Social Justice Datasets
When working on social justice issues you often can’t find, or can’t rely on, official data sets. When you’re first learning to analayze data, it can be overwhelming to have to find your own data sets and figure out the code to analyze them as well. So here are a few data sets you can work with initially. Once you’ve gained some experience working with these data sets, you’ll have a better idea how to find more specific data that you’re interested in working with.
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Mapping Police Violence
The Mapping Police Violence project aims to collect, curate, and present data about inicdents relating to police violence. There are many visualizations on the site itself, but there’s also a prominent link to download the data for yourself and come to your own conclusions.
Mapping Police Violence is maintained by Samuel Sinyangwe and DeRay McKesson. On their About the Data page, they explain that their data is sourced from several other datasets. If you’re curious about the data, it’s well worth reading the descriptions of the data collection methods, and following links to other projects that Mapping Police Violence is built on. Following these links will also lead you to a variety of projects with similar aims.
- Visit the mappingpoliceviolence.org home page.
- Download the dataset that Mapping Police Violence uses.
- If you have any trouble downloading the dataset, you can find a snapshot of the data as of 6/19/20 in the
beyond_pcc/social_justice_datasets/directory of the online resources for Python Crash Course.
Wikipedia has a number of interesting datasets. When it was first introduced, Wikipedia was not always considered a reliable resource. The number of editors was small enough, and the platform new enough, that individuals and groups could influence articles and datasets significantly. For more prominent issues and articles, Wikipedia is mature enough now that many of its articles are pretty reliable. If you aren’t confident in a particular data set or article on Wikipedia, you can investigate the sources for the article and compare what you find through Wikipedia to what you find in other sources. For social justice issues where people need to pull together statistics from many different sources, a collaborative platform like Wikipedia can be really useful.
Here are two datasets on Wikipedia that can be helpful when starting to dig into social justice issues: