SELMA, Ala. – Google announced this week it is providing $100,000 to the Selma-Montgomery March Foundation in support of the upcoming 58th Annual Selma Jubilee and to further support storm relief efforts due to the city’s devastating Jan. 12 tornado.
Google is now in its third year of supporting this multiday event commemorating the anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” the Selma-to-Montgomery March and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Google previously supported the Selma-to-Montgomery March Foundation with a $30,000 contribution in 2021 and $50,000 in 2022.
“We are most thankful to Google for its partnership with the Selma-to-Montgomery March Commemoration Foundation and its shared vision of creating the Virtual Bloody Sunday March and Selma to Montgomery March. Google recognizes and values the crucial role of Selma in the march to democracy, and its Virtual March will be a technological Bridge to the entire nation and world,” said Sen. Hank Sanders, D-Selma. “As someone who personally experienced the Jan. 12 tornado that hit Selma and witnessed the devastation that it wrought, I am also sincerely grateful to Google for its commitment to both preserving Selma’s history and building a better Selma moving forward.”
Google also provides in-kind technical support of both a virtual march and an interactive Google Earth map. The virtual Selma-to-Montgomery march allows individuals to experience the 54-mile trail from Selma to Montgomery online, and participants can log their miles virtually — either manually or through a wearable fitness tracker — to earn badges as they reach each historic landmark. Google Earth’s interactive Selma map is complete with video interviews from the original activists, satellite and street views of historic mile markers and other educational context.
Both the virtual march and the interactive Google Earth map are available to the public year-round at no cost.
Google’s Global Head of Social Impact Reginald (Reggie) McKnight will also serve as a special guest speaker at the Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast set for Sunday, March 5, at 7 a.m. That same day, McKnight will also accept the 2023 Martin and Coretta Scott King International Peace & Justice Award on behalf of Ambassador Andrew J. Young at the foot of the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge.
“I am proud to represent a company that believes today the same tenet that motivated the Selma March — that every American is equal and deserves the opportunity to shape this country’s future,” said McKnight. “We are honored to continue to support the Selma Jubilee because its purpose still matters and still resonates today.”
“Dr. (Martin Luther) King told many of us, his trusted and loyal peers, that those who lived past the age of 40 would have a special duty: to carry on the work of giving voice to the voiceless,” said Ambassador Young. “Through the vision and dynamic leadership of Google, we’re able to do just that. They’re helping carry that torch forward by connecting and informing the world and, in turn, bringing real social impact to millions of people.”
Google has had a presence in Alabama since first announcing in 2015 that it would construct a data center in Jackson County.
The 58th Annual Selma Jubilee will take place March 3-5. Find out more at www.selmajubilee.com.