DataCenter is an Oakland, California based research center for "progressive" organizations. It is effectively the intelligence agency of the U.S. left.
DataCenter—an activist library and publication center—was founded in 1977 in affiliation with the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) by Jon Frappier, Fred Goff, Loretta Strharsky, Harry Strharsky and approximately 40 volunteers..
- In 1979 DataCenter established a Corporate Profile Project for clients such as the United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations and a customized research service for immigration attorneys representing Central Americans seeking political asylum.
- In 1980 DataCenter published a series of press profiles, including The Reagan File, on Ronald Reagan and his policies on labor, El Salvador, foreign policy, and military policy in Asia.
- In 1981 Datacenter's New Right Project tracked the rise of neo-conservatism. A Right-to-know Project was launched in response to censorship and "growing restrictions on access to information". Datacenter monitored and reported on plant closures and layoffs and published a press profile Toxic Nightmare for distribution to leading environmental organizations
- 1983 saw the the expansion of DataCenter's Search Service to include corporate accountability research to support community, labor, and corporate campaigns and political asylum seekers. The Search Service went online in 1988.
- In 1984 Datacenter started the Third World Resources quarterly newsletter and a specialized resource directories series.
- 1987 saw the launch of of a Pro Bono Fund to subsidize services to low-budget "progressive" organizations.
- In 1991 DataCenter initiated the Cuba Project/Conexiones to "respond to information needs of institutions in Cuba & facilitates information exchange between U.S. and Cuban colleagues-for the next ten years. The organization also published three volumes on the First Gulf War.
- 1993 brought the Freedom of Expression Project and CultureWatch newsletter monitoring the "culture wars waged by the Religious Right".
- In 1994 DataCenter held the first workshop on Research Methods for Community Activists and sought to "partner" with Communities for a Better Environment to "provide research & training for grassroots toxics activists".
- In 1997 DataCenter marked its 20th Anniversary with a celebration honoring Asian Immigrant Women Advocates, Communities for a Better Environment, The International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Progressive Asset Management, Public Media Center, United Farm Workers and Women’s Educational Media.
- 1998 brought the Capacity Building Campaign to buy new offices and computers. An affirmative action policy was implemented to hire organizers from "communities of color".
- In 1999 DataCenter introduced a community research training program and mounted a major research campaign for the anti-California Proposition 21 Campaign.
- In 2000 Information Services Latin America (ISLA), launched to monitor U.S. press reporting on Latin America, became an independent entity on its 30th anniversary. A Youth Strategy Project was initiated to "support the upsurge in youth organizing nationwide".
- In 2001 DataCenter released the report Moving Stronger: Needs of the criminal justice reform movement and established a Criminal Justice Project.
- 2002 saw DataCenter celebrate its 25th anniversary with a gala honoring Youth United for Community Action, Southwest Organizing Project, and Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Youth Force Coalition. It also recognized Fred Goff and Leon Sompolinsky for their years of service to DataCenter.
- In 2003 DataCenter started "Strategic Planning prioritizing Deepening Partnerships with Social Justice groups, Diversifying Our Income & Implementing Anti-Oppression Organizational Culture: Staff is majority people of color for the first time in the organization’s history; Incorporate Participatory research methodology and Decolonizing Research analysis in program work; Diversify Board of Directors.
- In 2006 launched a Shared Leadership model with the assistance of Patricia St Onge. "Support Services, Program & Capacity Building committees lead the organizational work & a representative from each committee serves on Coordinating Council; Mission, Vision & Values finalized".
- 2007 saw a celebration of "30 years of capacity-building for the Movement". All of Us or None, Domestic Workers United, and Mary Anna Colwell, were honored. "Year 2 Shared Leadership model; Launch Research Justice framework; Launch $2 million sustainability goal for the Endowment."
DataCenter Board and staff
As of 2008:
- Andrea Mercado, Lead Organizer & Political Education Coordinator, Mujeres Unidas y Activas
- Swati Prakash, Program Director, Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice, Pacific Institute
- Jessica Tovar, Contra Costa County Organizer, Communities for a Better Environment
- Miho Kim, Executive Director, DataCenter
- Neil Tangri, Special Projects Director, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives
- Yvette Robles, Director, Bayview Hunters Point Mobilization for Adolescent Growth in our Communities
- Miho Kim, Executive Director
- Celia Davis, Deputy Director
- Fred Goff, Major Gifts Director and President Emeritus
- Leilani Nguyen, Finance and Operations Director
- Saba Waheed, Research Director
- Nat Smith, Book keeper
- Mary Anna Colwell, Volunteer
- Michael Preston, Intern
- Sonya Rifkin, Intern
- Sylvia Aguinaga, Intern
Donors & Funders
For a list of over 400 individual donors, please see the DataCenter Category.
The following is a list of Organizations who have funded DataCenter:
- American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California
- Ananda Skin Spa & Sanctuary
- Applied Research Center
- Arizmendi Oakland
- Asian Art Museum
- Asian Immigrant Women Advocates
- Asian Pacific Environmental Network
- Bay Area Discovery Museum
- Berkeley Repertory Theatre
- Caffe Venezia & Ristorante
- Campaign for College Opportunity
- Center for Community Advocacy
- Center on Policy Initiatives
- Chabot Space & Science Center
- Chinese Progressive Association
- Citizens League for Environmental Action Now
- Community Coalition
- Creative Interventions
- Critical Resistance
- Design Action Collective
- Designs by Tuyet
- Domestic Workers United
- Earp Events
- East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation
- Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
- Environmental Justice Coalition for Water
- Equal Justice Society
- FundRaiser Software
- Garment Worker Center
- Give Something Back
- Great America
- Highlander Research and Education Center
- Just Cause Oakland
- Justice Matters
- KLD Research & Analytics, Inc.
- Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance
- La Mediterranee
- Landmark Theatre Corp.
- Lark Creek Walnut Creek
- Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
- Los Amigos Janitor
- Mama’s Royal Café
- Marin Theatre Company
- Matanzas Creek Winery
- Movement Strategy Center
- Mujeres Unidas y Activas
- New Press
- Oakland A’s
- Oakland Museum of California
- Parkway Speakeasy Theater
- Peet’s Coffee & Tea
- People Organized to Win Employment Rights
- Principle Profits Asset Management
- Professional Support Software
- Rini Templeton Memorial Fund
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not
- St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Berkeley
- San Francisco 49ers
- San Francisco Children’s Art Center
- SF Jazz
- San Francisco Opera
- Sarber’s Cameras
- Save Our Cumberland Mountains
- Sea Salt
- Sisters of Saint Dominic
- Socialism and Democracy
- Southwest Airlines
- Sunset Day Spa
- Sustainable Health Institute
- Taxi Workers Alliance of Philadelphia
- Tides Center
- Tommy Toy’s Cuisine Chinoise
- Winchester Mystery House
- Women of Color Resource Center
- Youth Justice Institute
- Youth Media Council
The following is a list of Institutions that have funded DataCenter:
- Akonadi Foundation
- Cook Brothers Education Fund
- Ford Foundation
- French American Charitable Trust
- Fund for Nonviolence
- Funding Exchange
- Hooker Family Fund
- Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation
- Marge Harburg Fund of the Vanguard Public Foundation
- New Society Fund
- Next Fund of the San Francisco Foundation
- One California Foundation
- Peace Development Fund
- Philanthropic Ventures Foundation
- Public Concern Foundation
- Solidago Foundation
- Stephen M. Silberstein Fund
- Surdna Foundation
- The California Wellness Foundation
- TOP Fund