Fighting Abuse Against Women in Prison Webinar on May 19th!

CJI’s monthly series of Education & Strategy Webinars are led by activists & organizers fighting back against criminalization & incarceration around the country. Join us!

FRIDAY, MAY 19TH 3PM Eastern

Gendered violence structures experiences of the prison system, targeting incarcerated women and transpeople for abuses including rape, sexual coercion and assault, and shackling during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Join our webinar to learn about work to end the abuse and change the system. Featuring speakers Andrea James of Families for Justice as Healing, Janetta Johnson of TGI Justice Project, and Harriette Davis of the Family Unity Project of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children.

The Webinars are FREE & take place every month! Register for instructions on joining.

Immigration & Private Prisons Webinar on April 21st!

CJI’s monthly series of Education & Strategy Webinars are led by activists & organizers fighting back against criminalization & incarceration around the country. Join us!

FRIDAY, APRIL 21st 3PM Eastern

Join speakers from the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Puente, and Enlace for a FREE Webinar on Immigration and Private Prisons.

In a xenophobic political climate, migrants are under threat of violence, detention, and deportation. At the same time, the private prison industry increasingly profits off the criminalization and caging of these vulnerable communities. Join our Webinar to learn more about immigrant experiences in the Trump era and next steps in the campaign against private prisons.

The Webinars are FREE & take place every month! Register for instructions on joining.

Criminalizing Gender Webinar on March 30th!

CJI’s monthly series of Education & Strategy Webinars are led by activists & organizers fighting back against criminalization & incarceration around the country. Join us!

THURSDAY, MARCH 30th 3PM Eastern

Join speakers from the Racial Justice Action Center and BreakOUT!Throughout the country, policing disproportionately targets transgender and gender non-conforming people, especially transwomen, youth, and other people of color. Profiling and the criminalization of gender results in extreme levels of harassment, abuse, arrest, and incarceration, as well as restricted access to jobs, housing, education, and medical care. Join our Webinar to learn more about the criminalization of transpeople, and strategies to redress this and create communities where everyone can live and thrive.

The Webinars are FREE & take place on every month! Register for instructions on joining.

Bail Reform Webinar on February 17th!

CJI’s monthly series of Education & Strategy Webinars are led by activists & organizers fighting back against criminalization & incarceration around the country. Join us!


Recent advances in bail reform around the country have led to decreases in bail amounts, reductions in the numbers of people held on bail and, in some cases bail being eliminated as a requirement in all but a few cases. Some groups are raising money to pay bails for people who can't afford it. However, new strategies from the right are being pushed to maintain the status quo in the guise of reform. Learn about how to identify and resist this right-wing strategy in your community.

Sign up for the first webinar to learn more about the impact of new bail policies and recent strategies in bail reform organizing with presenters: Sarah Morris (Youth Arts Self-empowerment Project), Hannah Sasserman (Media Mobilizing Project), & Ezra Ritchin (Bronx Freedom Fund)

The Webinars are FREE & take place on the 3rd Friday of every month! Register for instructions on joining.


The Criminal Justice Initiative is seeking a Full-Time Program Officer

The New York based Criminal Justice Initiative (CJI), a donor activist funding body, is searching for a full time program officer who will play a key role in shaping and implementing the funding circle's national criminal justice reform work.

Position Overview:

The Grants Program Officer manages the annual grants cycle, develops grant making strategy in consultation with staff and active members and stays abreast of trends and approaches to criminal justice reform.

The Grants Program Officer must be a strong problem solver with a nuanced understanding of criminal justice issues in all communities of color. The right candidate will have expert organizational skills to help manage program growth and multiple funding efforts. Strong written and verbal communication skills, attention to detail, and the ability to support grantee relationships and donor collaborations a must.


  • Manages CJI Donor Circle meetings and coordinates Circle committees.
  • Primary responsibility for the Grants Meeting agenda and planning in cooperation with the Director and planning committee, including the grants deliberation process
  • Drafts the annual Grants Cycle with the Director and circulates for approval
  • Drafts the request for proposals/LOI in conjunction with the Director
  • Primary responsibility for planning the annual public education meeting
  • Helps coordinate bi-monthly Political Education Call
  • Primary contact for grantee communication
    • Writes the grants list and grantee profiles
    • Feeds info on grantee updates to administrator for posting on website, Facebook, twitter
    • Conducts grantee survey or other info gathering from grantees regarding their experience of CJI practices and process


  • Related work experience in criminal justice or philanthropy a plus.
  • Excellent critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills with an ability to work on multiple efforts at the same time.
  • Truly collaborative spirit who can also excel working alone on projects
  • Familiarity with criminal justice issues, community organizing dynamics in communities of color and funding best practices.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Comfort in managing cultural diversity, class differences, gender bias, LGBTQ issues, and all other differences as they relate to both criminal justice policy and community organizing.
  • Openness, curiosity, flexibility and love of learning appreciated.

