Monday, April 19, 2010

The NAACP and Google partner to merge technology and social advocacy

A team comprised of the NAACP executive leadership, communications, policy, and field organizing staff, traveled to Google Headquarters (known as the Googleplex) in Mountainview California to discuss new ideas, applets, and initiatives to merge the power of technology with the NAACP's historic mission of social advocacy. Over the two day trip, the NAACP team met with various engineers and project managers to discuss how Google technology could be used or modified to amplify our efforts.

Our team was met on-site by David Drummond, Google's Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, and Harry Wingo, DC Policy Counsel for Google. The NAACP team consisted of National President Benjamin Jealous, COO Roger Vann, Director of Unit Capacity Rev Gill Ford, National Field Director Stephanie Brown, Congressional Analyst Carol Kaplan, Senior Manager for Law Enforcement Accountability Dr. Niaz Kasravi, Director of IT Jacob Frimpong, Director of New Media Eric Wingerter, Kansas State Conference President Kevin Myles, Audrey Lamyssaire, Eric Oliver, Carmen Berkley, Jamaa Bickley-King, Curtis Johnson, Adam Lee, and Aba Tyus.

One of the very exciting initiatives we discussed was the development of a tool that would plot the type of data and information the NAACP receives (and has received) through our data collection applet. This tool would allow us to graphically display incidents of racial profiling, discrimination, and police misconduct on an animated timeline; which would give us the ability to easily spot trends and identify areas in need of concentrated reforms. The tool would also greatly assist in Unit's advocacy efforts because it takes what would otherwise be seen as hundreds of scattered anecdotal reports and compiles them in an easily understood and visually compelling display.

We also discussed various uses and potential applications of Google apps such as Google Voice, Docs, Profiles, Sites, and Wave. Over the coming months, we look forward to rolling out new National and Local initiatives from this effort...

(Top photo: NAACP Leadership team with Harry Wingo at the Googleplex.  Bottom Photo: The NAACP Communications team with NAACP President Ben Jealous, Google Senior VP David Drummond and Google Policy Counsel Harry Wingo)

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