Sustaining a movement for fair and just policing: Accelerating the pace of real change

National awareness of police brutality and the need for policing reform is at an all-time high. Sustained attention to horrific moments has led to the birth of a movement, and a tipping point is in sight. Tides and its sister organization, The Advocacy Fund, work closely with funders and grassroots organizers to accelerate policing reform. Since 2010, we’ve been bringing people together to find innovative solutions for safer communities.

Through partnerships with several New York-based foundations, the Funds for Fair and Just Policing at Tides and The Advocacy Fund have granted over $8 million in support of policing reform work led by Communities United for Police Reform, a coalition consisting of 60 organization partners and 60 formal members.

Communities United for Police Reform works to substantially decrease bias-based encounters with the police, by increasing the ability of the most affected communities to hold the police accountable, preventing abusive policing, and building will among the public and policymakers to advance a more just and humane policing paradigm in New York City.

“This is a historic moment. We are at a tipping point.” – Joo-Hyun Kang, Executive Director, Communities United for Police Reform

In order to further the successes in New York City and seize the momentum of the growing national movement for police reform, Tides Foundation, in collaboration with Open Society Foundation, North Star, Atlantic Philanthropies, and The Advocacy Fund, hosted a briefing last month to contextualize the recent police reform victories in NYC and hear some of the lessons learned from Communities United for Police Reform’s multi-strategy, multi-sector campaign.

The organization’s many successes were highlighted, including passage of the Community Safety Act, a landmark legislative package that protects against discriminatory policing and increases police accountability. The legislation has led to a measurable decrease in stops, but racial disparity remains.

At last month’s panel, we heard about the unity and power that is building and about new connections created with unions, immigrants, women, LGBT communities, and other movements. Panelists spoke about the difficulty in pursuing those goals when funders often measure success in more concrete terms, such as the number of bills passed. As funders, we need to value community-building as much as legislative change.

In spite of our victories, NYC’s police systems, policies, practices, and culture must be transformed for greater accountability and transparency to the communities they serve. As one of the activists in the Communities United for Police Reform coalition aptly noted, while their work might not be popular, neither was the work of black-led organizations at the height of the Civil Rights movement.

Tides is committed to accelerating toward a world of shared prosperity and social justice, and that means taking risks and working directly with the communities we serve.

For more information about the work of the Funds for Fair and Just Policing, please contact Tides Senior Advisors Edward Wang ( or Kathryn Snyder (

Follow Communities United for Police Reform and Joo-Hyun Kang on Twitter.

Originally published on the Tides blog.

February 28, 2020

NFG Newsletter - February 2020

February is Black History Month and, in this newsletter, NFG honors Black resistance. Given the persistence of structural racism and the legacies of segregation, NFG has mobilized philanthropy to support POC-led organizing for equitable development since our start 40 years ago. Through our member-led and local advisor-led programming, we are lifting up how Black communities are reclaiming land ownership and addressing the racial wealth gap through grassroots power building.

At the beginning of the month, NFG’s Amplify Fund staff and steering committee spent a day with local organizers, non-profit leaders, and organizations in Charleston and Edisto Island, South Carolina — one of Amplify’s eight sites. Both national and local grantmakers learned alongside some of Amplify’s grantees, including the Center for Heirs’ Property PreservationLow Country Alliance for Model CommunitiesCarolina Youth Action Project, and South Carolina Association for Community and Economic Development, which are bringing together Black, Latinx communities and youth in the region to fight for community power, land rights, and environmental justice in the face of corporate power, criminalization of communities of color due to gentrification, and land theft.

This week, NFG’s Democratizing Development Program (DDP) hosted a two-day Health, Housing, Race, Equity and Power Funders Convening in Oakland, California. Over 100 participants grappled with how anti-Blackness and xenophobia fuel the complex housing & health crisis and community trauma, and heard examples of concrete organizing wins led by Black women from Moms 4 Housing and Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. Organizers from around the country urged grantmakers to significantly invest in long-term general operating support, community ownership models, POC leadership, and 501(c)4 funding for Black, Indigenous, and POC communities engaging in policy and systems change around housing affordability and justice. 

From Amplify’s funder collaborative to the DDP convening’s planning committee, funders organizing other funders has been a key part of our work. Funder members: how are you stepping up as an organizer and moving more resources for power building in Black, Indigenous, and POC communities? We invite you to connect with NFG staffprograms, and upcoming events — including our National Convening — and be part of our community where we bring funders together to learn, connect, and mobilize resources with an intersectional and place-based focus. 

The NFG team

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January 23, 2020

NFG Newsletter - January 2020

Animated fireworks with the text "40 Years Strong"

This year marks NFG's 40th anniversary. During our early years, NFG was one of the few spaces in philanthropy specifically focused on people of color-led, grassroots organizing, and power building as the key to effective social change strategies. Today, NFG continues to be many funders' political home at a time when moving resources to struggles for justice is critically important: communities of color are bearing the brunt of the housing crisis, growing wealth and income inequality, and climate change; white nationalist backlash is rising; and our democracy is profoundly threatened. NFG is a space to draw support, deepen relationships, and find co-conspirators as we propel philanthropy to shift power and money towards justice and equity.

In 2020, the NFG network is continuing to explore structural racism in health and housing, racial capitalism, migrant worker justice in rural areas, reimagining community safety and justice, and more. We will also return ‘home’ to NFG’s founding city — Washington, D.C. — for our 2020 National Convening.

As we celebrate 40 years, our dynamic community of grantmakers and grassroots leaders is what makes us strong. This newsletter spotlights The Libra Foundation, an NFG member that shares our commitment to organizing funders in moving more resources to frontline communities and movements.

Keep reading below for more opportunities to engage with NFG. Whether you are new to NFG or a long-time member, we look forward to collaborating with you to accelerate racial, gender, economic, and climate justice.
The NFG team

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