Compensation: Salary is competitive and based on experience and qualifications.

The Criminal Justice Initiative (CJI) is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to a diverse workplace; formerly incarcerated people, people of color, LGBTQ people, women, people with disabilities and other under-represented communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

How to apply: Deadline for application is January 20, 2017. Please email resume with a cover letter to



The Criminal Justice Initiative is seeking a Full-Time Operations Manager

The New York based Criminal Justice Initiative (CJI), a donor activist funding body, is searching for a dedicated, experienced, detail-oriented Operations Manager to strengthen our work by taking the lead in managing our internal administrative operations.

Job Overview:

The ideal candidate has the ability to work effectively in a fast growing funding organization committed to the transformation of the criminal justice system in the US. The Operations Manager will provide both administrative and programmatic support to a small but busy Manhattan office that supports grassroots efforts in criminal justice work nationally. The Operations Manager will work with all staff members and funding circle members and be supervised by the Director. The Operations Manager must demonstrate sound judgement, be able to focus on detail without losing sight of the larger goals, and must have good organizational skills. They must love creating order. Patience is a plus!

Job Description: The Operations Manager will be responsible for:

  • Complex scheduling, meeting coordination, and some travel arrangements
  • Office management basics including facilities maintenance, IT maintenance, and database maintenance
  • Office budgeting and financial management
  • Human resources management and record keeping
  • Development support
  • Communications support and website maintenance
  • Intern and volunteer coordination
  • Creation and management of organizational systems


We are looking for someone who has at least five years of experience in a non-profit administrative management role. Experience managing financial documents, QuickBooks, donor and membership databases, and knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel) a must.

Ideal candidate: 

The ideal candidate gives high attention to detail, has a problem solving approach to work, the ability to prioritize, multi-task and meet deadlines, time management skills, and solid follow-through. Experience supervising volunteers and interns a plus. Commitment to social justice and criminal justice transformation is essential. Should be excited to work in a collaborative, creative work environment with an innovative organizational model and dedicated staff. Sense of humor greatly appreciated!

Compensation: Salary is competitive and based on experience and qualifications.

CJI: is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to a diverse workplace; formerly incarcerated people, people of color, LGBTQ people, women, people with disabilities and other under-represented communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

How to Apply: Deadline for applications is January 20, 2017. Please email resume and cover letter to

Stand With CJI Grantees

In the wake of this election, CJI remains committed to supporting the needs and struggles of communities targeted by racist, classist, anti-immigrant, Islamaphobic, sexist, homophobic, and transphobic violence that the earliest days of this president elect's transition has produced and will likely escalate in days to come. CJI grantees have already been building resistance and power in the face of intense surveillance, policing, criminalization, incarceration, and deportations and they won't be stopped now. We must be here to stand with them and uplift them as they wage this battle for humanity, decency and justice. Below is a list of all CJI grantees, all of whom are grassroots community organizations led by people facing criminalization and people of color -- find some you can support if you are looking for a way to take action today!

Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice

All of Us or NoneRiverside Chapter Los Angeles Chapter

American Indian Prison Project Working Group (AIPPWG)

Barrios Unidos, The Prison Project

Border Action Network


California Coalition of Women Prisoners (CCWP)

Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers (CLAIM)

Citizens Against Recidivism

Community Success Initiative

DRUM- South Asian Organizing Center (DRUM!)     

