Google Awards $40 Million to Boost STEM and Girls' Education, Fight Slavery

Google.org, the charitable arm of Web search company Google, has announced $40 million in grants in support of education, technology, and the fight against modern-day slavery.

With this latest round of grants, the tech giant has awarded grants totaling more than $115 million in 2011 to nonprofit organizations and academic institutions around the world. In the area of science, technology, engineering, and math education (STEM), Google.org awarded a total of $14.7 million, including $3.25 million to Boston-based Citizen Schools and �25,000 (approximately $39,000) to Generating Genius in England to help expand the horizons of underprivileged youth and provide STEM education for more than three million students. In addition, grants totaling $3.9 million were awarded to organizations working to improve girls' education in the developing world, including the African Leadership Academy and the Afghan Institute of Learning.

Through its Empowerment Through Technology program, the company awarded fifteen grants totaling $9.8 million to organizations using the Web, open-source programming, and other technologies to connect communities and improve access to information. Recipients include Vittana, Code for America, and Switchboard. To combat slavery, today a global multibillion-dollar industry, Google.org awarded a total of $11.5 million to nine organizations, including the International Justice Mission, the BBC World Service Trust, Action Aid India, and Aide et Action, which are forming an India-based coalition that will work on the ground with governments to stop slave labor by identifying traffickers, documenting abuse, freeing individuals, and providing freed individuals with therapy and job training.

"The causes we are supporting are issues we've been committed to for a long time, particularly education," company spokeswoman Kate Hurowitz told the San Jose Mercury News. "It's really something the company cares a lot about from the top level."

For more information on the grantees, visit Google Gives Back on the Google.com Web site.

Steve Johnson. "Google Gives $40 Million to Fight Slavery and Other Causes Around the World." San Jose Mercury News 12/14/2011.