, our grantees provided 6.9 million people around the world with crisis relief support and resources for long term recovery. An additional 2.8 million people were better prepared with resources and supplies, and nearly three-quarters of our grantees are developing tools to improve the availability of information during a crisis. Together, we can ensure that those who are most vulnerable during a crisis are more protected — before, during and after it hits.

In case you missed it 

Kent Walker, Google SVP for Global Affairs, recently announced a $1.5M grant to The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affair’s (UN OCHA) Centre for Humanitarian Data. The grant will go toward supporting their “Anticipatory Action” work that focuses on developing forecasting models to anticipate humanitarian crises and trigger earlier, smarter action before conditions worsen.

Hear from one of our grantees: Center for Disaster Philanthropy

Regine A. Webster is the founding executive director and vice president of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP), an organization that seeks to strengthen the ability of communities to withstand disasters and recover equitably when they occur. Since 2010, CDP has provided donors with timely and effective strategies to increase their disaster giving impact, and they work to amp up philanthropy’s game when it comes to disaster and humanitarian assistance giving.

A woman with a short bob haircut smiling at the camera.

Regine A. Webster, founding executive director and vice president of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP).

“In 2020 alone, with support from Google.org and other donors, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) awarded $29.9 million to 173 organizations. These grants helped communities in 50 countries, including the entire United States and its territories, respond to COVID-19, hurricanes, typhoons, wildfires, flooding, earthquake, complex humanitarian emergencies and other disasters. The partnership we have with Google.org allows CDP to implement what we know to be effective disaster grantmaking around the globe. Perhaps more importantly though, philanthropic funding from Google.org and Googlers gives our expert team the freedom to test the way that race and power play themselves out in the disaster recovery context as we award grants to historically marginalized populations. We can test our assumptions on how to direct dollars to lift up Black, Indigenous and other communities of color and the organizations that serve them even in the face of disaster adversity, and how to work with disaster-serving organizations worldwide. We seek to inform the future of disaster philanthropy.”

A few words with a Google.org Fellow: GiveDirectly

Growing up in a family of community advocates, I developed both a strong sense of social justice and an interest in using my skills for the community. This made me excited to work with GiveDirectly for my Google.org Fellowship. GiveDirectly gives no-strings-attached cash to its recipients, empowering people to improve their lives.

A man standing in front of greenery, smiling at the camera.

Janak Ramakrishnan, is a software engineer and Google.org Fellow .

“The fellowship focused on expanding GiveDirectly’s work into a new sector: Americans affected by hurricanes. With climate change, hurricanes are becoming deadlier and more frequent. In their aftermath, aid organizations struggle to get help to affected areas; cash aid can be a great option in those cases. We worked with GiveDirectly to use Google’s expertise in big data and mapping, like Google Earth Engine, on this problem. Our project helped GiveDirectly quickly identify the most affected people right after a disaster hits, when every hour counts.”

How life’s twists helped Lisa Mensah find her passion

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of interviews between expert panelists for the Google.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls. 


Lisa Mensah works to make sure business owners who “don’t get a fair shake” can get the capital they need to grow. She’s the president and CEO of the Opportunity Finance Network(OFN), which provides capital, advocacy, and capacity building to community development financial institutions (CDFIs). Driven by a mission to serve rural, urban and Native communities underserved by mainstream finance, CDFIs lend to small businesses and community developers who build thriving communities. 


Lisa brings her experience working at the crux of finance and advocacy to the Google.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls. As one of our expert panelists, she helps us decide what organizations will receive funding from Google.org to help women and girls reach their full economic potential. I recently sat down with her to learn more about her path to OFN and why supporting women-led businesses is crucial. 


What got you started on your path? 

I’m from a bi-racial, bi-cultural family, and lived in Ghana as a young kid. I always thought I would do something in international relations. 


While I was getting my master’s degree, I was most interested in helping refugees and women in developing countries. But I felt I was missing out on powerful conversations — often led by men — on how nations develop. These conversations were frequently about money. So, my path pointed me to the financial industry, where I could be involved in strategic decision-making that would ultimately affect issues surrounding women. 


I began my career in commercial banking at Citibank. From there I moved to the Ford Foundation where I used my banking knowledge to help the Foundation build its program in microfinance and development finance. That’s where I fell in love with CDFIs, and I’ve worked with them ever since. Life’s twists pointed me to my true north, which is a combination of finance and advocating for change for people in poverty. 


What sparked your interest in inclusion for women in finance?

From an early time, I was interested in the economy at the grassroots. That’s usually the economy that women inhabit. I wanted to understand: Who is really feeding everyone? Who is keeping kids healthy? Who is providing income to families? Women across the world, often in informal employment, were leading this.

