Current Projects & Community Partners
Arcus Foundation Project:
DataCenter and the Arcus Foundation released a joint report entitled Trans, Two-Spirit, Intersex Landscape Survey (pdf). The report is based on a survey of about 200 Trans/Two-Spirit/Intersex (T/T-S/I) organizations around the US. It documents the needs of the organizations, their self-defined priority issues, and how foundations can structure funding to build T/T-S/I organizational capacity. DataCenter ensured the T/T-S/I community guided the project through an advisory board with key members of the T/T-S/I community. For more information about the project’s participants, check out the project’s directory (pdf).
Adhikkar and DataCenter began working together in 2011 to document conditions facing Nepali-speaking nail salon workers. The project seeks to better understand industry practices and establish nail salon workers as experts in their own right. The research project, like many of DataCenter’s projects, is inclusive and participatory which will allow worker leaders to build skills, work collaboratively, and take ownership of the project. Adhikaar will use the research results to develop policies, programs, trainings, and campaigns to improve the livelihoods and workplace conditions of nail salon workers. The report is scheduled to be released mid-2013.
Chhaya CDC, with research support from DataCenter, released a report based on information from more than 500 South Asian New York City residents. The report examines housing trends and conditions including overcrowding, evictions, and displacements among tenants and homeowners. DataCenter took raw data, relevant Census and other government data, and pulled it together to develop a cohesive analysis that was used in combination with community perspectives to provide powerful evidence for critical recommendations for the South Asian community as well as for all low income communities in New York City. Read the full write up.
The CivicMaps Toolkit will be an online resource designed to introduce novice users to the burgeoning field of civic maps – a field that promises to impact the way we visualize, conceptualize, and utilize data. The toolkit, a product of DataCenter’s recent collaboration with MIT’s Center for Civic Media, will orient Community-Based Organizations to the opportunities, tools, and even limitations of community engaged map making.
Historically, mapping technologies have been used in defending indigenous land, mapping health disparities, and revealing the correlation between pollution and the location of poor, low-income communities of color. The CivicMaps Toolkit comes at a time when mapping technologies (Geographic Information Systems for the tech nerds out there) are increasingly accessible to non-specialists.
The toolkit will demystify these powerful map making tools so organizers and activists everywhere can better fight for lasting social change. Look for the release of this cutting-edge toolkit this winter!
Food Chain Workers Alliance:
The Food Chain Workers Alliance (FCWA) is a coalition of worker-based organizations whose members plant, harvest, process, pack, transport, prepare, serve, and sell food, organizing to improve wages and working conditions for all workers along the food chain.
Utilizing Research Justice methodologies, DataCenter and FCWA have teamed up to document the working conditions and demographics of food workers within the US. Check out the full report.
Global Action Project (GAP):
Since 1991, Global Action Project has offered media-arts and leadership programs to young people from low-income communities in New York City. GAP works with young people most affected by injustice to build the knowledge, tools, and relationships needed to create media for community power, cultural expression, and political change. Every year, up to 75 low-income, working-class/working poor youth of color and young immigrants, ages 14-21 develop leadership, artistic expression, critically explore the root causes of the conditions and policies that affect our communities, and collaboratively produce social-issue media.
GAP and DataCenter, with the support of a national advisory board, aim to gather information from youth organizers doing movement building work to find out how they are using media to advance social justice work throughout the United States. This project will measure media use to identify trends, needs, and challenges youth organizers face in integrating media into advocacy and organizing efforts. The results will be shared with organizers, funders, and movement-building allies seeking new knowledge on cross-disciplinary methods and opportunities. The project will capture best practices and how youth are integrating media in new ways. It will also identify barriers and gaps they are facing. The project will take a mixed methods research approach, including a national survey and regional focus groups.
Justice for Families:
Justice for Families (J4F) and DataCenter are proud to release a new report on the juvenile justice system. The report, titled “Families Unlocking Futures: Solutions to the Crisis in Juvenile Justice,” offers first of its kind analysis on how the juvenile justice system actually does more to feed the nation’s vast prison system than to deter young people from system involvement.Based on over 1,000 surveys with parents and family members of incarcerated youth and 24 focus groups nationwide, the report presents a body of data never captured or examined before. Read the full article here.
This historic report, titled Home Economics: The Invisible and Unregulated World of Domestic Work (PDF), documents the demographics, wages, working conditions, and training needs in the domestic work industry at a national level. With information collected from over 2000 nannies, house cleaners, and caregivers from 14 major metropolitan areas representing every region of the country and representing 9 languages, this report features information demonstrating the effects of being an unregulated, isolated and vulnerable industry with workers who have been historically excluded from labor laws. The National Domestic Workers Alliance will use this report in the multiple policy campaigns occurring at the local and national levels. Read the full article here.
OccupyResearch is an international, virtual, and collaborative research project which began in October 2011. It aims to create a better understanding of who engages with the Occupy movement, how they engage and why.
DataCenter has played a crucial role in every step of the project — from drafting the survey, to collecting the data, to organizing and hosting regular cross-country conference calls. Most recently, OccupyResearch released the survey results in a new, completely dynamic and interactive browser. Take a second to explore this new and exciting browser and see how stats can come to life!
With San Francisco on the cusp of approving free transit passes for low income youth, People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER) has just released Next Stop: Justice – Race and Environment at the Center of Transit Planning (pdf), a joint project with DataCenter and Urban Habitat. The report offers a cutting edge, comprehensive analysis of public transit in San Francisco, with a vision for a new transit policy that puts community experiences around race and environment at the center.
Read the full article here.
Florida is amongst the top five states in the country with the least affordable housing. Renters are the majority, comprising 64 percent of Miami. However, despite being the majority, the needs of renters are often ignored by policymakers and elected officials in Miami while the needs of landlords, developers and homeowners are prioritized. As a result, renters in Miami face a host of challenges including a shortage of affordable housing, widespread slum conditions, and limited legal protections.
While much has been written about the state of homeownership or commercial real estate in Miami, not much has been written about renters. To fill this gap, DataCenter partnered with Power U Center for Social Change and Community Justice Project (CJP), of the Florida Legal Services, to document the experiences of renters in Miami’s poor and minority neighborhoods. DataCenter designed a survey that covered the key areas of housing cost, quality and legal issues. Power U collected 954 surveys, the largest survey sample of Miami renters ever recorded. Read the entire report.
Community Partners: 2011/2012
Marin Canal Project (Dominican University / Canal Alliance, et al)