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Inside Philanthropy highlights JustLeadershipUSA’s national work

March 27, 2023

Today Inside Philanthropy published a story highlighting JustLeadershipUSA’s national work, which is being supported in part by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Justice and Mobility Fund. Here’s a short excerpt:

“Last June, with the financial support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, [JLUSA] convened representatives of virtually every professional stakeholder in the criminal justice system, along with directly impacted people, corporate leaders and victims of violent crimes. The goal? To collaborate on proposals to address racial inequities at every level of the system, from local police and prosecutors to the federal government. Biden administration participants, who were present as observers, included representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Bureau of Justice Assistance, and the White House.

“Last month, the results of that convening were published as ‘Building the Table: Advancing Race Equity in the Criminal Legal System.’

“Blue Meridian Partners, the well-resourced antipoverty collaborative launched by some of the nation’s biggest funders, also held a criminal-justice-related gathering last year in partnership with the Center for Employment Opportunities. Its focus was on engaging the federal government to advance social and economic opportunity for people with past criminal convictions. Blue Meridian asked Hoskins of JLUSA to lead that conversation.

“The ultimate result of that convening is the upcoming debut of a new organization, the JustUS Coordinating Council, which will be formally launched on April 29. Its initial goals include pushing for the White House, Congress and federal agencies to move $10 billion in already-allocated American Rescue Plan Act money to provide comprehensive, sustainable funding for reentry and workforce development initiatives benefiting currently and formerly incarcerated people — and to remove the barriers that make it more difficult for such programs to access federal money. The report that resulted from the Blue Meridian convening, ‘Building the Table,’ was announced with a press conference on March 21.

“Blue Meridian funded that convening, and the resulting report, through its Justice and Mobility Fund collaboration with the Ford Foundation and Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies. According to [JLUSA], Blue Meridian has committed a seven-figure investment to support the new organization’s work.

“Le’Ann Duran, Blue Meridian’s senior director of portfolio strategy and management, said that [JLUSA] is uniquely positioned to ‘bring a deep understanding of federal agencies to bear on this issue.’ …

“For her part, Hoskins is looking ahead both to the new council’s immediate work on workforce development and economic mobility and to what she hopes will come next. ‘We want the JCC to be a sustainable entity so that these issues are always at the forefront and so we can keep pushing the envelope,’ she said, just as the NAACP and AARP continue to work for their constituents no matter who’s in the White House or Congress. ‘We’re looking to become a civil rights entity that speaks specifically for this population.’”

Read the full story at InsidePhilanthropy.com (subscription required).

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