We are reaching out to friends and supporters to give you an update about DataCenter. Over the last two years, we have worked to re-build DataCenter’s program work by integrating research into the core of community organizing. After many months effort to merge with another organization we have come to the conclusion that the merger is unlikely to achieve our goals.
DataCenter’s Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to dissolve the organization to enable us to transfer its assets to an organization where they will have the impact we desire. We are on track to close the DataCenter office by July 31, 2016.
What this means for the resources and legacy built by DataCenter
DataCenter’s resources will be transferred to organizations where they have the greatest potential for impact.
Financial Resources – DataCenter is working with Third Wave Fund to establish a Fund for Research Justice. The purpose of the fund will be to provide capacity building grants to enable community organizing groups to use research as a tool. Third Wave Fund’s focus on youth-led activism to advance the political power, well-being, and self-determination of communities of color and low-income communities will support the kinds of groups DataCenter has long held as a priority.
Intellectual Property – DataCenter has created a set of toolkits to enable groups to conduct their own community based research. We are committed to ensuring that the toolkits remain freely available. The toolkits will be shared with multiple organizations with the understanding that they too will widely share them at no cost. Third Wave Fund will also make the toolkits available.
Archives – Celia Davis, former DataCenter staff member led an effort in 2015 to transfer DataCenter’s archives to the Bancroft Library to ensure that the history of the organization will be accessible to researchers and other interested parties for years to come.
Data – DataCenter staff is sending data files to past partners to ensure they have access to the data generated through their research projects.
A Gathering for Friends
There’s a trick to the ‘graceful exit.’ It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over–and let it go. It means leaving what’s over without denying its validity or its past importance to our lives. It involves a sense of future, a belief that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving up, rather than out.
The DataCenter Board and Staff are hosting an informal gathering on Thursday August 4, 2016 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at 310 Gallery located at 310 14th Street, Oakland. This gathering will be an informal opportunity to re-connect with folks, share stories and commemorate the ending of an organization whose work has had tremendous impact over the years.
We very much appreciate the hard work and dedication that has gone into the DataCenter project by former and current staff and board, interns and volunteers. We are thankful for the generosity of those who have given of their money, time, expertise, commitment and friendship to DataCenter over the years. We especially want to honor the tremendous relationships we built with so many amazing community organizers around the country who continue to advance the vision of moving the voices, knowledge and experience of people of color and the poor from the margins to the center of decision-making.