The Ford Foundation has announced the launch of a $100 million fund in support of organizations working to address mass incarceration in the United States.
Launched with a $100 million donation from philanthropist Agnes Gund, who sold a prized painting from her own collection to underwrite the gift, the Art for Justice Fund hopes to raise an additional $100 million in private capital over the next five years through art sales and other donations. Among other things, the fund will award grants to nonprofit organizations and leaders working to safely reduce jail and prison populations across the country while strengthening education and employment opportunities for people leaving the system. The fund also will support art-related programs that expose the injustice of mass incarceration and its impact on individuals and communities, especially those of color.
The Ford Foundation will partner with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors to manage the donated funds, disburse grants, and create various publications and programs in support of the effort. In addition to providing expertise on program design, Ford also will cover the operating costs of the fund so that 100 percent of donated funds go directly to programming and grants.
“The criminal justice system in its current state — particularly in its treatment of people of color — is unfair and unjust,” said Gund in a statement. “It is my hope that by supporting organizations working on criminal justice reform with proven track records, the Art for Justice Fund can inspire change and help pave the way for a better, safer future for our communities and the millions of people whose lives are devastated by mass incarceration.”
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