April 1, 2020
Beloved CJI Friends & Supporters,
On behalf of CJI, I would like to send my most heartfelt well-wishes for your safety and health during this unprecedented public health catastrophe.
Here at CJI, we are taking some very difficult steps to ensure the safety and health of our staff, Funding Circle members, and grantees, in the hopes that we may all come out of this together unharmed–physically, mentally, and emotionally:
We have shuttered our New York City office and have transitioned all our staff to working remotely in order to continue our operations and support our grantees. We have postponed all events, including:
- FreeHer Fund’s Inaugural Grants Meeting for which we were planning to host our Circle members to make decisions on applications for our first cohort of grantees. We are in the process of identifying a new, later date when it is safer to convene our Circle members.
- A fundraising event that we planned for last month on March 19th, to raise additional dollars for our FreeHer Fund.
- Our Political Education Meeting with our Leadership Circle members scheduled for May 2020 will be virtual for the first time in 20 years
We are also pleased to announce that we have updated CJI’s SOS Fund eligibility guidelines In order to ensure the sustainability of the movement to transform our criminal legal system. The Fund will now address:
- Emergency relief to organizations working on behalf of current incarcerated and detained communities who are addressing new concerns, resulting from COVID-19 and
- Voting rights – challenges or opportunities (such as opportunities to increase at-home and early voting) related to COVID-19, as well as
- Organizations that are experiencing financial and operating challenges related to the COVID-19 crisis, while advancing the goals of the criminal justice movement.
Right now, these funds are limited and the grants are small. We are looking to our friends and supporters like you, to help us to increase our funding capacity for this critically-needed fund. If you are interested in helping grassroots organizations weather the COVID storm, please click here to donate.
For now, and forever, we send our love for your safety, health, and healing from this traumatic situation. Please take care of yourselves. The movement needs you.
All Our Best,
Aleah & the CJI Team