Tag Archives: #digitalskills

Supporting local communities for Pride 2020

In August 1966, trans women, drag queens, and other members of the LGBTQ+ community fought for their rights and fair treatment outside Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood. Three years later on June 28, 1969, the LGBTQ+ community, once again, rose up against inequitable treatment and police misconduct at the Stonewall Inn. For both of these historic moments, LGBTQ+ people of colour—and in particular Black trans women and trans women of colour—helped lead the fight against hate and injustice. In many respects, the modern day LGBTQ+ movement for equality was born from these rebellious acts and the many events preceding them.

Pride should still be a protest. For those within the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ community—especially Black+ trans women—the injustices we're seeing today are a reminder of past and present struggles for equity, justice, and equality under the law. We believe communities must show up for one another, and we stand in solidarity with the Black+ community across the world, honoring the longstanding Pride tradition of unity.

This year for Pride, we’re focusing on helping local organizations in our community that are creating change for LGBTQ+ people of colour, trans and non-binary communities, LGBTQ+ families, and many more.

Supporting local organizations

Local LGBTQ+ organizations are providing critical services for those in need, whether they're helping someone find a bed in a shelter, offering skills and training services, or advocating for more inclusive and equitable policies. Lives depend on these organizations.

One of these organizations is Pride Toronto. Founded in 1981, Pride Toronto has a legacy of purposeful activism for eqality and sharing the diverse stories and perspectives of the LGBTQ+ community. This year, we’re proud to be a Gold sponsor for Pride Toronto and support their work to bring the annual pride celebrations online. The diverse programming has everything from trivia, workouts with olympians, club nights, and an online Pride parade on June 28.

Digital skills training for local businesses

To support LGBTQ+ small businesses and professionals, we’re partnering with Venture Out and Tech Proud on Digital Skills Pride Week from June 22 - 26. In collaboration with other tech companies, we’ll host sessions for small businesses around maintaining productivity, best practices for remote working, creating a website, and building an online presence. Businesses can learn more and register here.

Together, virtually

This year, Pride will feel different for many of us. We’re finding ways to bring people together virtually, including a toolkit that helps organizations host remote Pride events.

We’ve also launched a collection of videos on our YouTube Canada channel to elevate LGBTQ+ voices and share historic Canadian civil rights moments. Dive into interviews from The Queer Network, and listen to personal stories from a collection of Canadian creators, including Julie Vu, GigiGorgeous and AsapSCIENCE.

While Pride is usually marked by jubilant marches and beautiful parade floats, it’s much more than that. For us, Pride is about the ongoing struggle for equity, visibility, and acceptance. We’ll be spending Pride as allies to our the Black+ community members, reflecting on the many LGBTQ+ people of colour who started our liberation movement decades ago, and finding ways to remedy systemic injustices.

Grow with Google provides opportunity for all Canadians

At Google, we are technology optimists. Not because we believe in technology, but because we believe in people. When people have access to technology, they have access to information, education and opportunity, and they are capable of achieving great things.

Last week, we released an Economic Impact Report showcasing the value of the open web for Canadian businesses. The report highlights businesses of all shapes and sizes across the country who are experiencing incredible growth thanks to the tools and reach available on the web. These inspiring stories all start with opportunity.

In order to provide that same opportunity for every Canadian, we need to begin with access. Access to the open web, access to digital education, and access to the digital skills needed to grow a business or work in the technology driven economy of tomorrow. Technology is an incredible platform for growth, but we need to provide all Canadians with the skills needed to use it and take it further.

In April, we announced a one million dollar grant in collaboration with MaRS to develop the Employment Pathway Platform, a data driven job opportunity and career guidance tool that is aimed at helping people make the right career transitions as the nature of work shifts alongside technology. We also launched Google For Jobs in Canada, a tool within Google Search that lets Canadians search for jobs that are accurate, relevant and personalized based on search queries.

Today we’re furthering our commitment to helping Canadians prepare for the future of work by launching Grow with Google, an initiative to help Canadians acquire the digital skills they need to grow their business or get a job. As part of that initiative, we’re announcing two million dollars in grants to ensure that our efforts reach Canadians in every community, big and small.

First, we’re partnering with Canada Learning Code to provide Canadians with free tools and training to advance their skills, grow their business or get a job. Through our partnership with CLC, individuals across the country will have access to our Applied Digital Skills Program. The video-based curriculum teaches learners about the basics of working with technology today: everything from spreadsheets to email is covered and available in guided, bite-sized lessons. To make sure those lessons are available to all Canadians, the entire Applied Digital Skills Training Program is offered in both French and English.

And for those looking to explore a career in technology, we’re bringing our Professional IT Support Certification Program to Canada. Developed by Google and hosted on Coursera, this program helps turn beginners into job candidates in just eight months - no experience or degree required. Completing the program is the first step, but we’re also be supporting learners in the next step - the job search. We’ve partnered with leading Canadian companies, like Walmart and RBC, and of course Google Canada, to get graduates information into the hands of HR departments. With over 64 hours of video lessons, hands-on labs and interactive assessments, our IT Support Professional Certificate is the perfect transition for adults looking to reskill and kickstart a new career in technology.

Finally, we’re bringing Grow with Google to a town near you. Googlers are teaming up with libraries and community organizations across the country to bring digital skills training to you. The free events will provide small business owners, entrepreneurs and job seekers with the skills they need to grow. We’ll host hands-on workshops, one-on-one training sessions, and demo stations staffed by Google volunteers. Our first stop is Surrey, British Columbia this Friday, September 21st. Find out where we’re headed next and secure your spot today by visiting our online hub - g.co/GrowCanada.

We hope that by making our resources available to every Canadian online, by supporting organizations committed to expanding access to digital education, and by bringing our training across the country, we will help individuals grow. Because when one has access to opportunity, they can achieve incredible things. There is one business in particular that really demonstrates the power of the web and the opportunity that lies within it.

Two years ago, the Hadhad family moved to Canada after fleeing their home in Damascus, Syria. They lost everything, including their business, a chocolate factory that had been in the family for 30 years. New beginnings can be hard, but the community of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, together with the opportunity provided by the web, the Hadhad family rebuilt their life and business in Canada. With digital tools like Google Search, YouTube and Google My Business, the Hadhad family launched a new chocolate business, Peace by Chocolate, that reaches customers far beyond Canada. In fact, 65% of their web traffic comes from outside of Canada. Today, Peace by Chocolate sells their product to over 400 vendors across Canada and produces over 1.5 million pieces of chocolate a year.

I’m optimistic about the future of work in Canada. We’ve seen firsthand how access to digital skills and opportunity can transform people’s businesses, careers and lives. Like the Hadhad family, we can open a new door by rebuilding our skill set and reaching new heights. With technology, anything is possible.

Sabrina Geremia, Managing Director, Google Canada