Analysis and Reports2017-02-19T12:07:29+00:00


Funders for Justice Announces 2nd Cohort of Movement Advisors 

FFJ is proud to announce our 2nd cohort of FFJ Advisors – 12 powerhouse leaders from cities across the US. These leaders organize in multiple racial and gender justice movements to end criminalization of communities of color, including: organizing in Native nations, Latinx migrant justice, transgender rights, youth and multi-generational organizing, South Asian migrant and worker justice, power-building in the South, bail reform, Black organizing and power-building, community-determined safety and a world without prisons, an end to the public health crisis of incarceration, and an end to sexual assault and gender-based violence.

May 15th, 2018|

FFJ Advisor Discussion Series: Charlene Carruthers

We interview Charlene Carruthers (BYP100) where we learn more about BYP100's work on nationalizing the invest/divest demand, Black queer feminist lens as an organizing framework, and the importance of leadership training and political education below.

March 20th, 2018|

FFJ Advisor Discussion Series: Mary Hooks

Funders for Justice interviews Mary Hooks,  Co-Director of Southerners on New Ground (SONG) and a leader of the National Bail Out. We asked Mary to tell us about a recent win on bail reform with the Atlanta city council, what visionary organizing looks like, and what funders can do in this moment. 

February 21st, 2018|

FFJ Advisor Blog Series: Zachary Norris

Zachary Norris, the Executive Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, provides insight on the current political climate, Ella Baker Center's work and connection national movements, and ways funders can support social change and transformation.

November 9th, 2017|

No Pride in Deportation: From Vice to ICE Toolkit

BreakOUT! and NOWCRJ’s Congress of Day Laborers recently released the Vice to ICE Toolkit, a resource on organizing across intersections of identities, including race, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, country of origin, and language.

June 30th, 2017|

Expanding Sanctuary: What Makes a City a Sanctuary Now?

Sanctuary as a concept must evolve and be expanded. It can be a call that unites broad swaths of institutions and civil society if it is based in the belief that collective protection should extend to all communities facing criminalization and persecution and defend against all the agencies that threaten us.

March 14th, 2017|

Funders: Let’s Stop Fixating on Our Issues and Start Supporting Our Values

In this moment, we need all of our leaders across so many movements that are building power for marginalized communities to be supported in ways that allow them to show up and be whole in their work. We can approach our grantmaking from a broader perspective of the values that guide us, to show up together and in solidarity.

March 13th, 2017|

Our cynicism will not build a movement. Collaboration will.

No one is safe from the transition this country is undergoing. The period that we have entered is unlike anything that any of us has ever seen before. We will need to build a movement across divides of class, race, gender, age, documentation, religion and disability. Building a movement requires reaching out beyond the people who agree with you. Simply said, we need each other, and we need leadership and strategy.

March 13th, 2017|

From Protest to Power – Behind the scenes of disruptive social movements

We live in a political era defined by crisis, great promise, and a visible resurgence of popular movements. Strides in economic inequality, criminal justice reforms, and other issues have been made. However, questions on grassroots activism sustaining lasting change, impact, creating successful movement structures, and donors catalyzing movement growth remain. The "From Protest to Power" convening, co-hosted by Ford Foundation and the Solidaire Network, explores these questions through a series of lively and participatory presentations.

November 8th, 2016|

Living Resource Systems: A New Approach for Supporting Movement Networks

Funding must fit the movement cycle and timing is critical. Healthy movements have cycles, and the needs of a thriving, expanding movement change dramatically and rapidly. However, these shifts are neither unpredictable nor random. Funders must be able to anticipate these shifts and be able to respond with agility in order to be most effective.

November 1st, 2016|

Reports from the Movement Strategy Center

The Movement Strategy Center offers a plethora of resources that speak on transformative practices, collective impact, intersecting issues, and building progressive power. This is a curated list.

November 1st, 2016|

Race and Policing – A Resource from IssueLab

This special collection includes research from nonprofits, foundations, and university based research centers, who have not only described and documented the issue but who also provide much-needed recommendations for addressing this chronic and tragic problem.

August 15th, 2016|

More is required of us

Today, I raise the question for philanthropy, particularly for white and non-black people of color donors and foundation staff: what more is required of us to advance racial justice? It is a question I have been grappling with as a biracial Sri Lankan/white American working in philanthropy.

August 15th, 2016|

Resourcing the Movement for Black Lives

The Movement for Black Lives and Black Lives Matter have afforded philanthropy an opportunity to rethink how to be more helpful to communities in peril. Over the past few years, we’ve seen notable shifts in how donors and institutional funders move money to crises and burgeoning movements.

