The Michelson 20MM Foundation is excited to announce the awarding of $20,000 to the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera).   

The Michelson 20MM Foundation envisions a world where prisons become a gateway to higher education, rehabilitation, and for most, reintegration back into the community. One major way to bring this vision to fruition is to remove the ban on accessing Federal Pell Grants for people in prison that was enacted in 1994 via the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. With that goal in mind we have awarded our 2nd Spark Grant to the Vera Institute of Justice to create a comprehensive report detailing barriers and opportunities to expand access to higher education in prison from the state perspective.

This report will be part of Vera’s larger policy campaign to remove the federal ban on Pell grants for individuals who are in prison. By leveraging policy change momentum in the states and a more robust public conversation around the issue, Vera can help build support for reinstating Pell Grant eligibility for all people in prison. If the ban on Pell grants is lifted, over 350,000 prospective students in prison would stand to benefit.

The Michelson 20MM Foundation and its initiatives are made possible by the generous support of Gary K. Michelson, M.D. and his wife, Alya Michelson.

We will be conducting Phase 2 of the Michelson Spark Grant program in July. To learn more please visit our webpage or sign up for notifications via the form below.


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