The Justice Fund Grantee Partners

Hear from our Justice Fund grantee partners about the vital work that they are doing in dismantling mass incarceration:

Alliance of Families for Justice: Soffiyah Elijah, Founder and Executive Director

“The voices, experiences and concerns of directly impacted family members are critical to the collective effort to close Rikers Island. They are the people of the communities that know first hand how important it is to accomplish this goal and to create more humane solutions. We at Alliance of Families for Justice are excited to apply our experience and unique expertise to engage grassroots community voices in the plans for closing Rikers. This is a critically important first step in building a world that puts people before prisons.”

Beyond Rosie’s Campaign led by Women’s Community Justice Association (WCJA): Rita Zimmer, Steering Committee member of WCJA & Coordinator of Beyond Rosie’s Campaign

“Women’s Community Justice Association is proud to be a Justice Fund grant recipient from The New York Women’s Foundation to further foster our mission. We are excited to have the opportunity to re-imagine and reinvent a transformed criminal justice system that compassionately and safely serves women; reinvesting in housing, enriched services, and support that women and their communities need to succeed.”



Bronx Defenders: Justine Olderman, Executive Director

“As public defenders representing more than 20,000 people a year in the criminal legal system, we understand the importance of closing Rikers,” said Justine Olderman, Executive Director of The Bronx Defenders. “But closing Rikers will not, by itself, result in a fairer pre-trial system. With support from the New York Women’s Foundation, we are harnessing insights from our holistic model of defense to ensure that this unique opportunity creates long-lasting, positive change for the clients and community we serve.”

“Specifically, we will use data to identify trends in pre-trial incarceration, advance policy reforms that shrink our pre-trial population, educate clients and community members about the plan to close Rikers, and mobilize impacted people to advocate for themselves and ensure that their experiences inform and are addressed by the borough-based plan.  By partnering with us, The New York Women’s Foundation is helping to build a better justice system for all New Yorkers.”

JustLeadershipUSA – Brandon Holmes, NYC Campaign Organizer

“As grassroots organizations develop leadership within their campaigns, funding and general operations do not always invest in the day to day sustainability of intentional skills development. We are excited to expand our base building and leadership development work with our organizers and campaign members through our 25-week canvass and outreach program, funded by New York Women’s Foundation. Over the past two weeks, we have reached over 200 new and potential members for the #CLOSErikers campaign through a small street canvassing team– staffed by our directly impacted campaign members– promoting our upcoming Members Meetings and community forums. New York Women’s Foundation has enabled our canvass to provide meaningful compensation for the members who have continued to invest in their own base building skills and their commitment to shutdown Rikers Island.”

Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice – Lorenzo Jones, Co-Executive Director and Co-Founder

“The support and resources from The New York Women’s Foundation have been central to our work to increase opportunities for the Katal Center’s Women and Girls Project to exercise their leadership locally and across the state. We were able to bring impacted women and girls into meetings where decisions were being made about life in their boroughs and neighborhoods. Katal’s Women and Girls Project worked with New York City Council Member Keith Powers, to secure and pass Resolution 829 calling on legislators in Albany to pass our Less Is More: Community Supervision Revocation Reform Act (S.1343B – Benjamin / A.5493A – Mosley) and overhaul the state’s deeply broken parole system. We are thankful for the continued support from The New York Women’s Foundation.”

Please click here to view a complete list of our Justice Fund grantee partners.