June 3rd, 2016|

As We #SayHerName, 7 Policy Paths to Stop Police Violence Against Black Girls and Women

Of course, changing police policies is not a panacea to police violence against Black girls, women and gender nonconforming people. In order to to strike at the root of the issue, we need to transform our responses to poverty, violence and mental health crises in ways that center the safety and humanity of Black women and our communities. Still, taking action in these seven areas would go a long way to reducing harm while we work toward deeper systemic change.

May 19th, 2016|

From Grievance to Governance: 8 Features of Transformative Campaigns

Transformative Campaigns are a means to create the operational alignment our progressive infrastructure needs to build a new, and specific, type of power: the power to govern based on our values. The capacities needed to govern are much different than the capacities we’ve needed to successfully elevate grievances and lead protests. In order to govern, we need political power. In order to govern with progressive and social justice values, that political power has to be independent from the two dominant political parties. That’s why a critical mass of progressive and social justice organizations is aligning around a strategic focus on building independent political power.

May 4th, 2016|

Hundreds Rally for the Right to Refuse Stop and Frisk

The rally, organized by Communities United for Police Reform, was attended by the families of victims of NYPD violence, such as Ramarley Graham, Mohamed Bah, and Anthony Baez, as well as local politicians, community groups (like Make the Road, the Arab American Association of New York, Picture the Homeless and the Anti-Violence Project) and many young people who had experienced stop-and-frisk policing first hand.

April 20th, 2016|

Policing the Homeless: Broken Windows ‘On Steroids”

In New York City, San Francisco, Denver, Dallas, Los Angeles, and many smaller cities, the impact of failed housing policies that do not provide affordable living options for residents go back decades. But instead of correcting these policies, local authorities have empowered police departments to pursue strategies of homeless removals, sometimes in conjunction with Business Improvement Districts and other civic groups.

March 29th, 2016|

Shifting Gears for Racial Justice

Following five years of targeted grantmaking designed to build the capacity of a field of Muslim, Arab and South Asian (MASA) organizations and strengthen civil rights protections in a national security context, the SRC is now moving forward with a renewed strategy – one that is more directly aligned with the natural trajectory of the field and serves to integrate these issues and communities into the broader rights movement.

March 7th, 2016|

Making Black Lives Matter Initiative Website Launch

The Making Black Lives Matter Initiative site will provide background on Hill-Snowdon’s MBLM Initiative that is focused on supporting Black-led organizing in order to help revitalize and strengthen the institutional and political power of the Black community. The website describes Foundation’s framework for supporting Black communities to develop the power necessary for them to thrive and introduces the Black Social Change Funders Network as a vehicle to help philanthropy better coordinate its efforts to achieve social change in the Black community.

March 1st, 2016|

Control, Disruption and Democracy: Philanthropy’s Role in Inclusive Civic Engagement

To overcome the fictions we tell ourselves requires us to acknowledge that the way the criminal justice system operates for Black and brown people, like the way our national security system has operated since 9/11, and the way our immigration system has functioned for virtually all of American history, is to restrict and confine participation in American democracy – to squelch civic engagement in the most literal sense.

February 29th, 2016|

Philanthropy on the Frontlines of Ferguson

Brown’s death at the hands of former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson sparked a national dialogue about racial inequality. It brought home the point that, just as place and poverty are social determinants of health, racial equity is an important indicator of our communities’ health. This dialogue has been a critically important step toward addressing the complex challenges and deep fissures that exist in communities plagued by racial tension and economic instability. But we at Deaconess Foundation strongly believe that in order to overcome these challenges and heal the fissures, the dialogue must be followed by action on a systemic level.

February 23rd, 2016|

We didn’t start a movement. We started a network.

by Patrisse Marie Cullors-Brignac - ...And as we inch closer to liberation, we will do so in different ways, and it is important to note the differences in how we approach this important work. As a friend of mine recently said: “there’s no one right way to get free.” There are divergent strategies, however, and it feels especially important to point out two in particular: neoliberalism and Black radicalism.

February 22nd, 2016|

Spotlight: Justice Committee, North Star Fund Grantee

JC members and leaders are New Yorkers whose lives are impacted by police violence, including families who have lost loved ones to the New York Police Department. Since 2004, Justice Committee has received 14 North Star Fund grants totaling over $150,000, including the 2015 Frederick Douglass Award.

January 27th, 2016|

Who Pays? The True Cost of Incarceration on Families

Who Pays? The True Cost of Incarceration on Families proves that the costs of locking up millions of people is much deeper than we think. Locking up individuals also breaks apart their families and communities, saddles them with overwhelming debt, and leads to mental and physical ailments. The situation is dire, but a better approach is possible.

