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We Couldn’t Have Done 2020 Without You

Wednesday, December 16, 2020
CCJFG Steering Committee and NCG partner, Krystle Chipman, in a recent meeting to identify priorities for 2021 with facilitator, Jessyca Dudley. Not featured: Jasjit Singh.

Dear CCJFG Member,

2020 has truly tested our resolve.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people in prison cannot be understated. As rates of infection rose inside prisons throughout the state, we witnessed our movement partners quickly and efficiently organize in response to this crisis. We witnessed the same tenacity and steadfastness this summer, as organizers led uprisings worldwide to protest racist state violence after the killing of George Floyd,  Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and countless others—violence that is all too familiar for incarcerated people and their families.

Amidst the backdrop of this violence, the abolitionist demand to defund law enforcement was echoed throughout the country. In California, we had incredible victories: people on parole regained the right to vote through Proposition 17, the incarceration of even more people was prevented through the defeat of Proposition 20, and Los Angeles County’s groundbreaking wins show us that investment in community resources, rather than incarceration, is possible. 

And throughout this trying year, CCJFG deepened and clarified our work.

Guided by our value of building solidarity amongst funders and movement organizations, we supported our members to shift their funding practices to be flexible and to mobilize more financial resources to the frontlines of these multiple crises. We launched the 2020 Funder Education Series to expand philanthropy’s understanding of prison industrial complex abolition, healing justice, and grassroots organizing. We held a series of membership meetings that brought funders together to learn and grapple with current issues. We expanded our Steering Committee to include new members from Sierra Health Foundation, Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation, and Weingart Foundation and we welcomed the leadership of two new Co-Chairs: Iris Garcia of Akonadi Foundation and Gina Peralta of Heising-Simons Foundation. Below is a full summary of our work in 2020:

There is still so much work to be done. In 2021, 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:

  • Collaborate with other funder affinity groups and members to deepen opportunities to learn about abolition, redefining safety, transformative and healing justice approaches, and more;
  • Support the funding community to develop their own vision for being accountable to grassroots movements and impacted communities;
  • 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, with an intention to highlight work outside California's urban centers;
  • Implement an intersectional approach in our collaboration with funders within and beyond criminal justice field;
  • And when possible, gather safety for in-person programming and prison-visits

Can we count on you to help carry our work forward in 2021? 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 2021 priorities through this brief survey. Your contributions and input will strengthen our foundation, so that we can continue to support the funding community in our 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. 

Sincerely,

Iris Garcia, CCJFG Co-Chair
Gina Peralta, CCJFG Co-Chair
Adrienne Skye Roberts, CCJFG Coordinator
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