Leadership Circle

2024 Leadership Circle RFP5/29 Webinar Registration

The Leadership Circle—CJI’s flagship fund—is an innovative grantmaking panel comprised of donors, donor-activists, and community organizers, most of whom have experienced incarceration themselves. They share authority through a common passion for supporting meaningful, transformative, and systemic change in the criminal legal system that develops and empowers future leaders.

 

In response to the limited grant funding available for progressive racial justice organizing, this Circle was launched in 2000 as a means of creating a new, reliable source of financial support focused on the critical work to end our draconian criminal legal system as we know it.

 

For two decades, CJI’s Leadership Circle has funded organizations engaged in the movement to identify, define, and create solutions to systems of oppression and the current criminal legal system. CJI also funds groups working to build power and enhance the safety of communities victimized by state-sponsored violence, affected by the criminalization of protests, and fostering community healing, for example, by promoting alternatives to policing, providing resources for safer drug use, and finding community solutions to houselessness.

 

As with all CJI Circles, the Leadership Circle prioritizes organizations with a demonstrated commitment to including the leadership of people who have been incarcerated or otherwise confined in prison, jail, immigrant detention, juvenile or military detention, or a deportation facility, and/or others who have been directly impacted by the system, including the family members of incarcerated persons. And we focus our funding on smaller organizations having budgets of $750,000 or less (or operating under the umbrella of a larger fiscal sponsor).

 

Some of CJI’s recipient organizations have gone on to build and sustain this movement in major ways, such as All of Us or None, A New Way of Life Reentry Project, Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People’s Movement, and the National Council of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls.

 

In 2021, CJI’s Leadership Circle smashed its own record (set in 2020 with $820,000 in grants to 46 organizations) by awarding $1 million to 48 grassroots advocacy groups across the country for a movement-wide impact. The Leadership Circle grantmaking addresses re-entry and restoration of rights, prison abolition, ending state violence, COVID-19 responses, and related mobilization efforts.

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Leadership Circle

The Leadership Circle—CJI’s flagship fund—is an innovative grantmaking panel comprised of donors, donor-activists, and community organizers, most of whom have experienced incarceration themselves. They share authority through a common passion for supporting meaningful, transformative, and systemic change in the criminal legal system that develops and empowers future leaders.

 

In response to the limited grant funding available for progressive racial justice organizing, this Circle was launched in 2000 as a means of creating a new, reliable source of financial support focused on the critical work to end our draconian criminal legal system as we know it.

 

For two decades, CJI’s Leadership Circle has funded organizations engaged in the movement to identify, define, and create solutions to systems of oppression and the current criminal legal system. CJI also funds groups working to build power and enhance the safety of communities victimized by state-sponsored violence, affected by the criminalization of protests, and fostering community healing, for example, by promoting alternatives to policing, providing resources for safer drug use, and finding community solutions to houselessness.

 

As with all CJI Circles, the Leadership Circle prioritizes organizations with a demonstrated commitment to including the leadership of people who have been incarcerated or otherwise confined in prison, jail, immigrant detention, juvenile or military detention, or a deportation facility, and/or others who have been directly impacted by the system, including the family members of incarcerated persons. And we focus our funding on smaller organizations having budgets of $750,000 or less (or operating under the umbrella of a larger fiscal sponsor).

 

Some of CJI’s recipient organizations have gone on to build and sustain this movement in major ways, such as All of Us or None, A New Way of Life Reentry Project, Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People’s Movement, and the National Council of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls.

 

In 2021, CJI’s Leadership Circle smashed its own record (set in 2020 with $820,000 in grants to 46 organizations) by awarding $1 million to 48 grassroots advocacy groups across the country for a movement-wide impact. The Leadership Circle grantmaking addresses re-entry and restoration of rights, prison abolition, ending state violence, COVID-19 responses, and related mobilization efforts.