Human Rights

The Foundation’s Human Rights program envisions a society where people are free to live whole, safe, and dignified lives. At present, we are far from this vision in the United States because structural racism pervades our society and manifests through systems of punishment — mass incarceration and immigrant detention. The result is the criminalization of poor Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC), and it is visible all around us: these communities are over-represented in this country’s jails, prisons, and detention centers, and are under-resourced in our economic, political, and social justice sectors.

To challenge mass criminalization of BIPOC, the Foundation’s Human Rights program seeks to shift power from punishment systems to BIPOC impacted by mass criminalization; dismantle these systems in the United States; and work towards reimagined approaches to justice that invest in communities rather than prisons and surveillance, and that promote practices of healing and community accountability rooted in our common humanity.

To meet these goals, the Human Rights program invests in three key areas:

  • Building the power and capacity of grassroots movements to fight to dismantle these punishment systems;
  • Supporting healthy ecosystems that center grassroots community organizing within and across the criminal justice and immigrants’ rights movements; and,
  • Advancing reimagined approaches to safety, justice, and accountability that are not rooted in or appended to current punishment systems.

The program invests in the leadership of people who have been directly impacted by these systems and who are seeking transformational change of the current notion of safety and well-being in this country. The program makes grants nationally and in California, Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina – four key states of national importance to shrink and ultimately dismantle carceral systems and reimagine new approaches to safety, justice, and accountability.



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