Enlace/Prison Divestment Campaign

Ex-Prisoners and Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancement (EPOCA)

Families for Freedom

Families for Justice as Healing  

Freedom Archives

Friends and Families of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children

Homies Unidos

The Justice Committee 

Justice for Families          

Justice Now

The National Jericho Movement

A New Way of Life Re entry Project

New York State Prisoner Justice Network

The Ordinary People Society (TOPS)

Organization for Black Struggle  

Prison Birth Project  

Puente Human Rights Movement

Racial Justice Action Center 

Release Aging People in Prison 

Touch the Cloud

Transgender, Gender Variant, Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP) 

Wings for L.I.F.E. (Life-skills Imparted to Families through Education)  

Witness to Innocence

Woman on the Rise Telling HerStory (WORTH)

Workers Center for Racial Justice  

Voice of the Ex-Offender (VOTE) 


Watch Our New Highlight Videos From Fearless Visions, Real Solutions

Did you catch our new videos from Fearless Visions, Real Solutions yet? We're excited to share highlights from a weekend of incredible conversations with activists and organizers addressing Native Justice, Transgender Justice, Immigrant Justice, Incarcerated WomenJustice in Philanthropy and Building the Movement Against State Violence. Let's continue to build and share our fearless visions and real solutions with each other!

Watch activists, organizers and funders come together to address Native strategies for justice and community based solutions beyond prisons.

Watch: Justice in Philanthropy

"The Native American Movement, the Chicano Power Movement, the Black Power Movement; there's a misconception that those movements weren't funded. Much more money was actually going out to support organizing on the ground then is happening right now." 
-George Galvis, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice

Watch: Linking Mass Incarceration and Immigration Movements

"A lot of the conversation about immigration has been left out of mass incarceration."
-Angie Junck, Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Watch: Justice for Incarcerated Women

"The idea that once you're criminalized that you're no longer valid as a parent is bullshit."
-Misty Rojo, Justice Now

Watch: Transgender Justice

"There is no such thing as re-entry because we're entering a society that has always told us we have no value or worth."
-Janetta Johnson, TGI Justice Project

Watch: Building the Movement Against State Violence

"We actually don't believe that police departments can be reformed, cause they aren't broken. They're doing what they were born to do." 
-Cat Brooks, Anti-Police Terror Project

Important Grant Application Information: Demographics Chart

Why a Demographics Chart? 

Hi CJI Applicant!

You may be wondering why we have a Demographics Chart this year. As you know, in previous years we allowed organizations to provide this information to us in the ways that were easiest for them. Organizations did this in many different ways, providing very different levels of information, which made it very difficult for us to understand.  We thought it best to provide you with a description of what we mean to make things clearer. This is our first attempt to collect this information in a uniform way. We will likely make mistakes. For that, we apologize in advance and request your patience and well-intentioned suggestions for improvement, which we will certainly respect.

We understand that you may not have this information for all of your supporters or members. In that case we are asking you to make an honest, educated guess so we can better understand the community you work with. 

Some of this information may seem intrusive. As you are painfully aware, race, class, gender, income, and experiences with the criminal justice system are very much related. We are asking to push beyond traditional U.S. discomfort around race, identity and income to help us better understand the impact of the system on targeted communities. We are not asking for personal identifying information. By that I mean that we cannot look at this form and identify anyone in particular. However, collectively this information can help us better understand the amazing work that you do in your community. It can help us understand who is working with you on dismantling this system. And it can help CJI better understand the communities we fund.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

In Solidarity,

Aleah Bacquie Vaughn

Director, CJI

Download CJI Organization Demographics Chart  HERE



CJI is requesting proposals from grassroots organizations working to transform the current U.S. criminal justice system. 

This year CJI will fund groups that are engaged in strategic movement building efforts that build linkages with other sectors of the broader criminal justice movement.


The Criminal Justice Initiative (CJI), began in 2000, born out of a growing concern with prison expansion, mass incarceration and its disproportionate impact on marginalized communities, especially in black and brown communities. The CJI Circle is an innovative grant-making panel comprised of donors, donor-activists and community organizers, some of whom have experienced incarceration. We share authority and a passion for supporting meaningful, transformative and systemic change of the criminal justice system. Understanding the limited funding for progressive criminal justice organizing, this Circle was launched as a means of creating a new source of support for this critical work. CJI’s mission is to end mass criminalization and mass incarceration in the U.S.  We seek to support work that will end the criminal justice system as we know it. 

Each year we raise the grant-making funds and convene the Circle for political education, and to determine our grant-making focus. The Circle then agrees on the RFP focus and the RFP distribution. We reconvene to evaluate proposals and make grant decisions. Given this process, there is currently no recurring annual deadline or guarantee of multi-year funding for CJI applicants. 

