2021 is a year of continued challenge, uncertainty and possibility.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact those incarcerated in abhorrent conditions, while also fueling an economic crisis that disproportionately affects Black, indigenous, and other people of color. We continue to bear witness to the failings of the criminal legal system as a tool for justice and accountability. Our movement partners refuse to refurbish this old system of punishment, and are leading efforts to reinvest in what keeps us safe: community-based and culturally affirming services, healthy and healing environments, and mechanisms for collective care.
Our movement partners have led legislative victories this year in California, including AB124, which brings us closer to achieving justice for survivors of violence, and AB333, which makes prosecutors’ charging of gang enhancements more difficult. Across the state, county by county, community organizers and advocates are also leading efforts to reimagine a transformed youth justice system through local implementation of SB823, legislation passed in 2020 that closed all the Division of Juvenile Justice facilities. Networks and models of collective care and safety are being built and tested, stepping closer to a vision of liberation.
In 2021, CCJFG offered its members a comprehensive array of programming aimed at fostering collaboration and solidarity among funders and with impacted communities. We held consistent membership meetings that brought funders together to learn and grapple with current issues and organized webinars featuring the expertise of formerly incarcerated leaders. We produced a podcast on Healing Justice, and we joined Justice Funder’s campaign to designate 1% of our budget to the Shu’umi Land Tax.
Guided by our values of centering and trusting the experience, vision, and leadership of people directly impacted by incarceration, we are excited to share that CCJFG will be guided by Movement Advisors beginning in 2022. Please stay tuned for announcements of these movement partners in the new year.
In 2022, we will re-commit to our vision by supporting funders to shift and align resources to best position grassroots leaders and movements to end criminalization, defund police, and dismantle prisons. We will do so through the following intentions:
- Focus on growing funders’ commitments to funding Healing Justice
- Continue to educate funders on underfunded regions in California and support an increase in funding in these regions
- Continue to hold space for CCJFG members to learn together and organize through regular member meetings;
- Continue to offer 4-6 webinars on relevant topics of concern to our membership
Can we count on you to help carry our work forward in 2022? We hope that you will consider making a multi-year commitment to support the longevity of CCJFG’s work. We also invite you to share your ideas for our 2022 priorities and offerings by reaching out directly to CACriminalJusticeFunders@NCG.org. Your contributions and input strengthen our network, so that we can continue to support the funding community in solidarity with organizations on the ground and people in prison whose commitment, resilience, and heart lead us forward.
We know we are stronger and more effective when we are collaborating and supporting one another. Thank you in advance for your continued support and commitment to justice transformation in California.
Iris Garcia, CCJFG Co-Chair
Gina Peralta, CCJFG Co-Chair