Charmine Davis is likely one of the tens of millions of moms with a youngster who drives. Dad and mom of youngster drivers all expertise some mixture of delight of their baby’s independence and anxiousness over their security behind the wheel of a automobile.
For Davis, nonetheless, this fear for her baby’s well-being is heightened as a result of she is aware of that her son, a Black younger man, has a better likelihood of being pulled over by police, in comparison with white drivers. In reality, a 2020 examine printed within the journal Nature Human Behaviour discovered that Black drivers have been about 20% extra prone to be stopped by police, and a examine carried out by Harvard researchers revealed that Black individuals are three instances extra prone to be killed throughout police contact in comparison with white folks.
In gentle of the dying of George Floyd and different incidents of racially motivated police violence, Davis, a scientific psychologist in California, created the Simply Us app as a option to keep related together with her son whereas he was on the highway.
Simply Us (a play on the phrase “justice”) permits customers to attach with as much as 5 contacts, and there are three principal options that drivers can activate by touching a button on the app or by merely utilizing the voice-activated instructions:
- Test-In: A driver can hit the inexperienced Test-In button (or they will use voice-activation to say “Hey Siri, verify in”) to ship out the driving force’s present location to their contacts with the message that they’ve arrived safely.
- Heads Up: The yellow Heads Up button notifies the driving force’s contacts that they’re being pulled over or there’s a potential scenario, and it sends out their present location. The Simply Us app additionally presents the choice for a livestream to start when the Heads Up button is activated.
- Assist: Lastly, the crimson Assist button can even activate the livestream and can alert all Simply Us customers inside a 2-mile radius that somebody wants help.
The voice-activation functionality was a key characteristic for Davis, as she knew that reaching for a smartphone to make use of the app after being pulled over by police may very well be harmful.
“We all know that a variety of incidents occur when of us attain for issues,” Davis advised “Good Morning America.” “And so the voice activation was so necessary to me since you’re not reaching for something. There’s no misconceptions there.”
One of many targets of the Simply Us app was to permit younger Black drivers the liberty that each teenager longs for throughout these adolescence.
“My sons are youngsters they usually needed to exit and do these issues that each different teenager can do,” Davis stated in an interview posted on Twitter by way of the Simply Us app account. “I used to be so afraid for him driving the streets in Los Angeles.”
Our Households Ought to Not Stay in Concern… Founder & CEO @AngelicCharmine of #thejustusapp explains why she invented the app. For the total video, go to our Fb web page and watch “Get Residence Protected through the Holidays”. pic.twitter.com/zTiUpavSRC
— The JUST US App (@TheJustUsApp) March 11, 2021
Candace Walker, a graduate pupil on the USC Iovine and Younger Academy, led the event workforce that labored to carry Davis’s imaginative and prescient to life. For the workforce, constructing this app was about giving Black drivers a brand new useful resource for staying secure on the roads — and ideally a option to improve police accountability.
“That’s actually the purpose — to get our youngsters residence secure, to get our family members residence secure,” Walker stated, in accordance with the USC pupil newspaper The Day by day Trojan. “To principally be capable of dwell with out the concern, understanding whether or not or not we’ll make it again residence.”