Poverty in the U.S. is a phenomenon that is quite gendered, often women-led households are lower income. By getting involved in development finance, I was able to see who controls the money and found that women-led enterprises and activities were being left out. 


How have CDFIs been transformative for female-led businesses?

Female and minority entrepreneurs have a harder time accessing affordable bank financing than their male counterparts. This is where CDFIs shine: where others see risk, we see opportunity. CDFIs take time to understand our clients and tailor products for them. This played out again and again during the pandemic when CDFIs provided great relief to women-owned small businesses.

Why did you get involved with the Google.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls?

The Google.org Impact Challenge will surface leaders that are flying under the radar in their countries and areas of work. We'll resource them to operate at a new level, like a venture capitalist finding the next big company. There aren’t enough philanthropic dollars for all the ideas that are out there in the world, but Google.org’s intention is to find efforts that are benefitting women and girls and support them at scale. That’s powerful, and I’m really pleased to be a part of it. 


Pretend you have a megaphone to reach every little girl around the world. What’s your message for them?

Your dreams are yours and they are real. They’re in you for a reason. You’ve got your contribution to make to this world — don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. And even if your path changes, like mine did, you’ll find your way. Along your journey, look for your cheerleaders and helpers — find the people who believe in you and will support you in your dreams and ambitions.

More from this Collection

The Google.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls

Learn more about the Google.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls, and the 29-woman expert panel who is supporting the effort.

View all 5 articles

A Matter of Impact: August updates from Google.org

Jacquelline’s Corner

It’s back to school season again, and the pandemic continues to affect teachers, families and students — especially those already lacking educational resources. Despite the challenges and unknowns, nonprofits working in education continue to push forward and innovate to support learning. It’s clear that the ability to pivot is a common strength necessary for these times, and as funders and supporters we must ensure organizations have the space to adapt priorities and meet learners where they are. 

Over the course of the pandemic, through our Distance Learning Fund, we’ve supported organizations — like INCO and TalkingPoints which you’ll read more about below — that pivoted to provide training and support to teachers learning how to educate remotely, delivered high-quality digital learning opportunities for students, and also created the resources needed to keep learning happening in an equitable way.

In the face of ongoing and overlapping challenges — the pandemic, climate change, racial injustices — I’m continually inspired by the new approaches that our grantees like these, and others, take to help the world’s young learners as they enter another year of education. 


In case you missed it 

Our hearts go out to all those affected by the crisis in Afghanistan. To help, Google and Googlers are providing more than $4M in support to organizations on the front lines aiding those who are particularly impacted — women, refugees and journalists. 


Hear from one of our grantees: INCO

Hei-Yue Pang is the APAC Lead at INCO, a global organization working to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy through forward-looking education and support to entrepreneurs.

With millions of children across the world kept out of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic, INCO launched the INCO Education Accelerator in April 2020 — with the support of a $2.5M grant from Google.org and our Distance Learning Fund. The accelerator supports education nonprofits across Europe and Asia and creates equitable access to education for children, especially those from under-resourced families. With technical assistance from distance learning experts and Google volunteers, the nonprofits multiplied their impact and collectively provided uninterrupted access to education for over 360,000 students — nearly 28 times more students than before their accelerator program. 

Photo of woman in black clothes and a necklace sitting against a bright yellow back drop.

Hei-Yue Pang is the APAC Lead at INCO. 

“Implementing this intensive program across 9 different countries reinforced our belief that the benefits of distance learning extend beyond a stop-gap solution during the pandemic. When it comes to uncovering distance learning opportunities, understanding the needs of students, families and educators is crucial. For example, one of our partners in Indonesia learned through research that parent engagement was key to successfully onboarding learners in remote areas. They tweaked their e-learning platform features to be more parent-oriented, which resulted in higher learner engagement rates. Ultimately, not only did we provide an emergency response program, but we also empowered grantees to become more resilient for the future of education.”

A few words with a Google.org Fellow: TalkingPoints

Fiona Yeung is UX Designer at Google who is participating in a Google.org Fellowship with TalkingPoints, an AI-powered multilingual platform that helps teachers and families stay connected via text message and an easy-to-use-mobile app.

Woman with long hair smiling in front of a gallery wall.

Fiona Yeung, a Google UX Designer and Google.org Fellow. 


"As a first-generation Canadian with Asian parents, I grew up speaking Chinese at home and English in school. And although I’ve become somewhat of a language fanatic — learning Japanese and French in addition to Cantonese, Mandarin and English — I strongly empathize with families who regularly face challenges due to language and cultural barriers. That’s why I found TalkingPoints’ mission to connect teachers and families across languages and socioeconomic divides so compelling.

Working with TalkingPoints full time reminded me that giving back even a relatively small time can create enormous impact when your team is driving toward a shared mission that is empowering and rewarding. Last spring, at the height of the pandemic, the volume of communication on TalkingPoints multiplied by 20 — ballooning to more than 100M messages exchanged, approximately half of which were in languages other than English."

A Matter of Impact: July updates from Google.org

Unlike other forms of funding, philanthropy is in a position to take risky, long-term bets on solutions to society’s biggest challenges. Government funding generally needs to show taxpayers that money is going to proven solutions, and private investors tend to operate on short timelines and have to make financial returns. That’s why some call philanthropy “society’s risk capital’; it can put impact first and be patient about the results. 

Google has a big appetite for risky bets, or, as we call them, “moonshots.” This approach has led to some of our biggest successes — from search to self-driving cars to translation. And, of course, some failures along the way. We’ve tried to take the same approach at Google.org,  looking for places where we can direct risk capital toward big problems, often by helping organizations capture the potential of new technologies like artificial intelligence.  

Through our Google.org Impact Challenges, for example, we invite social innovators of any size to give us their best ideas for transformative impact and we make sizable contributions of time and money to help them grow. Some of these bets have gone on to become the largest and fastest-growing nonprofit organizations in the world, like Give Directly, Khan Academy, and Equal Justice Initiative. And some have even failed. But through the success and failures, we’ve learned a lot:


  • There’s a place for risk and a place for sure bets: In our early days nearly everything we funded was in this category of risk capital, which made it tough to have steady, reliable impact or manage multi-year programs. We’ve shifted to a portfolio approach, carving out space for true risk capital and supporting immediate needs such as housing, food, and clean water. 

  • Bet on the team and roll with the punches:Even good ideas fail, but a strong team will roll with the punches and continue iterating to find success. By establishing shared outcome goals in partnership with amazing people, we’ve been able to achieve great results — even when the initial idea foundered.

  • Invest in what you know:For us, that expertise often involves technology, which is why so many of our best examples have technology at their core.

  • Give adequate and flexible resources:Too often projects fail because they’re under-funded or funders too constrained in their use of money to make changes when a project takes an unexpected turn. Multi-year, general operating support is generally the right move with risky bets, and we aim to be generous in our support of both time and resources. 

For a perspective from the other side, read on for how some of our Google Impact Challenge grantees were able to have outsized impact after we bet on them at ‘risky’ stages of their development. 

In case you missed it 

Speaking of Impact Challenges, we recently unveiled the 13 grantee organizations for the Google.org Impact Challenge Central and Eastern Europe. Funding recipients include a group working to create opportunities for people who are Deaf or hearing impaired, an organization running science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics (STEAM) courses for children in foster care, and a team creating coding courses for LGBTQ+ people in Lithuania.

Hear from one of our grantees: TalkingPoints

Heejae Lim, Founder and CEO of TalkingPoints.

Heejae Lim, Founder and CEO of TalkingPoints.

Heejae Lim is the Founder and CEO of TalkingPoints, an AI-powered multilingual platform that helps teachers and families stay connected via text message and an easy-to-use-mobile app. TalkingPoints received a $1.5 million Google AI Impact Challenge grant and support from Google.org Fellows in 2019 to help grow.  The support came at just the right time. Due to COVID-19, school closures and distance learning rapidly accelerated demand for TalkingPoints. They went from serving 500,000 teachers, families and students to the more than three million people they reach today.


“As an edtech nonprofit, TalkingPoints draws on research-based practices and invests in high-impact initiatives that may require a lot of resources and time. For example, maintaining high-quality, two-way translation in 100+ languages requires a significant and sustained level of investment. With support from the Google.org Impact Challenge and a team of Google.org Fellows, TalkingPoints has made strides in our ability to leverage AI technologies to support effective communication and stronger family-school partnerships among multilingual communities across the country. Just last year, we achieved 100 million messages exchanged on TalkingPoints, and the messages translated represented 99.8% of languages other than English spoken in the U.S. Now, we’re growing to help tens of millions of teachers and families successfully eliminate common barriers to supporting children's learning including language, time and more. We would not be able to achieve this level of reach and success without partners like Google.org taking the risk to invest.”

A few words with a Google.org Fellow: Open Food Facts

Mélanie Gancel, a Google.org Fellow with Open Food Facts..

Mélanie Gancel, a Google.org Fellow with Open Food Facts.

Mélanie Gancel is a product marketing manager at Google who participated in a Google.org Fellowship with Open Food Facts, a food product database that lists ingredients, allergens, nutritional composition, and all of the information on food labels. 

