Mapping Black California
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Black Equity Fund Uses Data to Tell Its Story

Mapping Black California (MBC) developed and presented a customized StoryMap as part of the Black Equity Initiative’s (BEI) Funder’s Briefing. The presentation highlighted important regional data and provided visual context for the Black-led and Black-serving organizations in the Inland Empire region. The StoryMap showed the work Black-led organizations are doing to provide service and encourage systems change in the region and in the state. The BEI has already awarded over $740,000 in grants to 16 organizations and they plan to keep the momentum going. The Black Equity Fund has met one of its major funding goals, raising over $5 million to continue supporting Black-led organizations that are impacting systems change and encouraging power-building in Riverside and San Bernardino.

ABFE Presentation Shows Powerful Data Tools Encouraging Continued Support for Black Organizations

Mapping Black California recently presented to ABFE during the California retreat held in Manhattan Beach. With the backdrop of the history of Bruce’s Beach, and the current urgency to maintain focus on the systemic issues impacting Black communities, MBC showcased some of its data visualization and data-journalism tools. These data tools were developed, in part, with guidance from ABFE. MBC identified and categorized Black-led Organizations based on ABFE’s definition of what “Black-led” means in terms of organizational structure and community engagement. MBC’s Black-led Organization Database and Map are intersectional digital resources that allow BLO’s to expand capacity, grow with data, and build community.

Data Watchdogs: Preparing Our Racism as a Public Health Tracker for Web3

Our team received a 2023 research award from The Starling Lab for Data Integrity at Stanford University & University of Southern California to focus on the local government declarations of racism as a public health crisis. The Starling Lab fellowship presents the opportunity for the team to learn how Web3 authentication technology and decentralized protocols can power our accountability database: Tracking the Progression of Racism as a Public Health Crisis Declarations in California. With this data set we plan to utilize web tools to track, measure, clarify and report on the progress of commitments made by the 40+ entities that declared racism a public health crisis since 2020.  This tool is one of MBC’s data assets designed to help provide critical information and framing to support data-based community philanthropic support, government accountability and increased partnership.

MBC at NICAR in Nashville

Project Manager Alex Reed was awarded a scholarship to attend the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR) conference in Nashville. She shared her excitement about the diversity at this year's conference highlighting that while MBC is a Black women-led, owned and operated business, this is very rare in most other professional spaces. “[Initially,] I did not have high hopes for this data conference, but we were EVERYWHERE! We were in the sessions, on the panels, at the networking events, it was a beautiful thing to meet and greet so many data journalists of color.” She is enthusiastically returning to MBC with new apps and technologies to explore. “I'm so excited to be able to bring new assets to the MBC table and looking forward to the potential collaborations with the many other like-minded analysts I met at NICAR.”

MBC and The Vibe

Mapping Black California presented to SoCalGas Black ERG group VIBE, overviewing not just our project’s history, but the work we have been able to develop thanks to SoCalGas’ generous grantmaking. MBC’s visualization of SoCalGas' grantmaking patterns in 2019 and 2020 contextualized regionally specific data to inform future grantmaking decisions. SoCalGas found this work so impactful, the organization provided the seed funding to expand our Black-led Organizations (BLOs) database statewide. Returning with a list of nearly 600 BLOs was a full circle moment for both parties.

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