November 25th, 2015|

What We’ve Gained And Lost Since Stonewall

People can’t get to Laverne Cox or Janet Mock, so instead, they go after a girl walking in a street in her neighborhood at night, just trying to make money to survive. And when the police come, the murderer goes home free of charge, while this trans woman nobody cares about lies dead in the street.

September 16th, 2015|

CampaignZERO Launched

CampaignZERO presents a comprehensive package of policy reforms to end police violence in America. It encourages people to petition their elected representatives to implement 10 policy solution areas at the local, state, and federal level of government to achieve an America where police do not kill people.

August 21st, 2015|

A Ferguson Syllabus: Reading a Movement

by Darnell Moore. Here are some essential readings from several astute activists, journalists and writers that have inspired, angered and challenged readers everywhere this past year. While this is in no way an exhaustive list, the following offers insider and outsider views of Ferguson, pushing all of us to consider the radical spirit and collective beauty illuminated in mass mobilized protests.

August 11th, 2015|

Black Panther cub on new era of civil action

by Malkia Cyril. Like many thousands of black activists, I waded through the multicultural waters of the last 20 years. Even as black organisers and activists actively built a solidarity movement with other communities of colour, anti-blackness prevailed without an organised counter. Until now.

August 8th, 2015|

Protestor Progress

Protestor Progress tracks movement victories that have happened to date as a testament to the power of protest to change the systems and institutions that perpetuate police violence in our communities.

August 6th, 2015|

One year after Eric Garner’s death, we still are not safe

Dante Barry, Million Hoodies Movement. The response to this growing movement has been anemic. Task forces were formed and body cameras funded, but conversations in the halls of power have focused exclusively on tweaking, not truly reforming policing practices. New York has a lot of work to do to bring real systemic change to the NYPD.

July 21st, 2015|

#SayHerName: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women

Say Her Name responds to increasing calls for attention to police violence against Black women by offering a resource to help ensure that Black women’s stories are integrated into demands for justice, policy responses to police violence, and media representations of victims and survivors of police brutality.

July 16th, 2015|

As We Mourn Charleston’s Victims, Philanthropy Must Act

By Nakisha M. Lewis, Tynesha McHarris, and Allen Kwabena Frimpong. But the systemic changes needed to end the violence won’t happen unless this movement gets the resources to build an infrastructure that harnesses a strong network of organizers and organizations.

June 29th, 2015|

The Real Crime: Mass Criminalization of our Communities

Everyday, people of color in the United States are being criminalized for their economic condition, their race, their migrant status, gender and so much more. However, the real crime is demonizing, criminalizing and imprisoning millions of young men and women, relegating them to the margins of society as disenfranchised, unemployable pariahs.

June 23rd, 2015|

Building Momentum From The Ground Up: A Toolkit For Promoting Justice In Policing

Communities across the country that have lived for too long under the weight of discriminatory policing and mass incarceration are calling for a transformation of our policing and criminal justice systems. To support the efforts of community organizations and elected officials, the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) and PolicyLink have created Building Momentum from the Ground Up: A Toolkit for Promoting Justice in Policing.

June 15th, 2015|

A Chance to Rewrite America’s Racial Narrative

Allison Brown, Open Society Foundations: On Mother’s Day, I watch Samaria Rice beg for some closure five months after her son, Tamir, was shot to death by police officers within moments of encountering him in a Cleveland park. I think of Gloria Darden and the shock she must have experienced at discovering that her son, Freddie Gray, was killed so senselessly and so violently by police.

May 13th, 2015|

Stop the War on Baltimore

by Dante Barry, Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, in The Nation, May 6, 2015: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake has lifted the citywide curfew, and the National Guard plans to implement a drawdown. Now is the time for Mayor Rawlings Blake to put an end to Baltimore police militarization.

May 6th, 2015|

‘Our Demand Is Simple: Stop Killing Us’

On the evening of April 25 at the corner of Pratt and Light Streets, in Baltimore’s revitalized downtown district, more than 100 police officers in riot gear stood shoulder to shoulder, shields up. Six officers on horseback fidgeted behind them, staring down at a crowd of about 40, an odd mixture of protesters, journalists and protester-journalists.

May 4th, 2015|

From the Front Lines of Ferguson

The incident was all too familiar. An apparently unarmed black man was fatally shot by a white police officer, in a predominately African American community with a predominately Caucasian police force. And yet there were meaningful differences between the April 7 shooting of Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina, and several similar tragedies—including Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri—that stirred nationwide protests last fall.

