Welcome to the second quarterly newsletter of Borealis Philanthropy’s Criminal Justice Initiatives (CJI). In this newsletter, you’ll hear about the visionary, strategic, grassroots organizations led by People of Color that are intervening at the front door of the criminal legal system around policing and pretrial justice, and how two Borealis Funds—Communities Transforming Policing Fund (CTPF) and Spark Justice Fund—are supporting these efforts.
Amidst the explosion of COVID-19 and the recent uprisings against police violence, this quarter has been an exhausting but transformative time for CTPF and SJF grantees, including those who have long advocated for defunding the police.
CTPF grantees in Austin, Chicago, DC, Milwaukee, several cities in North Carolina, New York City, Phoenix, Portland, and Providence have grown or launched campaigns to defund their local police departments and invest in supports that keep communities safe, such as quality, affordable housing, universal health care, community-based mental health services, employment, and youth programming. Their vision for justice is being discussed by political leaders as well as around kitchen tables across the country.
Spark Justice grantees have also intensified their work to bail out people from jail, including protestors who are fighting for racial justice. They are leading nationwide calls for the immediate release of individuals, given the urgent threats posed by COVID-19, an end to money bail, closure of jails, and reinvestment into communities.
During this turbulent time, CJI is working to respond quickly to the multiple needs groups are facing on the ground.
Read up about our latest work below, including new grants announced, grantee victories, and perspectives on what it will take to respond, heal, fund, and win in this moment.
Katayoon Majd & Jeree Thomas, CJI Team
CJI includes the following funds: Communities Transforming Policing Fund (CTPF) invests in local communities to increase police accountability and transparency, while shifting power and resources from the police and the carceral state to communities to create public safety; and Spark Justice Fund (SJF) supports constituent-led grassroots efforts to end money bail, transform pretrial justice, and build power in the communities most impacted by incarceration.