As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, it’s increasingly important that tech companies find meaningful ways to connect with local communities. Today, we’re chatting with Kia Floyd, Head of Public Policy for Facebook’s Eastern Region, and Becky Morrison, Executive Director of Globetops, on their partnership in New York City.
Tell us about the partnership. Why has Facebook NY teamed up with Globetops?
[KF] As Facebook considers our role and corporate stewardship in the broader New York City community, it’s important that we partner directly with local organizations that address acute issues that impact under-resourced communities. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen that these are the very communities that have been hit the hardest. That’s why we have partnered with Globetops because its mission goes beyond traditional donation-based charity and corporate philanthropy to share high-quality technology with communities in-need. Together, we are motivated by the shared goals of building community, achieving greater social equity and increasing access to technology.
How will this partnership directly benefit underserved communities in NYC?
[BM] At Globetops, we work directly with organizations and individuals who are making a difference in their communities but who lack access to technology. These are people already doing great work whose impact is instantly amplified when they receive a laptop. One of our projects, LIFE Camp, recently received computers through our partnership with Facebook. Their donation delivered a boost to a program that will touch over 4,500 people over the course of the next year as they expand the reach and services delivered to high-risk youth impacted by gun violence.
The unfortunate reality is that the Covid-19 pandemic has hit under-resourced communities in NYC the hardest. These are communities with a great deal of front-line workers: individuals who drive buses, work in bodegas, and in hospitals. With the challenges that arise as families are impacted by the pandemic, it becomes even more important to keep kids engaged and off the streets.
With the laptops from Facebook, Life Camp was instantly able to move their programs online giving more young people the opportunity to participate in a wide range of trainings, workshops and mentorship that they would not otherwise have access to. These programs provide invaluable tools for education and are part of a holistic approach to prevent and heal from violence in the community, covering everything from workforce preparation, wellness and correcting covid misinformation.
Why did Globetops specifically select a community organization that's focused on gun violence prevention and intervention?
[KF] Although New York City has made significant strides in reducing gun violence, it still remains a major issue in several communities in each of the boroughs, even in the midst of a global pandemic. I think we can all agree that safety is a major component to a thriving, vibrant community, and we believe that innovative use of technology can play a significant role in violence reduction. Through technology, individuals can access resources, learn best-practices for community-level interventions and amplify their stories to the world.
Why is it important for tech companies to partner with local non-profits?
[KF] Facebook’s mission is firmly centered on giving people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. Although we are global in scope, this mission certainly extends to the cities where we have offices.
To that end, much of Facebook New York’s local corporate social responsibility and philanthropy is grounded in building strong community partnerships such as our collaboration with Globetops. We know that these organizations are invaluable as they are often the catalysts for positive social change, and it’s more important than ever to support local nonprofits.
[BM] Long-term transformation of any community calls for collaboration. At Globetops, we make connections, cultivate relationships and see first-hand what a difference technology and education makes for people to elevate their lives and actualize their aspirations.
Bringing the expertise and community connections of a local non-profit together with resources, skills and talents from a tech company is an unstoppable combination! Together we can serve, educate and empower individuals and organizations at a far greater scale.
How can others support Globetop’s mission?
[BM] I hope the generosity of Facebook serves to inspire others to use their resources to create positive change in the community. For every success story, there are countless others hustling to make a difference - students, teachers, artists, activists - right in our own neighborhoods. I hope that more companies and individuals who have laptops they are no longer using leverage Globetops’ ability to distribute laptops to those who need it the most.