This year the application process is online and does not require an invitation to apply. 

CJI’s 2017 Funding Priorities

Criminal justice activists have long been involved in building a grassroots base of support to transform the criminal justice system. In recent years, high profile cases combined with budget shortfalls have led the media, the public, and elected officials to focus greater attention on alternatives to mass incarceration which activists have been proposing for years. CJI wants to build on this momentum.

This year CJI will fund groups that are engaged in strategic movement building efforts that build linkages--through alliances, collaborations, networks, partnerships, etc. -with other sectors of the broader criminal justice movement.

CJI defines movement building as: An ongoing collaboration, both within and across communities, intended to eradicate core systems of injustice. For this grant application, collaborations may include those among grassroots or community organizations and/or between grassroots/community organizations, and people or groups working with transparency and integrity inside the institutions they seek to transform. 

Successful strategies should promote new visions and viable solutions for long term change, while offering new approaches to challenging the status quo and pressing for change. They should also develop community leadership through increased political awareness, skills building, and/or healing practices.  

General Funding Criteria

CJI will only fund the following:

  • Organizations with a demonstrated commitment to including the leadership of people who have been incarcerated (defined as confinement in prison or jail; a juvenile, immigrant, or military detention facility, or a mental institution), and others who have been directly impacted by the system, as well as children and/or their families;
  • Organizations committed to achieving community change through organizing, including changes in policies, institutions, or other systems of control. 
  • Organizations with budgets of $550,000 or less. If you are under the umbrella of a larger organization, please define your relationship with that organization. 
  •  While we fund new and previous grantees, CJI will ONLY consider previous grantees that have provided a CJI Progress Report with information about their most-recent CJI-funded work.
  • Organizations that provide culturally appropriate healing/inner transformational programs that are connected to the criminal justice movement. We believe that healing is important to develop leadership among those most impacted by the criminal justice system, and to disrupt the cycle of incarceration.

New Funding Criteria

  • Organizations that have received 5 or more CJI grants are now REQUIRED to complete a short Long-term Grantee Evaluation Form. This must accompany the organization’s application and proposal.
  • Organizations MUST meet the application deadline with all their required attachments. In order to accommodate an increased number of proposals due to an open application process, CJI will hold applicants strictly to the application deadline. 
  • CJI has an online application process through Submittable, which is linked on our website,

Process and Timeline

An organization wishing to apply to CJI should complete the online application with Submittable. If there are technical questions about the application process, a Submittable staff person will be able to help you. 

 If you have questions about your organization’s eligibility, or the meaning of a question on the application, you are encouraged to reach out to Aleah Bacquie Vaughn at BEFORE the deadline.

All applications are read and reviewed by a Pre-screen Team, comprised of one staff person, one donor and one activist. Those that fit the criteria are then passed on to the members of the Circle to read.

  • Applications must attach the required documents such as budgets, tax-exempt letter, organization demographics chart, etc. to be considered. 
  • Applications from former grantees who received grants in 2016 MUST include a completed Progress Report to be considered. 
  • Organizations that have received a total of 5 or more CJI grants MUST submit a Long-term Grantee Evaluation Form to be considered. 

The deadline for this application is  FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2016. Grant decisions will be made by the CJI Circle, which convenes in mid March of 2017. Grant announcements will be made in late March of 2017, with grants awards soon thereafter. 

CJI Funding Preferences: 

  • Groups that operate in difficult political environments, e.g. in the presence of hostile campaigns, antagonistic public figures, or repressive laws
  • Groups that develop new leaders, especially from people who are marginalized within their own community, e.g.-- poor people, homeless people, young people, elders, queer and trans people, formerly incarcerated people, people with mental illness, people with disabilities, people in rural areas and/or on reservations, rancheras etc.-- within already marginalized communities. Leadership development may also include healing or personal transformation work, especially within communities that have endured generations of violence and trauma, and who many be currently enduring state violence.
  • Work that addresses discrimination or abuse against people who have been incarcerated or detained; including discrimination in housing, employment, voting and parental rights; 
  • Work being done in the South, Indian country and rural areas; 
  • Organizations with an identifiable path to leadership for their constituents;
  •  Organizations with an identifiable decision-making process for constituents/members/ or communities;
  • Organizations that have a membership base;
  • Groups that engage in innovative collaborations, building alliances among organizations with diverse backgrounds and common interests. Strong collaborations may include groups with geographic and demographic diversity (such as race, class, income, immigration status, ability & disability, gender & gender identity, sexual orientation, and age), as well as varying experience with incarceration, or detention, etc.


