Free Geek’s mission is to sustainably reuse technology, enable digital access, and provide education to create a community that empowers people to realize their potential.
Bottom Line for Portland
A donation to Free Geek gives computers to those left behind in a Portland-gone-digital. You can connect students to digital access, education, necessary resources, and community. That same gift accomplishes responsible e-waste recycling, preventing immediate and long-term ecosystem harm. Our current objective is to raise enough to give 400 waitlisted students the computer access they need, as well as digital education resources and continuing tech support.
In 2020, despite COVID complications, donations to Free Geek enabled the following: recycling 963,393 lbs of Portland’s e-waste; giving 275 computers to local K-12 students and 107 computers to adults experiencing unstable housing situations, focusing on those with accessibility needs; and the creation of a new, permanent program that provided 793 computers to organizations, big and small, experiencing sudden need (like colleges working on behalf of students) which included 496 computers for SNAP program participants!
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Our programs serve historically marginalized people from oppressed populations, which means we MUST embrace our work as active DEI work. The issues we work to tackle disproportionately affect these communities- from climate change to the homework gap. In the last year, we have taken an especially close look at our history and how we can do better by our BIPOC and other marginalized community members. Our vision is a Free Geek whose leadership and staff are people who actually represent the community Free Geek serves-- or people who have received our services. That means continual work on evaluating what our practices have meant so far, so that we get better at the work. So far, we’ve changed hiring practices; we’ve made clear internal policy changes to better protect both staff and participants; we’re making space to lift up voices often spoken over; among staff, we acknowledge national events, providing resources and encouraging everyone to take care of their personal wellbeing; we prioritize marginalized demographic recipients in our programs; among other actions. Moreover, we know that this work won’t ever be over.