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Foundation’s Human Rights Program Invests $1.8M in Black-Led Organizations

Photo of a group of people from Essie Justice Group.

The Heising-Simons Foundation recognizes that structural racism pervades our society and manifests through systems of punishment including mass incarceration. The result is the over criminalization of Black people, and the under resourcing of Black people in economic, political, and social justice sectors. To address these issues, the Human Rights program invests in grassroots organizing led by Black people and other communities of color directly impacted by mass criminalization, while advancing reimagined approaches to safety, justice, and accountability.

While recent events have spotlighted the pervasiveness of police violence against Black people, this has been a longstanding issue rooted in this country’s legacy of slavery.  The Foundation is using this moment, nonetheless, to increase its investment in Black-led grassroots organizations supporting a more robust ecosystem and infrastructure across the country to address anti-Blackness and police violence, and take advantage of momentous opportunities to defund the current punishment systems, while simultaneously creating new paradigms for safety and building the power of Black people.

The Foundation is pleased to announce recent grants totaling $1.8 million to the following organizations, to deepen Black-led grassroots organizing as well as to reimagine new approaches to justice, safety, and accountability not rooted in punishment.

We invite you to visit their websites and learn more about these organizations.

  • BYP100 (Black Youth Project 100) ($300,000 over 2 years)
    A national, membership-based organization of Black youth working on decarceration, criminalization, community reinvestment, and transformative justice.
  • Black Led Movement Fund at Borealis Philanthropy: ($300,000 over 2 years)
    This pooled fund supports organizations working to advance the vision of young, Black, LGBTQ, feminist, and immigrant leaders. In particular, it prioritizes funding organizations that are actively leading and anchoring the Movement for Black Lives.
  • BOLD: Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity ($400,000 over 2 years)
    A national training intermediary focused on transforming the practice of Black organizers in the U.S. to increase their alignment, impact, and sustainability to win progressive change.
  • Communities Transforming Policing Fund at Borealis Philanthropy ($300,000 over 2 years)
    This pooled fund is dedicated to building and strengthening the capacity of organizations working to transform the way law enforcement agencies engage with local communities.
  • Policy Link: Moving Beyond Policing Coalition ($300,000 over 2 years)
    Moving Beyond Policing is a coalition to build alignment around a common framework and explore a long-term, national infrastructure to abolish policing by centering grassroots and community-based campaigns.
  • Justice Teams Network  ($200,000 over 2 years)
    Justice Teams Network is dedicated to eradicating all forms of state violence by creating community-led first responder options throughout California.

Human Rights