Public Welfare Foundation Awards $3.5 Million in True Reformer Grants

Public Welfare Foundation Awards $3.5 Million in True Reformer Grants

Public Welfare Foundation, the country’s only endowment fund dedicated to catalyzing new transformative approaches to youth and adult criminal justice, today announced seven True Reformer grant awards totaling a $3.5 million investment in restorative, community-led and racially just approaches to justice to honor the Foundation’s 75th anniversary.

The $500,000 institutional grants were awarded to:

Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition: Denver, Colo.

Michigan Center for Youth Justice: Ann Arbor, Mich.

Operation Restoration: New Orleans, La.

People’s Advocacy Institute: Jackson, Miss.

The African American Roundtable: Milwaukee, Wisc.

Voices for a Second Chance: Washington, D.C.

Women on The Rise: Atlanta, Ga.

The True Reformer grants—named after the historic True Reformer Building in Washington, D.C. that Public Welfare Foundation calls home—recognize seven of the Foundation’s key partners through investments that will advance progress and position them for long-term impact. These organizations serve as anchors of the justice reform movement in communities where Public Welfare Foundation works.

“Public Welfare Foundation’s 75th anniversary provides an opportunity to reflect and look forward in anticipation,” said Public Welfare Foundation President and CEO Candice C. Jones.

“Each of Public Welfare’s True Reformer grant recipients demonstrates courageous leadership in advancing justice that’s just. They are paving the way for a new, transformative approach to justice that is community-led, restorative and racially just. They deserve not just our praise, but our investment to ensure that they can continue to advance this work in the years to come.”

Institutional grants are one-time infusions of capital intended to strengthen an organization’s operating and programmatic infrastructure so that it can continue its work well into the future. Each organization’s leadership has identified specific and tailored ways that they will use the funding, including, but not limited to, strategic planning, staffing increases, technology enhancements and operating reserves.

“The Michigan Center for Youth Justice has an ambitious agenda for the coming years that will help to reimagine our state’s juvenile justice system by shifting to a model that is transparent, data-driven and prioritizes healing over punishment and incarceration,” said Jason Smith, executive director of Michigan Center for Youth Justice and True Reformer grant recipient.

“This gift from Public Welfare Foundation will help MCYJ build and strengthen our organizational capacities to achieve our policy reform goals and support us as we move toward intentionally centering the voices of youth and families who have been directly impacted by the justice system in all aspects of our work.”

The grant recipients were nominated by members of the Public Welfare Foundation team and were approved by the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Each organization was selected based on strong leadership, opportunities for growth and increased impact and are aligned with Public Welfare Foundation’s values of community-led, restorative and racially just solutions.