This is writing for the Ella Baker Center's first ever fall "case for support." We raise most of our funds from foundations, and aim to increase our gifts from individual donors in coming years. This document is critical in helping us get started. We'd love your support!
We are hoping to diversify our revenue streams (we are currently 90% foundation funded) and build grassroots power through individual giving. By building relationships with donors to grow overall revenue and build network power, we will be able to put more resources toward shifting public dollars away from police and prisons and toward community-led alternatives.
To advance racial and economic justice to ensure dignity and opportunity for low-income people and people of color.
Our country faces a huge crisis in our justice system. The United States locks up more people than any other nation on the planet, a disproportionate number being low-income people of color. In this time of massive budget cuts across the country, state after state is sacrificing family and community safety nets, most markedly our schools. Yet, politicians continue to invest billions into jails and prisons that fail to help people get their lives back on track nor help make our communities safer.
At the Ella Baker Center we believe that in order for all communities to flourish this investment in incarceration over education must stop. To this end, we mobilize coalitions and advocate for policy solutions that put people first. In California our tactics have helped to cut the youth incarceration rate by 80% over the past ten years, and have gained passage of countless bills that foster humanity and care in the juvenile justice system. We're now taking our organizing skills to the national stage with the aim of reducing the U.S. incarceration rate by half while building a society where all individuals have access to the opportunities and services they need to thrive.