The D.C.-based Public Welfare Foundation has announced that over the next two years it will refine its strategic framework and concentrate its efforts fully on catalyzing an approach to criminal and youth justice that is community-led, restorative, and racially just.
For more than a decade, the foundation has focused its efforts in three areas — workers' rights, criminal justice, and youth justice. Doubling down on its focus on justice reform will require it to transition out of other areas it has invested in, including workers' rights and civil legal aid. The strengthened focus on criminal and youth justice issues also will see the foundation renew its commitment to funding innovative solutions early in their lifecycle.
To that end, the foundation will focus its investments in specific locations, working hand-in-hand with communities to drive transformation across multiple fronts, including policy advocacy, community organizing, demonstration projects, and leadership development, with a focus on investing in leaders closest to the justice issues confronting the nation.
"As funders and abolitionists, we must embrace risk and nurture innovative ideas," the foundation said in a statement on its website. "Heroes exist in the very neighborhoods that we relegate for being riddled with crime and violence. It is time to resource these leaders and let them bring us into a new era of restoration and redemption. It is through this focused effort that we will be able to achieve far greater impact in the total overhaul of the systems that were created to marginalize and contain our nation’s most vulnerable populations."