Winning Transformative Victories to Address Police Violence and Increase Public Safety: Read About the Communities Transforming Policing Fund’s Grantees

November 21, 2019

This fall, the Communities Transforming Policing Fund (CTPF) awarded 10 grassroots advocacy organizations $815,000 in renewal grants. CTPF is in its third year of grantmaking focused on one of society’s most pressing and under-resourced issues: addressing police violence against marginalized communities.

The Communities Transforming Policing Fund (CTPF) is a donor collaborative that resources local communities to:

  • build power among people impacted by deadly and discriminatory policing practices
  • increase police accountability and transparency
  • redefine safety by advocating for investment in community-based programs and services, instead of police, jails, and prisons.

The vision of the Fund is to support the creation of a world in which communities have the power to direct public safety responses and resources to address the root causes of poverty, conflict, and violence.

“The CTPF organizations are working to transform policing including increasing transparency and accountability of police departments and providing a community voice in policing decisions while also creating alternatives to police that will achieve real public safety for all communities,” said Jennifer Shaw, Program Officer at Open Society Foundations.  “We are proud to partner with Borealis by offering financial support to help these groups as they build the kind of infrastructure and momentum that is critical for winning long-lasting, impactful police reforms.”

Organizations receiving support from the CTPF have achieved significant policy and organizing victories: a police union contract that establishes an independent police oversight office in Austin, TX, a state policy changing the standards for use of force by police from reasonable to necessary in California, and legislation that closes a city jail and will repurpose it as a Center for Wellness and Freedom in Atlanta, GA, to name a few.

Ongoing funding creates opportunities for these organizations to maximize the reach and impact of their work and share strategies with communities across the country, while continuing to center the experiences and perspectives of people impacted by violent police practices. The Fund provides individualized organizational development support to its grantees and opportunities for peer learning and technical assistance across the cohort.

“Through organizing, advocacy, and deep coalition building, we have made the violence of the Phoenix police a public issue, and we’ve won increased funding for services the community has asked for like youth services, homelessness services, and mental health care,” said Viridiana Hernandez, Executive Director at Poder in Action, a grantee based in Phoenix, Arizona, where the police department had the highest number of police shootings in the country in 2018. “We are in a moment where we can leverage those wins to change the narrative about public safety and demand far more city funding go towards resources for our community.”

Read more about the visionary work of CTPF renewal grantees:  

ACLU-New Mexico: APD Forward will engage impacted communities in police reform efforts, hold Albuquerque police accountable to comply with the agreement reached between the city and the Department of Justice, and ensure that the city dedicates resources to fully fund necessary reforms.

Austin Justice Coalition will advance policy reform with toolkits on recent wins, change practices related to police response to mental health calls, and help to establish a Civilian Review Panel to increase transparency and community involvement with police oversight.

Blueprint North Carolina: North Carolina Statewide Police Accountability Network will strengthen collective rapid response infrastructure, invest in youth development, and build a shared narrative around police accountability in the state.

Faith in the Valley will invest in and strengthen grassroots leadership and community organizing capacity to advance change that improves policing and makes it more transparent and accountable to impacted Central Valley communities.

Foundation for Louisiana: Police Accountability Table will support a grassroots organizing campaign in Baton Rouge to ensure law enforcement practices do not disproportionately target communities of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people, people who are homeless, people with mental illnesses, and other vulnerable populations.

Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability will continue deep community engagement in implementing the Community Commission and District Councils that will drive accountability and transparency between the Chicago Police Department and the community.

Poder in Action will advocate for more city investments in community-redefined forms of public safety, and launch a campaign to change police accountability and transparency policies and practices.

Racial Justice Action Center and their grassroots project Women on the Rise will ensure that the taskforce overseeing the transformation of the city’s jail into a Center for Wellness and Freedom is community-led and centers the voices and visions of those most harmed by policing and incarceration.

Unite Oregon will prepare leaders of color to assume positions of power in the movement for police reform, and interrupt the school-to-prison pipeline.

African American Roundtable, a project of Wisconsin Voices, launched the Liberate MKE Campaign that advocates for divesting $25 million from the police department budget and demand investment elsewhere based on community needs and priorities.

The CTPF is a collaborative effort of the Ford Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, and Open Society Foundations. To learn more about the CTPF and join the donor collaborative, please contact jthomas@borealisphilanthropy.org.