Strategic Opportunities for Support (SOS) Rapid Response Fund

 CJI Grantee  Anti Police-Terror Project  at the Oakland Police Administration Office, Oakland, CA

CJI Grantee Anti Police-Terror Project at the Oakland Police Administration Office, Oakland, CA


Why the SOS Fund?

From the Muslim ban to rescinding DACA and increased criminalization of immigration, to state backing of white supremacists and killer cops, to the criminalizing of protesters, the current political landscape is a rapidly changing fight for our lives and the earth. Organizations working on the ground are challenged to respond powerfully and strategically with limited time and resources to a never-ending string of affronts. These moments all provide many opportunities to grow the resistance movement for justice and safety in this country through increased outreach, education, and activity.

Because of CJI’s positioning within, rather than adjacent to, the movement, organizations often reach out to us for support for urgent actions and strategic movement convenings. Previously, we have not been able to provide support outside of our regular grantmaking cycle.

CJI is launching the Strategic Opportunities for Support (SOS) Rapid Response Fund to provide flexible and immediate funding to organizations building strength at critical junctures. Standard grant amounts are up to $2,500.

Examples of what the SOS Fund supports:

  • Organizations sending organizers to convenings or strategic locations where resistance is happening in response to killings by police, conditions in prisons and detention centers, mass deportations, etc.

  • Mass mobilizations of organizations working to end state-sanctioned violence

  • Individual and collective healing after moments of collective trauma related to state-sanctioned violence

  • Key gatherings to build movement strategy among coalitions and across broad sectors of the resistance movement


We are not currently accepting applications to the SOS Fund.


SOS Fund Grantees:

A New Path: Moms United to End the War on Drugs

Support will allow Moms United to increase educational outreach about the ravages of the war on drugs, discrimination and racism, and present overdose prevention trainings and naloxone distribution.

Activate Labs: The Beautiful Resistance - Bridges to Belonging

Activate Labs will center the stories and experiences of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers facing policies of exclusion such as the Muslim Travel Ban, the Zero Tolerance Immigration Policy, and the lawsuit against California’s sanctuary cities.

Arab American Civic CouncilNo Muslim Ban Ever Campaign and Town Hall

In partnership with local civil rights organizations, refugee resettlement agencies, and immigrant-based community groups, the AACC will conduct a town hall meeting in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Muslim Ban.

  • Raise awareness about how the Muslim Ban will affect the communities targeted by the decision.

  • Provide resources, training, and opportunities on the effort to push back against the ban and other racist policies.

  • Connect and reconfirm mutual commitment with other immigrant communities and communities of color, to address the Ban and other issues that affect them all.

Block Builderz: Free Her Conference

Support will assist Block Builderz in convening formerly incarcerated women for the first annual Free Her conference. The first annual Free Her conference was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma because Oklahoma has the highest rate of women incarcerated in the nation, and is the home of D'Marria Monday, the Oklahoma Chapter Leader of the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, and founder of Block Builderz. The National Council and Block Builderz have formed a partnership to highlight the work currently being done, and the work that still needs to be done in Oklahoma in order to decarcerate the state.


Border Network for Human Rights: #HugsNotWalls 6

Since August 2016, BNHR’s #HugsNotWalls events have called attention to U.S. immigration policies that for years have separated immigrant families, tearing parents from children, spouses from each other’s arms. These are events that for a fleeting moment, give separated families the opportunity to hug, to touch, to be with each other in the channel of the Rio Grande between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. These events call our attention to the inhumanity of U.S. policy and work for a few hours to materialize an inclusive and welcoming alternative America.

With the Trump Administration’s expansion and weaponization of family separation against Asylum seekers, an event like #HugsNotWalls becomes all the more critical as a response to this inhumanity. Funding will help support #HugsNotWalls 6 on Saturday, October 13th, 2018 as a timely and particularly prescient response to the family separation and detention crisis that is still unfolding in the El Paso region. These monies will help BNHR adopt a comprehensive media strategy to ensure that Americans know that not only must we stand against this Administration’s heinous policies, but that another way is possible if we listen to affected border and immigrant communities.

Choices for Freedom: Countering Violence

Funds will allow the Director, Nate Williams, to present at the World Summit and participate in a collaborative week-long program with police and community focusing on co-creating solutions to counter violence. He will bring the training back home to expand and strengthen programs for inner city youth that focus on restorative justice and youth participation in community solutions.


Council on American-Islamic Relations – Minnesota1,000 Who CAIR, Challenging Islamophobia & Defending Civil Rights II

1,000 Who CAIR, a civil rights rally of approximately 1,000 Muslims and non-Muslim allies, will gather in solidarity on July 21, 2018. Civil rights speakers, politicians, singer-songwriters and others will lead a uniting experience in support of Muslim brothers and sisters, as the struggle is far from over in the fight against Islamophobia in Minnesota.

CURYJ: FICPFM Conference

Funding will support the increased attendance of queer, trans, and indigenous activists at the Formerly Incarcerated Peoples and Families Movement conference in Orlando, Florida in September, 2018.


Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights

GLAHR will continue building a culture of resistance among grassroots community statewide against hate legislation, racial profiling, detentions and deportations. They will:

  • Strengthen and grow comites populares – local community organizing defense hubs – statewide, and develop leadership by those most impacted.

  • Implement a grassroots education campaign to amplify the need for criminal justice reform and its intersection with immigration.

  • Work in local coalitions to broaden legal/policy strategies to push back local law enforcement – the initial contact criminalizing communities of color into the deportations pipeline – and push forward policy change.

  • Provide a salary for an organizer associate.


Greater Hartford Harm Reduction: Black Harm Reduction Pre-Conference

Supporting greater attendance by Black activists and leaders at the Black Harm Reduction Pre-Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana in October, 2018.

National Transgender & Gender Nonconforming Coalition: National TGNC Coalition Convening

Support a final convening in 2018 to launch a political home for TGNC communities, which is needed now more than ever.

Northwest Defense Center ResistanceDeportation Defense

To silence her outspoken activism, NWDC Collective member Maru Moral Villalpando has been targeted for deportation by the US government and now needs legal defense. Costs include lawyers' fees and stipends for other staff to take on her work for NWDC, as she must now devote most of her time to resisting deportation. This case is strategic due to Maru’s decision to make her case public, placing herself at great risk. This is to draw attention to an urgent social need and injustice, and to the larger movement in support of immigrant rights. As well as supporting Maru, NWDC has been approached by many others at risk of deportation seeking assistance to help them defend themselves.

Yemeni American Merchants Association: Strategic Planning for YAMA Team to Lead and Support the Community Under the Muslim Ban

The Yemeni American Merchants Association (YAMA) was birthed out of the Yemeni Bodega Strike on Feb. 2, 2017, where over 1,000 stores shut down and 6,000 Yemenis protested against the Muslim Ban in Brooklyn, NY. YAMA continues to advocate for Yemeni Americans against the Muslim Ban both locally and nationwide. In the wake of the devastating Supreme Court ruling on the Muslim Ban, YAMA seeks to develop both short and long-term strategies and continue to support and advocate for Yemeni communities and others impacted by the Muslim Ban. YAMA will hold a day-long strategic planning session for YAMA board and staff, utilizing professional facilitation of strategic planning and developing concrete objectives for 2018 and beyond. As a community under duress, outside professionals are imperative to help the organization synthesize thought processes and develop requisite plans and movement building actions to support the Yemeni community.


Please support CJI and the SOS Fund as we build strength in this growing movement for all of our lives!