Fearless Vision // Real Solutions now over. Thank you so much to Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice for hosting us and to everyone who attended and the event a huge success!

If you couldn't make it, check out the videos of the sessions HERE! Looking forward to continuing to connect with you all and put all the amazing learning and connecting we did to use!

Fearless Vision // Real Solutions Program

Exploring Native Strategies for Justice and Community Based Solutions Beyond Prisons

August 18-20, 2016


Thursday, August 18th

Day 1: Native Strategies for Justice

9am-9:30am: Welcome, Opening, and Introductions

9:30am-11am: Violence against Native Peoples & Community Responses

In this session we will explore different types of violence, especially alarming rates of state violence, against Native American peoples and some community-based, Native-led responses to address that violence. Some discussion of community responses that do not include police will be included. 

ModeratorGeorge Galvis, founder and Executive Director, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ), CJI Circle Member

Lauren Chief Elk, co-founder, Save Wiyabi Project

Morning Star Gali, Native Justice Now

11:15am-12:30pm:  Organizing in Indian Country

In this session we will discuss the differences and challenges of organizing in Native American communities-- in urban areas, on reservations and other native land. What is being done to address the racist violence? What laws and discriminatory practices are being directed at Native communities? How can non-Native communities help secure resources, increase the visibility of, and work in collaboration to end state violence, mass criminalization and mass incarceration directed against Native peoples?

ModeratorAlbino Garcia, Executive Director, La Plazita Institute, CJI Circle Member

Morning Star Gali, Native Justice Now

Erik Bringswhite, Touch the Clouds

12:30pm-1:30pm          LUNCH  (provided on site)

1:40pm-3pm: Overcoming Trauma & Barriers to Healing

This session will engage healing practitioners with decades of experience in conversation about the significance of their work in their communities and the challenges their communities face in working toward healing and wholeness in the face of generational and ongoing trauma of colonialization, racism, invisibility and intentional poverty. How could greater resources for healing work strengthen organizing for Native rights?

Moderator: Nane AlejandrezExecutive Director, Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos

Stephanie Autumn, American Indian Prison Project Working Group

Mike Duncan, Native Dad’s Network

Martin Martinez, The Red Road

Register to attend Day 1: Native Strategies for Justice

Private Screening of The Seventh Fire


6:30pm-7:00pm  Reception (hors d'oeuvres & refreshments)

7:00pm  The Seventh Fire

Followed by Q & A moderated by Stephanie Autumn with Rob Brown, subject of the film & Albino Garcia, Executive Director, La Plazita Institute and CJI Circle Member, who appears in the film.

Synopsis: When gang leader Rob Brown is sentenced to prison for a fifth time, he must confront his role in bringing violent drug culture into his beloved American Indian community in northern Minnesota. As Rob reckons with his past, his seventeen-year-old protégé, Kevin, dreams of the future: becoming the most powerful and feared Native gangster on the reservation.

From executive producers Terrence Malick, Natalie Portman, and Chris Eyre comes this haunting and unflinching debut feature directed by Jack Pettibone Riccobono.

RSVP for private screening of The Seventh Fire.

Friday, August 19th

Day 2: Prisons, Police & Power to the People

9am-9:30am: Welcome, Opening, and Introductions

9:30am-11:00am: Change through Inner Transformation

A conversation about healing and restorative justice with three previously incarcerated men who spent decades in prison. We will take a deep look at the power of healing and transformation through emotional intelligence and a mindfulness, with men who transformed their own violence to become peace-keepers, helping to create safer and more just society.

Moderator: Jesse Estrin, Guiding Rage Into Power (GRIP) program at San Quentin facilitator, CJI circle member

Bernard Moss, GRIP graduate

Richard Poma, GRIP graduate

Nate Williams, Choices for Freedom

11:15am-12:30pm: Human Rights for People Inside & Outside

In the session, we will take a look at some successful campaigns for the rights of people in prison and formerly incarcerated people, often in the face of skepticism, antagonism and blacklisting. The session will also explore implementation of rights recently won and how to support new campaigns for restoring rights to people inside and out.

