The George Gund Foundation in Cleveland has announced ninety-two grants totaling $7 million to nonprofits working in the areas of the arts, education, the environment, health and human services, economic and community development, and legal rights and justice system reform.
The second-quarter grants include $200,000 to help launch the Ohio Transformation Fund, an initiative focused on addressing inequities in a criminal justice system that result in nearly one in six Ohio adults having a criminal record. Supported by an alliance of national and Ohio-based funding partners, the fund is an extension of the foundation's juvenile justice reform program, which aims to reduce the number of Ohio youth in detention institutions, close the worst facilities, support high-quality community alternatives, and shift state funding to a more community-focused system. Additional juvenile justice-related grants included $150,000 over two years to the Northern Kentucky Children's Law Center, $80,000 to the Juvenile Justice Coalition, and $85,000 over two years to the Center for Innovative Practices at Case Western Reserve University.
"This is an important moment of opportunity in Cleveland and statewide to challenge long-embedded policies and practices in our justice system," said Gund Foundation senior program officer Marcia Egbert. "We hope these investments will help drive effective, equitable, and lasting reforms that simultaneously promote fairness and improve community safety."
The grants also include $780,000 to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District in support of three new schools at the newly rebuilt John Marshall High School, the second year of the Cleveland High School for the Digital Arts, and a redesigned Cleveland School of the Arts; $580,000 in general operating support to the Cleveland Play House; $200,000 over two years to the Rails to Trails Conservancy in support of the Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition; and $300,000 to the Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County for a high-quality preschool initiative.