“I was born and raised in Paris in an urban environment, but have always felt a deep attachment to nature and desire to protect the environment. I’m always on the lookout for ways to align my job as a Product Marketing Manager on the Search team to work that will help people make more sustainable choices. So when I heard about the Google.org Fellowship with Open Food Facts, a recent grantee from the Google.org Impact Challenge on Climate, I was immediately on board. During my time with Open Food Facts, I’ve learned uncertainty around food choices is one of the main barriers to living more sustainably and that food accounts for more than a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. We’re helping them build an app that will give consumers a simple food eco-score to understand the environmental footprint of grocery store goods and make informed choices about how purchases affect the sustainability of the world around us.”

A Matter of Impact: June updates from Google.org

This week we wrapped up Pride Month, and while events looked a little different than usual, I was happy to still take part in virtual celebrations at Google and in my community. For me, Pride represents a time to celebrate progress, and also reflect on how much work is left to be done. 

Like it has for so many marginalized groups, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a distinct impact on LGBTQ+ people. Research from The Trevor Project and BeLonG To,  both Google.org grantees, shows that LGBTQ+ youth are experiencing more isolation, anxiety and loneliness than their straight and cisgender peers. A March 2021 poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation adds that LGBTQ+ adults have lost jobs and experienced mental health impacts at higher rates. And OutRight Action International found that these communities have been excluded from humanitarian interventions because of narrow definitions of family, binary gender classifications, biased staff and more.

That’s why, for Pride this year, our support was focused on inclusive recovery from COVID-19. In this month’s digest, we highlight these efforts that range from a new fund to help LGBTQ+ people in over 60 countries access basic resources to ongoing support for the Trevor Project’s use of AI to help with crisis intervention. 

Of course, work for LGBTQ+ equality and inclusion doesn’t start and end with Pride month, and we will continue to support those who advocate for LGBTQ+ rights year round and across the world.


In case you missed it 

As part of our cross-company celebration of Pride Month, Google.org granted $2 million to OutRight Action International’s “Covid-19 Global LGBTIQ Emergency Fund,” to help provide resources like food, shelter and job training to those in need. To further support advocacy for LGBTQ+ human rights globally and share critical community resources, we also provided $1 million each in Ad Grants to OutRight Action and the Transgender Law Center and the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund

Hear from one of our grantees: Marsha P. Johnson Institute 

Elle Moxley is the founder and executive director of the Marsha P. Johnson Institute

Elle Moxley is the founder and executive director of the Marsha P. Johnson Institute.

Elle Moxley is the founder and executive director of the Marsha P. Johnson Institute (MPJI), an organization inspired by the famous activist, self-identified drag queen, performer and survivor. MPJI protects and defends the human rights of Black transgender people by organizing, advocating and creating an intentional community to heal, develop transformative leadership and promote their collective power.

“Last year, we created a Marsha P. Johnson Institute COVID-19 Relief Fund that received strong support from Google.org in the form of a $500,000 grant. The funding helped us provide one-time direct relief payments of $500 to BLACK transgender or non-binary identified people, furthering The Institute’s mission to support those most beyond the margins. Thousands of BLACK LGBTQ+ people from across the U.S. applied for the grant program and recipients spanned 40 U.S. states and also included Columbia, Puerto Rico and Mali.We’re so proud to be able to offer our own stimulus check, if you will, to BLACK transgender people from around the country. By the end of last year, we were able to donate over $250,000 to more than 500 individuals.”

A few words with a Google.org Fellow: The Trevor Project

Riley Wong is a machine learning engineer at Google. They recently completed their Google.org Fellowship with The Trevor Project.

Riley Wong is a machine learning engineer at Google. They recently completed their Google.org Fellowship with The Trevor Project.

"As a mental health advocate and community organizer for queer and trans people of color, working with The Trevor Project was an excellent opportunity to apply my background in machine learning, natural language processing, and language generation to benefit a community I care deeply about. Many queer and trans youth, especially those who are Black and/or trans-feminine, face unique challenges with accessing mental healthcare and support. Especially in the face of COVID-19, a lack of safe and stable home environments can exacerbate the need for crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for our communities. Collaborating with The Trevor Project and other Google.org Fellows was an extremely rewarding experience." 


Read more about the project in this article from MIT Technology Review.

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: 

  1. Responding to the immediate need. In this case,  providing critical supplies — like rapid testing, protective equipment, and oxygen — to bend the COVID-19 curve. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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 Joy Lyles, Head of Equity & Impact at DonorsChoose

Kristina Joy Lyles,  Head of Equity & Impact at 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, a Google.org Fellow with the City of Detroit

Gabriel Doss, a Google.org Fellow with the City of Detroit

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.