It’s no secret that in the United States, there are disparities in our society that cut across racial lines. Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) disproportionately experience injustice within the criminal legal system, and face barriers in education, employment, healthcare, even access to internet connectivity — all of which reduce the quality of life for millions and prevent our country from fulfilling its promise of equity. Many of the challenges faced by BIPOC, especially Black people, stem from entrenched systemic racism in our nation’s institutions, created through policy decisions that stretch back centuries and require deliberate, ongoing actions and investments to make right.
Last year, we at Michelson 20MM made Smart Justice one of our foundation’s key focus areas in our efforts to help individuals and communities impacted by the punitive legal system forge a brighter future through higher education attainment and meaningful careers. The anti-racism uprisings around the country that began in earnest this spring demonstrate that there is an incredible amount of work ahead in order for our country to realize racial equity. As a result, we’re stepping up our efforts to counter systemic racism by providing new Racial Equity Partners with financial support. Our new partners fight for racial justice and tackle head on systems that disproportionately target communities of color. We are excited to continue engaging in thought partnership with them and others to make race equity a reality.
Michelson Racial Equity partners include:
JusticeLA is a coalition of over 50 grassroots organizations, advocates, impacted communities, and stakeholders all working to reduce the footprint of incarceration in Los Angeles County and steering funding into community-based systems of care. Since its launch, JusticeLA has successfully stopped LA County’s $3.5 billion jail expansion plan and led the development of LA County’s Alternatives to Incarceration Workgroup report. Most recently, the nonprofit has successfully put into motion the permanent closing of Men’s Central Jail in DTLA and is leading the Reimagine LA Ballot Initiative which would permanently secure 10% of net county costs for alternatives to incarceration and community reinvestment. Michelson 20MM supports JusticeLA’s initiative to advance a justice reinvestment strategy critical to investing in communities most impacted by over-policing and incarceration.
Homeboy Industries (HBI)
Homeboy Industries provides hope, training, and support to formerly gang-involved individuals and previously incarcerated men and women, allowing them to redirect their lives and become contributing community members. Reentry services include tattoo removal, education, workforce development, solar panel training, case managers + navigators, substance abuse support, mental health, and legal support. 20MM is impressed by HBIs holistic reentry model and social enterprises and excited to partner to advance reentry best practices, policy, and systems change.
Alliance for Boys and Men of Color
The Alliance for Boys and Men of Color (ABMoC) is a national network of more than 200 advocacy organizations and community leaders advancing race and gender justice. ABMoC works to transform institutions and policies that are failing boys and men of color, their families, and communities. 20MM is deeply impressed by the organization’s efforts to advance racial equity, establish policy solutions, and build the community power needed to demolish unjust systems.
Color of Change
A national online force powered by more than 1.7 million members, Color of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. The organization helps people respond effectively to injustice and moves decision-makers in corporations and government in creating a more human and less hostile world for Black Americans. We are inspired by Color of Change’s campaigns for racial justice via online platforms to strengthen the political power of Black communities and champion solutions that move our nation forward.
“Our racial equity partners fighting for racial justice are doing heroic work in addressing the challenges people of color face in our country,” says Gary K. Michelson, M.D., Founder of the Michelson 20MM. “We are inspired by their efforts and look forward to supporting even more organizations that are striving to create a more conscious and equitable society.”