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Google charitable arm to give $11.5 million for racial justice

The search giant's Google.org program says it will double its investment in such programs with new grants.

A sign at Google headquarters in Mountain View. Google.org, the company's charitable arm, announced Thursday it would increase grants given to racial justice causes.
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Google.org will invest $11.5 million in grants to racial justice organizations in the US, the search giant's charitable arm said Thursday.

This more than doubles previous grants the organization gave to similar efforts since 2015, wrote Justin Steele, principal of Google.org, in a blog post.

"The goal of these efforts is a society where everyone, regardless of race, is ensured an equal outcome under the law," Steele wrote.

The announcement comes as tech companies are under pressure to show commitment to increasing diversity in their own ranks, and at a time of heightened concern over law enforcement relations with minority communities throughout the country. Technology platforms like Facebook Live and Twitter have catalyzed the spread of viral videos of police shootings and protests and spurred national debates over police use of force.

The largest of Google.org's newly announced grants is to go to the Center for Policing Equity. The organization will receive $5 million for its efforts to bring data science to understanding police behavior and bias.

"CPE's National Justice Database is the first in the nation to track national statistics on police behavior, including stops and use of force, and standardizes data collection across many of the country's police departments," Steele wrote.

Google engineers will also volunteer their time to work on the project directly, Steele wrote. Nine other organizations will receive grants as well.

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