The phrase “no dystopian futures allowed” painted on the front door of our lab was a daily reminder of what we were working towards: a future wherein technology is used to bring us closer together for a deeper human experience.
As Shawn said in his blog post, the social climate we find ourselves in today has caused us to think about the slogan we painted on our door, and how we as a company can help build a better future outside of the world of digital technology.
To that end, each Looking Glass Factory employee was given a $500 stipend to directly support organizations that they personally believe in. Below you’ll find a few stories from our team detailing the organizations they’ve chosen to support, and how their contribution is helping to create a better future for us all.
Nikki, Product Manager
In my 5+ years in tech, I've come to recognize the notable lack of diversity but even more prominently so in the VR/AR/MR/XR industry. We must do better if we care even the tiniest bit about building a better future, and that’s why I've chosen to give my $500 fully to Black Girls Code. While only a small step towards more actionable change, I hope that this donation will contribute to a future where inclusion in technology, and amplify the need for increasing the number of women of color in technology.
Sandra, Customer Success Associate
I have always supported and volunteered for The New York Urban League and Thurgood Marshall College Fund. They both have solid track records advancing the voice of progress and fostering success within the Black Community. From education to Covid-19 emergency funds, both of these organizations continue to be there for New Yorkers and Black folks all around the country in all facets of life.
Evan, Software Architect
The events of the past few months, brought to light but by no means defined by the murder of George Floyd and subsequent uprisings, have also served as an indelible reminder of the deeply rooted classism and white supremacy in our country. We can't repair the Black and brown lives and families impacted by state violence, but we should hold them in our hearts and minds, and demand justice.
I believe in our core principle and mission of "no dystopian futures allowed" and appreciate the opportunity Looking Glass Factory has given us to make contributions towards healing and restorative justice. To this end, I chose to support Bed-Stuy Strong, BLM DC Legal Support Fund, Latinx and Queer Families COVID-19 Relief Fund, and Brandon Saenz and David McAtee Medical and Memorial Fundraisers.
Stephen, Digital Marketing Associate
Being black in the United States is a very interesting experience. As children, our parents and elders are constantly trying to prepare us for a world that we don’t want to believe still exists. How, in the “modern” world, does the skin color I was born with determine how my life plays out, even down to its ending?
I’ve chosen to support Coded by Kids and The Hustler’s Guild because their work equips black and brown young people with skills they’ll need for the professional world, and in turn empowers them with pride, determination, and agency to direct the course of their own lives.
Janice, Logistics and Operations Manager
From knowing how to protect yourself with the police to knowledge in financial matters, there are many avenues to advancing the rights of Black communities. I believe education is one of many important ways to do this. Hopefully, this donation to Know Your Rights Camp will help empower the next generation of Black people.
Having access to therapy is expensive, and hard enough without the colour of your skin as an additional barrier to you getting the mental health support that you need. Racism is a form of trauma, and I'd like to help provide more mental health resources that Black people need through the Loveland Foundation.
Missy, Developer Experience Engineer
Right now, there are innocent people in prison who were wrongly convicted of crimes and are set to receive the death penalty for crimes they haven't committed. There are also people serving an amount of time that does not match the severity of the crime committed. Prisons are exploitative, ineffective, and inhumane, which is why I support The Innocence Project.
Janet, Program Manager
The goal of the Emergency Release Fund is to end money bail and pretrial detention in providing bail funds, along with advocacy support specifically for trans people in New York City. 1 in 10 people in NYC jails has tested positive for COVID-19. Many of these folks simply couldn’t post bail, and are now being held in conditions that have proven to radically increase virus spread. Though the fund is usually focused around helping trans people specifically, they’ve extended their support to anyone that is medically vulnerable and anyone who identifies as LGBTQ. I’m forever impressed and inspired by the work orgs like this one do, and I’m proud to work at a company that gives me the opportunity to further support them.
Together the Looking Glass Factory team was able to support over 30 organizations, both local and international, each working to actualize a future we personally believe in. We invite you to browse below to learn more and make a donation for yourself.
- Black Girls Code
- The New York Urban League
- The Thurgood Marshall College Fund
- The Lower East Side Family Union
- Emergency Release Fund
- Act Blue Bail Funds
- The Okra Project
- Good Call
- Covid-19 Protest Relief Fund
- 612 Humanitarian Fund
- BLM DC Legal Support Fund
- Bed-Stuy Strong
- Brandon Saenz Medical Fundraiser
- David McAtee Memorial Fund
- Latino GLBT History Project Queer Families COVID-19 Relief Fund
- The Hustlers Guild
- Coded by: Kids
- COVID-19 Mutual Aid Network LA
- Know Your Rights Camp
- The Loveland Foundation
- AS220 All-Access Campaign
- AS220 Youth
- Concerned Artists of the Philippines
- Equal Justice Initiative
- Southern Poverty Law Center
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- FANG Community Bail Fund
- Amnesty International HK
- Innocence Project
- Color of Change
- Black Trans Protestors Emergency Fund
- #CHAZ food co-op
- Creative Justice NW
- Brooklyn Bail Fund
- Feeding India