Rona Navales, Development and Communications Coordinator, Root & Rebound (left); Kenia Miranda Verdugo, Smart Justice Program Manager, Michelson 20MM Foundation (center); Gail Yen, California Policy Director, Root & Rebound (right) celebrate Root & Rebound’s 10 years of impact
By Kenia Miranda Verdugo
Congratulations to Root & Rebound on a decade of smart justice reform! The Michelson 20MM Foundation was proud to attend Root & Rebound’s anniversary celebration and left the event inspired by Executive Director Carmen Garcia, as she explained her vision for the organization to create a clear roadmap for navigating reentry success and working on reducing the harms created by mass incarceration.
Root & Rebound is a dynamic and influential non-profit organization at the forefront of the criminal justice reform movement. Founded with a mission to address the myriad challenges faced by individuals impacted by the criminal justice system, Root & Rebound has been an unwavering advocate for justice, equality, and second chances. The organization’s work is rooted in its commitment to breaking down the barriers that prevent formerly incarcerated individuals from successfully reintegrating into society. Through their innovative programs, legal services, and policy advocacy, Garcia and her team empower those affected by the criminal justice system with knowledge, support, and resources. By tirelessly working to reform laws and policies, while also providing critical legal assistance, they help pave the way for systemic change and create a more equitable future for all individuals impacted by the criminal justice system.
Over the years, Michelson 20MM and the Michelson Center for Public Policy (MCPP) have had the great privilege to work with Root & Rebound in multiple capacities. From the creation of the Smart Justice Think Tank—a group of subject matter experts that came together to develop California’s Best Practices—to MCPP co-sponsoring SB 990 (Hueso, 2022) with Root & Rebound and engaging in other policy efforts. Root & Rebound has shared insight on the community’s needs through their on-the-ground direct services, presenting ideas gathered directly from struggles their clients encounter, and tackling them head on or seeking partners who could support in removing these barriers.
A huge congratulations to this tenacious organization, we can’t wait to witness their continued impact!
Michelson 20MM is a private, nonprofit foundation working toward equity for underserved and historically underrepresented communities by expanding access to educational and employment opportunities, increasing affordability of educational programs, and ensuring the necessary supports are in place for individuals to thrive. To do so, we work in the following verticals: Digital Equity, Intellectual Property, Smart Justice, Student Basic Needs, and Open Educational Resources (OER). Co-chaired and funded by Alya and Gary Michelson, Michelson 20MM is part of the Michelson Philanthropies network of foundations.
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