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Life at Civis | 7.9.20

A follow up on Civis’s Equal Justice Commitment


Team Civis
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In the beginning of June, we announced we would be donating $50,000 to national and community organizations who fight for equal justice and protect those being targeted. Over the last few weeks, our staff nominated more than 30 potential organizations, and then voted for the top five to split the donation equally.

We’re proud to support these five organizations with a donation of $10,000 each:

  • Data for Black Lives: Data for Black Lives is a movement of activists, organizers, and mathematicians committed to the mission of using data science to create concrete and measurable change in the lives of Black people. Since the advent of computing, big data and algorithms have penetrated virtually every aspect of our social and economic lives. These new data systems have tremendous potential to empower communities of color. Tools like statistical modeling, data visualization, and crowd-sourcing, in the right hands, are powerful instruments for fighting bias, building progressive movements, and promoting civic engagement.
  • Black Lives Matter: #BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.
  • My Block My Hood My City: My Block My Hood My City is an organization which works to provide opportunities to under-resourced neighborhoods in Chicago. This is an on-the-ground organization that is working at a hyper-local level to give communities the help they need. When coronavirus hit Chicago, they quickly set up a program to deliver hand sanitizer, food, and other necessities to seniors and other vulnerable people.

“I nominated My Block My Hood My City because national organizations are getting lots of well-deserved donations and attention right now, but it’s also critical to invest in organizations that know their communities, and can respond to their specific needs.” — Liz Sander, Data Science Lead

  • NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund: The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund has worked tirelessly for over 70 years to fight racial inequality. Their mission throughout the decades has been to shed light on systemic racism while never losing sight of the ideal that in order for change and progress to occur, there must be structural dismantling and rebuilding deep with our systems and ourselves. Through litigation, advocacy, educational outreach, policy research/monitoring legislation, coalition-building, and providing scholarships for Black students they fight hard to provide opportunities and first chances to those that lack and merit them the most.

“I nominated the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund — in a society that trusts in the possibility of second chances, it fails to recognize that far too many are never afforded a first one.” — Michelle Tyler, Director of Compliance

  • The Innocence Project contributes to the fight against mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex by advocating to end wrongful convictions. The organization’s lawyers and social workers work to exonerate wrongly incarcerated individuals and provide post-release support to exonerees. The Innocence Project also works on strategic litigation, policy reforms, and research to end wrongful convictions.