April 10th, 2015|

Civil Rights Monitor

Leadership Conference Education Fund annual publication that chronicles civil and human rights issues pending before the three branches of government, and other, emerging issues like the potential for big data to supercharge discrimination against disadvantaged communities. The 2015 volume addresses police misconduct.

March 23rd, 2015|

Arizona Citizens Speak Out Against “Secret Police Bill”

Community leaders and members of the ACLU gathered on the capital lawn this morning to speak out against SB 1445, a controversial bill that "limits the release of the name of a peace officer who is involved in a use of deadly physical force incident for 60 days."

March 19th, 2015|

Private University Police Patrol Off-Campus (and Off the Record)

Members of the University of Chicago Police Department carry guns, make arrests, and patrol tens of thousands of residents unaffiliated with the university—but they don’t have to disclose any information about stops, arrests, and policies. Two Illinois Representatives are finally trying to change that.

March 17th, 2015|

How White Foundation Leaders Can Promote Racial Justice

The future of our nation depends on our building a society that ensures everyone has an opportunity to thrive, regardless of race. Philanthropy has an important role to play in the coming months and years to help the movement bring about lasting progress.

March 14th, 2015|

Thinking About the Safety of Black Lives Beyond Policing

We need to fund more teachers and social workers, not police officers, in our schools. We need doctors, not cops, to deal with drug addiction and mental illness. We need full employment not the criminalization of poverty. We need organized and powerful communities not federal tank giveaways. We need to fund stronger, healthier neighborhoods, not bigger police departments.

February 25th, 2015|

Making Black Lives Matter

Nat Chioke Williams, Executive Director, Hill-Snowdon Foundation: The Black Lives Matter movement has allowed the country to approach having honest, clear and urgent dialogue on structural racism by punching holes in the cone of silence that typically suffocates meaningful dialogue on racism with a sea of deeply cynical memes like political correctness, reverse racism, and color blindness.

February 25th, 2015|

OBS Launches Quality Policing Initiative

Our Quality Policing Initiative makes all five phases of policing authority—(1) recruitment, (2) training, (3) deployment, (4) accountability and (5) advancement—responsive to the communities that they are policing and to the elected officials who regulate and deploy them.

January 12th, 2015|

Youth on the Move: How Funders Can Support the Growing Movement of Young People of Color in 2015

Young people of color are demonstrating a readiness to organize that has not been seen in many years. For funders and others who care about youth leadership and social and racial justice, it is an important time to support the actions taking place across the country to help them coalesce into a sustained movement. For funders who care about young people, education, health and host of other issues, now is the time to invest not just in direct youth services, but also in the leadership of young people to address the roots of inequality.

January 9th, 2015|

A New Testament of Hope

During these past few weeks, as each of us has attempted to make sense of Michael Brown and Eric Garner’s senseless killings, “confusion and bewilderment” abound. In private moments and public demonstrations, we have been overwhelmed with emotion. We have grappled with disbelief, frustration, shame, and anger. Yet, confronted anew with a crisis as old as the country, it’s my conviction that we must give our own testament of hope.

December 19th, 2014|

The Black Philanthropic Resource Library

ABFE has compiled a growing list of these products to document the evolution of Black male initiatives in philanthropy and to highlight data of particular interest to members and colleagues throughout its networks.

December 12th, 2014|

Stop and Frisk Info

This is a publicly accessible, comprehensive and multidisciplinary research database website. This is an essential resource for providing and publicizing factual, scientifically valid information about current “stop and frisk” policing practices.

December 10th, 2014|

Response to Eric Garner’s Case: A Deeper Conversation

We are faced with our system’s criminalization of poverty, severely anemic political participation, geographically segregated neighborhoods, unprecedented levels of economic and wealth inequality, and a heavily militarized police force entrusted with public safety over communities who are met with not only brutality, but with a justice system that is indifferent, neglectful, and even hostile in bringing justice for abuses suffered.

December 4th, 2014|

Enough is Enough: We Demand Quality Policing Now

We call on the President to embrace our Quality Policing Initiative, which will transform police culture in this country so that the First and Fourth Amendment rights of citizens are protected. The Quality Policing Initiative demands reciprocal, professional, accountable and cooperative policing in five areas of policing:

December 3rd, 2014|

Race Files

Race Files exists to lift the veil of colorblindness – to make race and racism visible. Race Files uses analogy, pop culture, and personal narratives to tell the story of race and create a language that will help us defeat racism.

December 1st, 2014|

Building Trust Between Communities and Local Police

Recent events in Ferguson, Missouri and around the country have grabbed the attention of the nation and the world, and have highlighted the importance of strong, collaborative relationships between local police and the communities that they protect.