Moderator: Ellen Barry, founder and Fund Development Director, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC), CJI Circle Founding Member

Misty Rojo, Justice Now

Harriette Davis, Family Unity Project Coordinator, LSPC; National Network for Women in Prison 

Manuel La Fontaine, All Of Us Or None National Organizer, Program Manager, LSPC

12:45pm-1:45pm    LUNCH     (provided on site)

2pm-3:05pm: Taking It To the Streets: Action, Repression & Surveillance

State violence of unarmed community members is sadly an experience shared by many black and brown communities. In the session, we will take a look at why these communities are increasing public protests, marches and actions; what their demands are and the punitive measures they are facing by state forces in the form of physical force, militarism, heavier charges and increased surveillance.

Moderator: Marlene Sanchez, Associate Director, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ)

Cat Brooks, co-founder, Anti Police-Terror Project

Janetta Johnson, Executive Director, TGI Justice Project (TGIJP)

John Jones, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ)

Maria Villalta, Justice for Alex Nieto Committee

3:15pm-4pm: Power to the People: Policy & System Change Legislation

Where has all that protesting gotten us? This session will take a look at recent and pending policy, legislative and systems advances brought through agitation and pressure. Strategic organizing is cracking the resistance against change. Where are the emerging campaigns? What are the next steps and how can we support them?

Moderator: Marlene Sanchez, Associate Director, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ)

Cat Brooks, co-founder, Anti Police-Terror Project

George Galvis, founder and Executive Director, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ), CJI Circle Member

Maria VillaltaJustice for Alex Nieto Committee

Register to attend Day 2: Prisons, Police & Power to the People.


Beyond Prisons

An evening of Freedom Dreaming with CJI and CURYJ


Join the Criminal Justice Initiative and Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ) for food, music, and inspiring conversation at this joint fundraiser to support CJI in its 15th year of visionary funding and CURYJ in its 5th year of visionary organizing. Hear about the exciting work CURYJ, CJI and grantees are doing to make the vision of restorative justice a reality. All are welcome! 

Our Freedom Dreaming Conversation with feature:

George Galvis, Executive Director of Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ) and CJI Circle Member

Diana Gordon, Professor Emerita of political science and criminal justice at the City University of New York and CJI Circle Member

Janetta Johnson, Executive Director of TGI Justice Project (CJI Grantee)

Dorsey Nunn, Executive Director of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children home of All of Us or None (CJI Grantee)

Taliba Obuya, Southern Region Field Organizer for Amnesty International USA, National Coordinator for Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and CJI Circle Member

Conversation will be moderated by Sam Seidel, Author of Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011), Director of the Student Experience Lab at the Business Innovation Factory and CJI Circle Member. 

Read more about them and the event here

RSVP for this special gathering and fundraiser.

Saturday, August 20th

Day 3: Toward Total Freedom: Organizing to Strengthen a Movement

A series of facilitated conversations with organizers and attendees about the kind of movement we want and the society we are working to create

9am-9:30am: Welcome, Opening, and Introductions

9:30am-10:45am: Organizing to Strengthen A Movement: Bringing our Whole Selves

Each movement has had to handle the complexities of identity in its definition. They have made decisions about who was in and who was left out? In Organizing to Strengthen A Movement: Bringing our Whole Selves we will discuss how to ensure that we embrace all our people—including differences of birth origin, sexuality, gender, gender identity, language, or religion- in movement for total freedom and self-determination.

Moderator: Penny Fujiko Willgerodt, Executive Director, Prospect Hill Foundation, CJI Circle member

Devonte Jackson, Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)

Wazi Maret, Transgender Justice Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP)

Morning Star Gali, Native Justice Now

11:15am-12:45pm: Organizing to Strengthen A Movement: United We Win

One of the most effective ways to defeat a movement for change is to divide and conquer. What are some of the tensions between and among different communities facing state repression? How are those exacerbated by funders?  What are some ways that we could strengthen collaboration within the movement? 

Moderators: Gary Malachi Scott, Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth

Devonte Jackson, Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)

Angela Junck, Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Wazi Maret, TGI Justice Project (TGIJP)

1-2:15pm          LUNCH  (provided on site)

2:30pm-4:30pmMake the Vision Plain: Visioning a World Beyond Prisons with Community Safety & Self-determination

How should the movement best navigate the complexities of an intensifying and ever-changing political landscape? In a country and a world dominated by white supremacy, we must invest a great deal of our energy into working to defeat the many manifestations of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, etc. But what are we working for? What will the end result look like? How do we maintain our ideals without losing our compassion in the face of brutality? To create a vision of total freedom, we must include the voices of all the oppressed as they share what freedom and justice look like to them. Join us in this collective freedom visioning. 

