Using Evidence to Map Social Change

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Reflections on I4DI's Data for Social Change Database, and a Call to Action

By Sam Gold, Data for Social Change Research Assistant Intern at I4DI

Following the murder of George Floyd on May 25th, 2020, outrage surfaced and protests broke out worldwide. Numerous interest groups around the world demanded institutional support and governmental change. The team at I4DI was motivated to contribute to the effort in the best way we knew how – through data and evidence. I4DI’s Data for Social Change database provides a historical archive and visualizes tangible results, allowing activists and stakeholders to easily track racial justice efforts and institutional changes made since May 2020. By utilizing objective evidence gathered in the database, activists around the world are empowered to cite successful initiatives and hold institutions accountable for their promises. This evidence also allows activists to analyze data to develop more effective frameworks for their work and build further momentum.

Since 2020, nearly 700 data points tracking these positive impacts have been input into the database, documenting progressive measures implemented by individuals, companies, and institutions ranging from local governments to multinational corporations.Data for social change map

The database is organized into several categories, including policing, criminal justice, education, healthcare, housing, and economic justice.

Under the policing category, there are several initiatives that focus on police reform, such as efforts to improve police training, reduce the use of force, and increase accountability through civilian oversight. The criminal justice category contains initiatives aimed at reducing mass incarceration and promoting alternatives to imprisonment, such as restorative justice programs and diversion programs for nonviolent offenders. In the education category, there are initiatives aimed at reducing racial disparities in academic achievement and increasing access to higher education for marginalized communities. The healthcare category includes initiatives focused on addressing healthcare disparities and promoting health equity for communities of color.

The housing category contains initiatives aimed at reducing housing discrimination and increasing access to affordable housing for marginalized communities. Finally, the economic justice category includes initiatives focused on increasing economic opportunities for communities of color and reducing income inequality.

In terms of institutions, the database includes initiatives from a variety of organizations, including grassroots community organizations, advocacy groups, and government agencies. The initiatives range from local efforts in specific cities or regions to national and even international initiatives.

The power of the Data for Social Change database lies in the collaborative efforts of our employees, team of researchers, and volunteer contributors. We are grateful for everyone’s support in entering and updating data points. We believe that contributions to the database are essential to achieving our goal of creating a comprehensive and reliable resource for tracking progress towards racial justice.

Call to Action

Call to Action
Click the image above to begin contributing to the database.

At I4DI, we believe that data and evidence play a crucial role in creating lasting social change. That’s why we’re calling on volunteers to contribute to our database and help us build a more comprehensive and accurate picture of the progress being made towards racial justice.

If you have data related to racial justice efforts and institutional changes, we urge you to share it with us. By contributing to this database, you will be a vital part of the global movement towards social justice, and help us to build a more equitable world.

To ensure that the data collection process is straightforward and efficient, we have developed a custom intake system that is user-friendly and accessible. New contributors can begin the data submission process by creating an account on the Data for Social Change website. With the contributions of global researchers and volunteers, I4DI aims for the Data for Social Change database to be used as support for racial activism and change worldwide.

Let’s work together to create a world where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, and where justice and equality are not just ideals, but realities. Visit to contribute to the cause and learn more about the Data for Social Change database.