December 1st, 2014|

Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation

The Center for Racial Justice Innovation's most recent edition of Moving the Race Conversation Forward includes a section with content analysis on print, cable, and social media coverage of Ferguson. ColorLines, an online publication by Race Forward, has had excellent ongoing coverage of Ferguson.

November 28th, 2014|

Moving Forward on Racial Justice Philanthropy

Through focus groups, webinars and direct interviews, our team has sought to get a strong sense of both funders' and activists' perspectives on progress particularly over the past two decades...We are pleased that through funder case studies and activist essays about structural racism analysis, intersectionality and media justice, we're able to share real progress, even as each piece recognizes there is still much more to be done.

November 28th, 2014|

Five Things President Obama Could Do to Stop the Killing

If my son - who is 14 years old, has Autism and is hearing impaired - were African-American I would be worried every time he left the house to walk to school or the library, worried that he'd have a failed encounter with a teacher, school administrator or police officer that would result in him being hurt, psychologically or physically.

November 26th, 2014|

Lessons for Ferguson from 4,000 Miles Away

Out of great tragedy can come greater understanding. We can look to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that arose 20 years ago in South Africa to investigate the effects of apartheid as one example—an example of sustained international reflection that showed how we the people can push and grow toward a more perfect world. Our steps, even our missteps, are building blocks and bring us closer to that world we crave.

November 25th, 2014|

Ferguson to Geneva

The family of Michael Brown, HandsUpUnited, Organization for Black Struggle (OBS), and Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) has submitted a brief to the United Nations and will present it in Geneva November 12-13, 2014.

November 1st, 2014|

Ferguson Action Demands

The United States Government must acknowledge and address the structural violence and institutional discrimination that continues to imprison our communities either in a life of poverty and/or one behind bars. We want the United States Government to recognize the full spectrum of our human rights and its obligations under international law.

November 1st, 2014|

After #FergusonOctober

How can philanthropy support organizing in this moment and in the long term? The Neighborhood Funders Group asked four questions – these are the responses.

October 16th, 2014|

The Making of Ferguson

The conditions that created Ferguson cannot be addressed without remedying a century of public policies that segregated our metropolitan landscape. Remedies are unlikely if we fail to recognize these policies and how their effects have endured.

October 15th, 2014|

Ferguson in Focus

A new NAACP LDF report, Ferguson in Focus, looks at Ferguson through the lenses of educational inequality, political disenfranchisement, economic inequality, and the criminal justice system.

October 13th, 2014|

Agenda to Keep us Safe

The Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) is dedicated to the long-term fight to end the criminalization of Black youth. We believe that strategies to achieve this goal and ultimately transform our lives and communities require grassroots organizing and public policy advocacy at the local, state, and federal level.

September 30th, 2014|


In the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death, PolicyLink, the Center for Global Policy Solutions, and over 1,400 social justice leaders, congressional members, faith leaders, artists, and activists signed an open letter to President Obama, urging federal action through the Justice Department to improve police-community relations through seven principles...

September 28th, 2014|

Grant Makers Should Seize the Moment to Seek Racial Justice Solutions

As grant makers who have supported minority populations impacted by civil-rights violations after September 11, we have seen time and again that the solutions to these deeply entrenched problems [like police accountability] require connecting the dots—focusing on community-led strategies and funding both within and across communities.

September 21st, 2014|

We Call it the “American Dream”

What immigrants don’t always fully appreciate is that many native-born Americans have had to fight just as hard and struggle just as much for safety, freedom, opportunity, and family. Throughout American history, no group has had a greater struggle than African-Americans.

September 5th, 2014|

Bolder Advocacy

Bolder Advocacy advances and protects the role of nonprofits in influencing public policy. We use our expertise to ensure that the legal and political environment in which organizations operate is fair, balanced, and open to hearing them. By tracking and responding to legislation that affects nonprofit advocacy, fighting for the rights of nonprofits and foundations to conduct advocacy, and responding to potential threats to nonprofit advocacy, we lay the groundwork for more nonprofit organizations to advocate effectively on behalf of their communities...

February 1st, 2014|

The New Jim Crow

The New Jim Crow is a stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status—denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement.

January 16th, 2012|

The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America

The idea of black criminality was crucial to the making of modern urban America, as were African Americans’ own ideas about race and crime. Chronicling the emergence of deeply embedded notions of black people as a dangerous race of criminals by explicit contrast to working-class whites and European immigrants, this fascinating book reveals the influence such ideas have had on urban development and social policies.

December 30th, 2011|
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