Seventeen emerging and established leaders — among them policy advocates, grassroots organizers, lawyers, and scholars — in ten states and the District of Columbia will receive a total of $1.5 million in support of their efforts to curb mass incarceration, challenge harsh punishment, and make the U.S. criminal justice system more accountable. Each fellow will be awarded a stipend ranging between $57,500 and $127,500 for a full-time project lasting twelve to eighteen months.
This year's fellows include Jarrell Daniels of the Justice Ambassadors Youth Council at the Center for Justice at Columbia University, who will launch a leadership development program for youth in New York City impacted by the criminal justice system; writer and historian Cynthia Greenlee, who is writing a series of articles exploring the intersection between reproductive injustice and mass incarceration in the South; CeCe McDonald, a survivor of transphobic violence, criminalization, and incarceration, who will create a grassroots education curriculum that builds community support and power for transgender women of color; ImeIme Umana, who clerks for an appeals court judge and is working to bring litigation challenging the constitutionality of diversion programs that use the threat of prosecution to prey on poor people accused of crimes; and Bulmaro Vicente, who is developing mechanisms to hold the Santa Ana (California) Police Department accountable for alleged misconduct and deadly use of force.
"The battle for a more just society demands bold ideas from people with the courage to dream big and challenge the status quo," said Open Society-U.S. executive director Tom Perriello. "The 2019 class of Soros Justice Fellows bring to bear energy, enthusiasm, and a willingness to tackle the most intractable issues in our country. I'm incredibly excited to see what they will accomplish."
For a complete list of this year's Soros Justice Fellows, see the Open Society Foundations website.