The current US criminal justice system is built on a foundation of false narratives – it weaves together stories that tell the American public that people of color can and should be criminalized; that system-impacted individuals cannot and do not stray from a pipeline; and that incarcerated bodies do not deserve the same value and care as those outside the walls of prisons and jails. Additionally, the criminal justice system does not accommodate the unique needs and circumstances of women, girls, trans, and gender non-conforming individuals, while disproportionally harming people of color.
In the pursuit of equity and justness, the voices of women, girls, trans, and gender non-conforming people of color need to be at the center of conversations about criminal justice reform. Our ultimate vision for the American justice system is that it is equitable, fair, and rightsized; it values those across the gender spectrum; and it ceases to inflict pain, perpetuate racism, and uphold patriarchy.
Through Equitable Justice, the Weissberg Foundation seeks to advance organizations and efforts approaching justice reform with an intersectional lens and centering system-impacted women girls, trans, and gender non-conforming individuals of color.
2018-2020 Equitable Justice Fund
The 2018-2020 Equitable Justice Fund is the inaugural grantmaking round of this program area. The fund supports small, community-based organizations in Maryland, New Mexico, New York, and Washington, DC that are building the leadership and advocacy capacity of system-impacted women, girls, and gender non-conforming individuals of color to advance equity and change the narrative about who they are, what our criminal justice system is, and what it can be.
We seek the following outcomes through the Equitable Justice Fund:
Grant partners are better resourced to build the power of system-impacted women, girls, trans, and gender non-conforming individuals and advance a truthful narrative about our criminal justice system.
Grant partners, their work, and their messages are more visible and compelling to talent, funders, policymakers, the media, and other potential collaborators.
We and other funders more effectively collaborate to support narratives and work most likely to create transformative change in the justice system.
- SYSTEMS CHANGE
Policymakers are more compelled to advance fair and equitable criminal justice laws and practices.
System-impacted women, girls, and gender non-conforming individuals of color have agency to improve their lives and the lives of others, advance policies and practices on issues they deem most critical to them, their families, their communities, and the justice system, and are more valued and respected.
2018-2020 Equitable Justice Grantee Partners
In the fall of 2018, the Weissberg Foundation awarded grants in the amount of $50,000 each over two years to the seven following organizations. Though each grantee partner takes a different approach to advancing equitable justice, each has in place key roles for and engagement of women, girls, trans, and/or gender non-conforming individuals of color in criminal justice reform; a deep knowledge of this population; the strategic use of advocacy, organizing and/or civic engagement to advance systems-level reform; building power of these individuals to improve their lives and the lives of others, advance equitable criminal justice policies and practices, and change the narrative on who they are and can be; and meaningful success in achieving goals, including making transformational progress in advancing equitable justice reform.
- African American Policy Forum (NY)
- Black Women’s Blueprint (NY)
- Bold Futures (NM)
- College and Community Fellowship (NY)
- Maryland Justice Project (MD)
- Rights4Girls (DC)
- Sylvia Rivera Law Project (NY)
Learn more about our Equitable Justice grantees.
Equitable Justice Mini-Grants
Through our RFP process, we were introduced to many organizations doing powerful work incredibly well aligned with our Equitable Justice goals, but not squarely within our target populations. Though we are unable to award all of them with a full grant, we wanted to lift up three in particular with one-year “mini-grants.” We look forward to continuing to engage with and amplify the work of these organizations in a focused way.