CCJFG members and Movement Advisors gather at High 5ive Rooftop bar in Oakland in October 2022, our first in-person gathering since 2019.
Dear CCJFG Member,
We hope that you are wrapping up this year and preparing for a joyful and restorative holiday. As 2022 ends, it is important to reflect on the challenges and opportunities the year presented. This year the movement to end mass criminalization and mass incarceration faced serious backlash by way of fear mongering in the media and consequently, threats to the safety and security of grassroots leaders. There were also a number of remarkable victories led by movement partners in California including securing a commitment from Governor Newsom to close an additional three prisons by 2024, electing progressive leaders to key positions across the state, and allocating $30 million for community-based in-prison programming.
In an effort to ensure that CCJFG’s work is aligned with and informed by movement partners, this year we welcomed four leaders to join CCJFG as Movement Advisors. Ashley Rojas, Amber-Rose Howard, Gilbert Johnson, and Morning Star Gali provided feedback, guidance, and inspiration to our Steering Committee and broader membership at various points throughout the year. They will continue to guide CCJFG in 2023, as we deepen our understanding of how to demonstrate our accountability to grassroots movements.
We also produced our second episode in our “Funding the Yes” podcast series focused on Crimmigration. We worked with funders from The California Endowment and the Heising-Simons Foundation, along with movement leaders from organizations that take an intersectional approach to fighting the criminalization of immigration.
More than anything, 2022 was a year of deep reflection where we asked ourselves important questions: How does CCJFG demonstrate true accountability to grassroots movements? How do we support bringing more resources to underfunded regions in California that also house the majority of our state’s prisons? How do we reach our members considering the impacts of the ongoing pandemic and Zoom-fatigue?
We are hoping that together we can answer these questions.
In 2023, 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:
- Create opportunities for members to be in direct relationship with system-impacted and currently incarcerated organizers in under-resourced regions of the state
- Offer a series of internal member meetings focused on strategies and practices to increase accountability to grassroots movements
- Deepen collaboration between CCJFG and other funder-affinity groups and philanthropic institutions in effort to reach a wider audience and strengthen relationships amongst members
We cannot do this work without you. We hope that you will not only consider making a multi-year commitment to support CCJFG’s work, but also share your ideas for our priorities, attend our meetings, and reach out to us directly at CACriminalJusticeFunders@NCG.org. We are committed to supporting the funding community to act in solidarity with organizations and people most impacted by the prison industrial complex.
We know that we all have a role to play as we work towards a world rooted in racial, economic and gender justice and where communities have access to safety, health, and self-determination. Thank you for your continued support of CCJFG and commitment to justice and healing in California.
Iris Garcia, CCJFG Co-Chair
Gina Peralta, CCJFG Co-Chair