keeping a close eye on philanthropy … NCRP’s blog

On Philanthropy and Police Accountability: Knight Foundation Lifts Up Chicago Police Data Project

posted on: February 4, 2016

Chicago-skylineThanks to Nonprofit Quarterly for bringing our attention to a recent and timely Knight News Challenge award winner. The Invisible Institute’s Chicago Police Data Project provides the public with a database of Chicago Police Department misconduct complaint reports and their outcomes. The project’s data analyses were oft-cited in the media in December 2015, on the heels of video footage released by CPD, which showed the police shooting of African American Laquan McDonald as he walked away from the white officer.

As the Movement for Black Lives and others organize to improve policy accountability and combat the institutionalized racism so frequently exhibited with deadly consequences, this type of project shows tremendous potential for replication throughout the country. Another winner of

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Good Intentions Aren’t Enough for Rural Justice

posted on: February 2, 2016

GoffBSince 1970, the jail population in rural counties has expanded sevenfold – twice as fast as urban counties – but few philanthropic dollars go toward rural leaders tackling criminal justice reform. Last month, NCRP hosted “Mass Incarceration: The Rural Perspective” to discuss this urgent issue. Our panelists made powerful arguments for the deep potential that awaits if grantmakers confront their misconceptions and invest in the diverse leadership already hard at work in rural America.

NCRP Senior Director of Research and Policy Niki Jagpal moderated the discussion, which featured:

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Investing to Stop Mass Incarceration

posted on: January 29, 2016

JonathanMcIntoshBy Sonia Kowal

It is clear that our justice system is designed for control rather than healing. And with the alarming demographics of national incarceration rates, it’s also clear that it helps facilitate an economy of exclusion that considers many people of color to be unemployable and disposable.

As a global top-down investor, Zevin Asset Management approaches investing by looking at the big picture of what’s going on around the world. We can’t ignore how mass incarceration affects – and undermines – the financial health of our institutions by shutting people out of real economic opportunity and driving income inequality. Foundations committed to social justice are uniquely poised to address this social and economic issue both in their work, and

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Place-Based Philanthropy Is People-Powered

posted on: January 27, 2016

EflonBy Laura Zabel

Every city has just six artists. Or six community leaders. Or six innovators. I’m kidding … maybe your city has seven. I make this joke because in just about every community I visit, there are about six people that show up on everyone’s list for funding, for recognition, for recommendation. These six artists, leaders and innovators are almost always doing really amazing work, work that is powerful, important and in need of support. They’re at the top of everyone’s list for a reason – but they can’t do everything.

Effective place-based change needs to be rooted in broad and diverse citizen power. Every community needs a steady supply of leaders, artists and innovators with the capacity, agency

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Look Back, Look Forward: Prop 47 and the 2016 NCRP Impact Awards

posted on: January 21, 2016

ImpactAwards-logo-color-NO-tagline-2016As many of you know, Prop 47 was a referendum passed by Californians in 2014 that reclassified nonviolent crimes once considered felonies into misdemeanors. Since the 1980’s the state of California constructed 22 new prisons and just one university. Prop 47 was an effort to address their rapidly expanding prison system and to reallocate the savings to “school truancy and dropout prevention, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and victim services.” The intent was to provide offenders with the type of action that would prevent them from committing these acts again in the future, in hopes that early intervention might stop others from going down this road at all.

The California Association of Nonprofits and California Philanthropy (Northern California

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Rush Hour Traffic on the Road to Justice

posted on: January 20, 2016

trafficI learned how to drive in D.C., one of the most congested areas in the country. Like most 15-year-olds, I was excited to get behind the wheel, but I remember how nervous I was when I drove onto Interstate 495 – the infamous Beltway – for the first time. Every time I merged, my driving instructor said in a quiet, even voice, “Find your roadway.” At first I didn’t know what he meant, but over time this lesson has served me well while driving, and in life. He was reminding me that I don’t have to rush to join the flow of traffic. In fact, if I don’t take a second and orient myself on the onramp, I might never

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