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  • Be who you are. Love who you love. #prideforeveryone
    Everyone has the fundamental right to express who they are, yet all too often we bear witness to hatred and violence directed at people who peacefully and lovingly pursue happiness. The mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, earlier this month is a horrifying example.

    Google’s mission has always been to make information universally accessible. And within that mission lies the belief that the more knowledge we have, the more tolerant, inclusive and respectful the world ultimately will be.

    Pride is a time when those who have access to vibrant LGBTQ communities take to the streets to celebrate the freedom to live and love. Yet there are still multitudes of lesbian, gay, bi, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people in the U.S. and around the world who are lonely and ostracized—who cannot participate in Pride due to strict anti-LGBTQ laws or social stigma.

    To bridge this gap, we've created #prideforeveryone—a virtual reality Pride experience that anyone can access. For the past several weeks, Googlers from 25 countries have been marching in their local Pride parades to document the truly global face of the LGBTQ community in 360 degrees. This VR montage, available via YouTube 360 and Google Cardboard, is the result.

    Google has a long track record of leadership in LGBTQ rights, including taking a stand against discrimination in sports at the Sochi Olympic games, becoming one of the first companies to provide full coverage of transgender employee healthcare, and standing up for same-sex and domestic partner rights and benefits in places around the world where they may not otherwise exist.

    Even in the U.S., where we’ve achieved greater levels of equality, only 52 percent of the LGBTQ population have ever participated in a parade. Transgender people face legislation that effectively dehumanizes them. In Orlando, the LGBTQ community bore the brunt of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. This is simply wrong.

    With #prideforeveryone, we stand prouder than ever in our embrace of the LGBTQ community. As always, we invite others to stand with us.
    A 360 camera is anchored on a moving float in the São Paulo Pride parade. The trans flag and a crowd of more than 2 million people can be seen in the background.

    Posted by Arjan Dijk, VP Growth Marketing and Executive Sponsor of Gayglers Arjan Dijk VP Growth Marketing and Executive Sponsor of Gayglers

  • Celebrating and advancing entrepreneurship around the world
    All around the world, entrepreneurs are creating thriving businesses. In London, Josh Babarinde created Cracked It, a social enterprise that trains at-risk youth to repair cracked smartphone screens, giving them an alternative to crime. In Seoul, Yeram Kwon is transforming the CPR training experience with improved, smarter manikins through HeartiSense. And in Israel, Oded Ben-Dov created Sesame Enable, the first touch-free smartphone designed for people who have limited or no use of their hands due to disabilities.

    As a company created by two graduate students in a garage, we know just how powerful an entrepreneur with an idea can be. We also know there’s more that companies, governments, and communities can do to help those entrepreneurs succeed. That’s why we created Google for Entrepreneurs nearly four years ago—to support startup communities around the world and connect entrepreneurs to resources and to each other.

    This week, we’re excited to participate in and sponsor the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, hosted by President Barack Obama and the U.S. government, building upon summits previously hosted by the governments of Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Morocco, and Kenya. The summit showcases entrepreneurs and investors from around the world who are creating new opportunities for investment, partnership, and collaboration. Our CEO Sundar Pichai is speaking at Friday’s closing session, and a number of other Google leaders will be there to discuss the state of entrepreneurship around the world and ways that we can all support startups and encourage innovation.

    Helping entrepreneurs succeed also means building and investing resources in the communities where they live and work. That’s why Google for Entrepreneurs partners with more than 50 organizations worldwide, and runs six Campus spaces—in London, Tel Aviv, Seoul, Madrid, Warsaw, and São Paulo—where local entrepreneurs can work and learn. Altogether, we work with entrepreneurs in 125 countries, who have raised more than $1 billion in funding and created 5,000+ new jobs.

    Our support of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit is another way we hope to help entrepreneurs build and create the technology that will shape our future. To the 1,500 attendees joining from around the world, we warmly welcome you to Silicon Valley and hope to meet you! If you’re attending the Summit, please stop by the Google for Entrepreneurs lounge, where you can sign up for 1:1 mentorship from dozens of Googlers and industry experts, explore product demos, and more. We’re also hosting an interactive portal experience to connect attendees from the event to entrepreneurs around the world at Campus London, Campus Seoul, Centraal in Mexico, and in Iraq and Afghanistan. And for those that can’t join us in person, you can catch the action via live stream.

    Posted by Mary Grove, Director, Google for Entrepreneurs Mary Grove Director Google for Entrepreneurs

  • I’m Feeling Yucky :( Searching for symptoms on Google
    Picture this: you woke up today with a headache. It’s been getting worse all day, and you aren’t sure if you should be worried or not. So you open the Google app and start searching for your symptoms. After 20 minutes digging through health forums, chances are you're overwhelmed by all the complicated medical terms and breaking out in a sweat—whether that’s related to the headache or the overdose of info is unclear!

    You’re not alone. Roughly 1 percent of searches on Google (think: millions!) are symptom-related. But health content on the web can be difficult to navigate, and tends to lead people from mild symptoms to scary and unlikely conditions, which can cause unnecessary anxiety and stress.

    So starting in the coming days, when you ask Google about symptoms like “headache on one side,” we’ll show you a list of related conditions (“headache,” “migraine,” “tension headache,” “cluster headache,” “sinusitis,” and “common cold”). For individual symptoms like “headache,” we’ll also give you an overview description along with information on self-treatment options and what might warrant a doctor’s visit. By doing this, our goal is to help you to navigate and explore health conditions related to your symptoms, and quickly get to the point where you can do more in-depth research on the web or talk to a health professional.

    We create the list of symptoms by looking for health conditions mentioned in web results, and then checking them against high-quality medical information we’ve collected from doctors for our Knowledge Graph. We worked with a team of medical doctors to carefully review the individual symptom information, and experts at Harvard Medical School and Mayo Clinic evaluated related conditions for a representative sample of searches to help improve the lists we show.


    That said, symptom search (like all medical information on Google) is intended for informational purposes only, and you should always consult a doctor for medical advice. We rely on search results, and we reflect what’s on the web. Because of this, your feedback is especially important to us; we’ll use it to keep improving the results we show. You’ll notice in the weeks following launch that when we show symptom search we’ll automatically ask you if the results are helpful.

    We’re rolling this update out on mobile over the next few days, in English in the U.S. to start. Over time, we hope to cover more symptoms, and we also want to extend this to other languages and internationally. So the next time you’re worried about your “child with knee pain” (even though it’s probably just growing pains), or have some symptoms you’re too embarrassed to run by your roommate, a Google search will be a helpful place to start.

    Posted by Veronica Pinchin, Product Manager https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xmPv09K0V3Y/V2XKa-8W73I/AAAAAAAASkg/-80cw-ml6Uglf5XzIDzzdPBAilWILTRzwCLcB/s1600/Symptoms.jpg

  • Showing support on World Refugee Day
    When Walaa posted a picture on social media that spoke out against violence in his hometown of Jairoud, Syria, it earned him three months of violent detention. He fled the country with his family through Turkey and into Greece, where they now live in a refugee camp near the Macedonian border.

    Though the Internet played a role in his flight from Syria, connectivity has played a crucial role in helping him rebuild his life in Greece. While living in Greek refugee camps, Walaa used YouTube to learn English, and his language skills are now so good that he’s served as a community advocate and translator. He says he’s far from done: next, he hopes to learn Greek.

    As refugees across Europe adapt to new contexts, access to information and education are crucial to help them develop the skills they need. Last fall we encouraged you to donate to a public matching campaign to help refugees access not only basic humanitarian aid, but also resources to create a bridge to their new communities. Since then we’ve helped the International Rescue Committee build an online information hub for refugees, Mercy Corps develop Translation Cards to allow field workers to communicate across languages more easily, partner with NetHope to install low-cost WiFi in refugee camps, and support refugee education through Kiron, a nonprofit providing refugee-tailored university courses available both online and offline.

    In addition to Walaa, we’ve heard from other refugees who are finding ways to adjust thanks to Internet and education access. For example, Ahmed is an Iraqi computer scientist now living in Berlin. While waiting for his residence permit, he began teaching coding classes at refugee welcome centers as part of Project Reconnect, an initiative we launched with NetHope to equip NGOs with Chromebooks. Kashif, who traveled through seven countries from a small Pakistani town to Berlin, is studying online with Kiron and dreams of working as an engineer at NASA.
    Ahmed giving CODE.org classes to young refugees through the Chromebooks in a refugee center in Berlin

    On World Refugee Day, we hope you’ll take time to hear stories of more refugees who are working so hard to rebuild their lives.

    We also want to thank everyone across the globe who donated last year, and encourage you to continue to support our partners in their critical work. Though the impact of this refugee crisis will be felt for many years to come, we’ll continue to look for ways to contribute.

    Posted by Jacquelline Fuller, Director of Google.org https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Ya7jH9LzpcU/V2XHIvzDKQI/AAAAAAAASj8/PHTWtKB8uBAXEUPJpT6f_Q15nSiILL-zQCLcB/s1600/Reconnect_hero.jpg

  • Digital Love Letters for fathers who are incarcerated
    This past Mother's Day, we shared #LoveLetters, a partnership among nonprofits to give the children of incarcerated parents a chance to have their voices heard. Today, in celebration of Father’s Day, you can watch Love Letters for incarcerated fathers. This work is part of our continued commitment to raising awareness about racial injustice, and to bearing witness to the human costs of mass incarceration.

    The costs of mass incarceration have disproportionately affected the lives of Black men. From 1980 to 2007, about one in three of the 25.4 million adults arrested for drugs was African-American. And if that current trend continues, one in three Black boys born today can expect to spend time in prison during his lifetime. All in all, we’re now at a point where there are more African-American men incarcerated in the U.S. than the total prison populations of India, Argentina, Canada, Lebanon, Germany, Finland, Israel and England combined.


    Children share digital “Love Letters” for their fathers who are incarcerated

    Many of these men are also fathers—and their children have suffered greatly. The loss of a father to incarceration adversely affects children’s educational, social and emotional well-being, even decades later. Children with an incarcerated parent are three times more likely to have behavioral problems or depression, and at least twice as likely to suffer from learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, and anxiety.

    This is what Love Letters conveys: the hurt of the children left behind—and the enduring bond between a child and a parent despite the barrier of prison walls. So for Father's Day, we worked with the NGOs Pops the Club and Place4Grace to encourage children and youth in California to share their love letters to their fathers behind bars. We're also working with the California Department of Corrections to share the video with fathers behind bars throughout the state.

    To learn about criminal justice reform legislation now going through Congress, visit sentencingproject.org, vera.org, or brennancenter.org. As David Drummond, Alphabet’s vice president of corporate development, said at an event this week: “We like disruption, and if there’s a system worth disrupting, it’s the criminal justice system.” We hope that by raising awareness about the impact of mass incarceration on children and families, we can help to change it. Please join us in this effort—watch the video and share with #LoveLetters on social media.


    Posted by Malika Saada Saar, Public Policy and Government Relations Senior Counsel – Civil and Human Rights https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-EYfRUNBt158/V2gktZ4D69I/AAAAAAAASk8/0ZmJRbHs_2kmdqgQbiRRydqKTTRV8zt9gCLcB/s1600/LoveLetters.jpg

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