Moderators: Lateefah Simon, Funder & Justice Advocate

Devonte Jackson, Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)

Angela Junck, Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Woods Ervin, TGI Justice Project (TGIJP)

Dorsey Nunn, All of Us or None Co-Founder; Executive Director, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children

Dolores Canales, Founder, CA. Families against Solitary Confinement; All of Us or None Organizer, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children

Register to attend Day 3: Toward Total Freedom.


Weekend passes can be purchased by clicking on the event pages for either Day 1 (Native Strategies for Justice), Day 2 (Prisons, Police & Power to the People), or Day 3 (Toward Total Freedom). Buying a weekend pass will give you access to the panel discussions for all 3 days. You will still need to RSVP for the free events: The Seventh Fire film screening and Day 2: Beyond Prisons (joint fundraiser with CURYJ). If you have any questions should contact Reynold Martin at 

If you have questions about the program or any of the events, feel free to contact us here.

All events held at La Cultura Cura Cultural Arts Café at CURYJ.

2289 International Blvd. Oakland, CA 94606

*Subject to change

Apply to Become a CJI Activist! Deadline July 31st!

Are you concerned about policing, prisons, and the specific way criminal justice issues affect your community? Are you an activist working to end profiling and harassment by police, state violence, mass criminalization and incarceration? Do you envision a system in which our identities are not criminalized? A system that includes healing, restoration, opportunities and true justice? Apply to join the Criminal Justice Initiative (CJI) Circle and help make a difference!  

CJI is a cross-class, racially diverse, funding circle made up of community organizers and activist donors. We are the 100% sitting at the same table, working together to make a difference! Using a consensus and near-consensus process, circle members collectively fund grassroots organizations led by the most impacted communities, especially experts in the current system, formerly-incarcerated people. Our grantees are working to fundamentally transform the U.S criminal justice system. CJI was among the very first funders of some current leaders organizing at the forefront of criminal justice and accountable policing - Critical Resistance, All of Us or None, Transgender, Gender Variant, Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), Women on the Rise Telling Herstory (WORTH) and more. 

We know that certain communities are targeted, policed, criminalized, and incarcerated at much higher levels than others. CJI values having voices, guidance, and leadership from these communities and those involved in organizing those most marginalized in the criminal justice movement in our grantmaking circle. 

Right now, we are looking to bring on one or two activists with experience organizing in communities among trans*, gender non-conforming, and queer folks around the criminal justice issues these communities face.  

We are looking for:

   An activist with experience organizing in trans* and gender non-conforming communities around criminal justice issues, with an orientation towards movement building  

   An activist with knowledge and experience of the specific issues faced by those whose genders and/or sexualities are deemed "other" in the criminal justice system and with police

   A formerly incarcerated person or a person directly impacted by the criminal justice system (profiling, excessive-policing, police abuse, framing, incarcerated/detained family members, threat of detention, etc.) 

   Someone able to work in a group toward consensus with people of different backgrounds (race, gender & gender identity, wealth, sexual orientation, age, religion/faith)

   A person who is comfortable with the concept of promoting the leadership directly impacted people in this movement

   An activist who believes that the current system must be radically transformed, if not abolished and rebuilt

   Someone willing to be forthcoming in the circle--participate in discussions, ask questions, share perspectives

   Someone accessible via email and cell phone.

This is a great opportunity to learn about grant-making as well as how philanthropy can help making a difference in transforming the U.S. criminal justice system. It is also a chance to learn about an innovative, collaborative social justice model of funding social justice movement-building that is unparalleled in most other types of grant-making institutions.


Each candidate must:

    Fill out this short application by midnight on July 31st, 2016

    Include a bio and CV/resume

   Provide 3 references to attest to their reliability, organizing experience and style, and political orientation

   Be comfortable with CJI mentioning, where and when appropriate, that its Circle members include people who have been incarcerated.

Preference will be given to LGBTQ people, especially transgender / gender non-conforming community leaders who were formerly incarcerated, people of color, low-income people, and other people disproportionately impacted by policing and prisons. 

Link to application: