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 (ewang@tides.org) or Kathryn Snyder (ksnyder@tides.org).

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

Originally published on the Tides blog.

October 24, 2019

Reflections from Philanthropy Forward's First Cohort

Philanthropy Forward: Leadership for Change is a CEO fellowship program created by Neighborhood Funders Group and the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions. The program's first cohort started in October 2018 in furtherance of building and advancing a shared vision for the future of philanthropy.

Hear perspectives from members of the first cohort as they reflect in this video on their work together as strategic thought partners, addressing philanthropy's most challenging issues and aligning to build a financial engine for social change.

2018 - 2019 Philanthropy Forward Cohort

A grid with individual photos of each of the 20 members of Philanthropy Forward's 2018-2918 cohort..

Click here for participant bios

  • Dimple Abichandani, General Service Foundation
  • Sharon Alpert, Nathan Cummings Foundation
  • Elizabeth Barajas-Roman, Solidago Foundation
  • Ned Calonge, The Colorado Trust
  • Irene Cooper-Basch, Victoria Foundation
  • Farhad A. Ebrahimi, The Chorus Foundation
  • Nicky Goren, Meyer Foundation
  • Justin Maxson, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation
  • Joan Minieri, Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock
  • Maria Mottola, New York Foundation
  • Mike Pratt, Scherman Foundation
  • Jocelyn Sargent, Hyams Foundation
  • Pamela Shifman, NoVo Foundation
  • Starsky D. Wilson, Deaconess Foundation
  • Steve Patrick, Aspen Institute Forum for Community solutions
  • Dennis Quirin, Raikes Foundation
September 10, 2019

For Love of Humankind: A Call to Action for Southern Philanthropy

Justin Maxson, Executive Director of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, calls on fellow funding organizations based in the South to respond to the federal government's anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies with three concrete actions. This post was originally published here on the foundation's website.

Justin was part of the first Philanthropy Forward: Leadership for Change Fellowship cohort, a joint initiative of Neighborhood Funders Group and The Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions. The Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, which strives to help people and places move out of poverty and achieve greater social and economic justice, is a member of NFG.


 

Justin MaxsonWe are issuing a clarion call to Southern philanthropic organizations to respond to the manic drumbeat of anti-immigrant rhetoric and cruelty coming from the White House. This month began with a mass shooting targeting the Latinx community. Days later, massive raids tore apart hundreds of families and destabilized Mississippi communities but levied no consequences for the corporate leadership that lures vulnerable people to work in grueling, dangerous conditions. It is astounding that since those events, with the resulting fear and trauma still reverberating through immigrant communities across America, the administration has: 

  • repeated its intention to end birthright citizenship, a 14th Amendment guarantee that babies born on American soil are citizens. 
  • attempted to terminate the Flores Agreement, which sets standards for the care of children in custody. This would allow the administration to detain migrant families indefinitely in facilities where children are dying of influenza, yet flu shots are not administrated, where children are sexually assaulted, where soap, toothbrushes, human contact and play are not standard, and where breastfeeding babies are taken from their mothers. Child separation is known to cause permanent psychological trauma and brain damage.
  • announced changes to the so-called “public charge rule” to make it harder for legal immigrants to secure citizenship if they use public assistance. As our partners at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities argue, this change would cause many to “forgo assistance altogether, resulting in more economic insecurity and hardship, with long-term negative consequences, particularly for children.” Further, the decision “rests on the erroneous assumption that immigrants currently of modest means are harmful to our nation and our economy, devaluing their work and contributions and discounting the upward mobility immigrant families demonstrate.”

There was also a recent effort to effectively end asylum altogether at the southern border. And despite the Supreme Court ruling blocking the citizenship question from the 2020 census, advocates believe the debate will depress response rates. As we wrote earlier this month, this administration’s animus against immigrants and increasingly aggressive ICE actions are compounding the devastating effects on communities across the country. 

Why Southern philanthropy? 

An analysis of recent grantmaking by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy found our region has deportation rates five times higher than the rest of the country, yet Southern pro-immigrant organizations receive paltry philanthropic funding. Barely one percent of all money granted by the 1,000 largest foundations benefits immigrants and refugees, and even that money doesn’t go to state and local groups that are accountable to grassroots and immigrant communities. Organizations in Southern states receive less than half of the state and local funding of California, New York and Illinois. 

Where to begin? 

Speak up. As Desmund Tutu taught us, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Use your institutional voice to influence decisionmakers.

Examine your foundation’s policies. Find out if your endowment is invested in private detention centers. Consider how supporting organizing, power building and policy advocacy could advance your mission. NCRP has more recommendations in its report.

Give generously. Our partners at Hispanics in Philanthropy have curated a list of organizations helping the families affected by the raids across Mississippi. Our partners at Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees have compiled a list of ways to help, from rapid response grants to long-term strategies. 

Many of the Babcock Foundation’s grantee partners are doing more and more immediate protection work, stretching themselves thin and often putting themselves at risk. They are keeping families intact in the short term while building power for the long term, so history will stop repeating: 

If you know of more resources, please share them. If you’d like to learn more about the organizations on the ground across the South – or think about ways we can do more together – contact us. We are always looking to learn and act in alignment with our fellow funders toward a shared vision of a strong, safe, welcoming and equitable region. 

Activist Jane Addams said, “The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us.” Regardless of a foundation’s mission, abject cruelty surely undermines it. It also undermines the most basic tenet of philanthropy, which literally means “love for humankind.” We see no love in this administration. It’s up to all of us to spread it.