Foundation / Corporation
Open Society Foundations
12/06/17 11:59 PM EST
Fellowships to USA individuals for projects that reform, advance, catalyze, and spur debate on a broad range of criminal justice system issues. Applicants could include lawyers, grassroots organizers, researchers, advocates, and other outstanding individuals who can provide unique perspectives. Projects must address criminal justice reform on a local, state, or national level. Projects may range from litigation to public education to coalition building to grassroots mobilization to policy-driven research.
The Foundation will consider projects that focus on one or more of the broad criminal justice reform goals: reducing the number of people who are incarcerated or under correctional control, challenging extreme punishment, and promoting fairness and accountability in the justice system the United States. In the Foundation’s view, there are a number of things that can be done to advance these broad goals — for example, challenging the extremely long prison terms that have become the accepted norm as a response to serious and violent crimes; ending the punishment and harsh treatment of youth who come into conflict with the law; promoting police accountability; contesting prosecutors’ orientation toward harsh charging and sentencing practices; and fostering health-informed responses to drug use.
However, the Foundation does not have a defined list of topics or issues will be considered. Instead, the Foundation expects applicants themselves to make the case that their projects have the potential to contribute something valuable to a particular issue or in a particular place. In this way, the fellowships are designed to be flexible and open — a space for projects that build effectively on work that has come before, that explore new and creative ways of doing things, that take risks, that offer new insights and perspectives.
The Foundation believes that the fellowships can be a useful platform for supporting people whose work experiments and pushes boundaries, challenges convention, elaborates novel ways of approaching deeply entrenched and intractable problems, anticipates emerging issues, or seizes upon particular opportunities in creative ways; and that if these things are done well, people supported through the fellowships can, over time and in conjunction with others, exert some influence on the broader field of criminal justice reform.
Strategies Supported by the Soros Justice Advocacy Fellowships and “Reform” Requirement:
Applicants may employ, either alone or in combination, any number of strategies to achieve the goals and objectives set forth in their projects. These strategies include but are not limited to: impact litigation, public education, strategic communications, policy advocacy, coalition-building, grassroots organizing and mobilization, and policy-driven research and analysis.
Regardless of the strategy employed, all Advocacy Fellowship projects must, during the term of the fellowship itself, actively seek some measure of reform. The Foundation generally defines “reform” as a change to a policy or practice, whether formalized by law or not, that has a particular effect on individuals, families, or communities. Reform can promote or create good policies or practices, as well as change or lessen the harmful effects of bad ones. Moreover, reform should involve more than simply achieving a specific result for a specific person; instead, groups of people defined by certain characteristics or circumstances should benefit from achieving a particular change.
Advocacy Track I:
Advocacy Track I is for people at a range of phases in their careers, including but not limited to: people just entering the field following post-graduate education; advocates with a few years of work experience; and those beginning to work on criminal justice reform issues after a career in another field or after some other life experience.
Advocacy Track II:
Advocacy Track II is for seasoned, established, and accomplished leaders and experts in the field — ideally people who have distinguished themselves on a local, state or national level; and who have the kind of stature, experience, and capacity necessary to have a meaningful impact on an important criminal justice reform issue.
The Foundation recognizes that criminal justice reform issues are exceptionally complex and involve an array of interrelated social, economic, political, and historical dynamics. The Foundation therefore encourages applications that demonstrate a clear understanding of the intersection of criminal justice issues with the particular needs of low-income communities; communities of color; immigrants; LGBTQ people; women and children; and those otherwise disproportionately affected by harsh or unfair criminal justice policies. The Foundation also welcomes projects that cut across various criminal justice fields and related sectors, such as education, health and mental health, housing, and employment.
Directly Affected Individuals:
The Foundation in particular welcomes applications from individuals directly affected by, or with significant direct personal experience with, the policies, practices, and systems their projects seek to address. This includes but is not limited to applicants who have themselves been incarcerated; applicants who have a family member or loved one who has been incarcerated and whose fellowship project emerges from that experience; and applicants who are survivors of violence and crime. It also includes people with deep ties and connections to the communities or constituencies that are the focus of their projects.
Advocacy Fellowship applicants are encouraged, but not required, to secure a host organization. Host organizations — which can be advocacy or community groups, scholarly or research institutions, government agencies, or other nonprofit organizations or associations — can provide access to resources such as space, technology, and networks, as well as mentoring and guidance. They can also enhance the credibility and raise the profile of the project.
Regardless of whether they partner with a host organization, Advocacy Fellowship applicants must assemble an advisory board for the project. The advisory board must be comprised of a minimum of three (3) individuals who can lend guidance and expertise to the project.
GrantWatch ID#: 161095
Advocacy Track I comes with an award of $87,000, plus project-related expenses.
Advocacy Track II comes with an award of $120,000, plus project-related expenses.
Advocacy Fellowships are 18 months in duration and can begin anytime between July and November 2018.
Applicants must be able to devote at least 35 hours per week to the project if awarded a fellowship.
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Apply Online: https://sorosjusticefellowships.submittable.com/submit/96263/2018-advocacy-fellowships
Open Society Foundations
224 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
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