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2023 Smart Justice Spark Grants Funding Cycle Informational Webinar

November 30, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am


Thursday, November 30, 2023 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. PST
Register for the event

Michelson 20MM is committed to helping individuals and communities impacted by the criminal justice system forge a brighter, more prosperous future through educational attainment. In keeping this pledge, we’re launching our latest Michelson Spark Grants funding round and awarding grants of up to $25,000 to nonprofits at the intersection of higher education, workforce development, incarceration, and reentry.

In support of these efforts our next round of the Michelson Spark Grant program will focus on this very important issue. Join us on November 30th to learn more about the Spark Grant program and the funding cycle’s focus areas, which are available below. Our Smart Justice funding cycle will run from December 6th to December 20th, 2023 and seeks to fund macro level projects that support systems level strategies that create impact at scale and inform public policy. 

  • Innovative scalable programming that builds a “going to college” culture among the nonprofit ecosystem that serves systems impacted individuals. This could include:
    -Efforts that guide formerly incarcerated individuals who have not begun their higher education journeys to get to and through college/universities
    -Efforts that have developed a roadmap or toolkit that makes higher education one of the priorities for individuals reintegrating into community
  • Efforts focused on mitigating the impact/disruption that prison closures and transfers have on the educational trajectories of individuals enrolled in in-prison college programs 
  • Efforts looking to scale best-practices for in-prison women-focused education and workforce development programming.
  • Multigenerational programming that supports the children of incarcerated individuals and prevents the school to prison pipeline. Efforts can include but are not limited to the following:
    -Efforts that address trauma and mental health needs of children
    -Efforts that maintain the parent/child bond during incarceration
    -Mentoring programs geared toward college access and success
    -Workforce development opportunities for youth and young adults  

Additional Details

The Smart Justice Initiative (SJI) at Michelson 20MM launched in 2019 to leverage higher education as a catalyst for personal transformation and justice reform. SJI components include higher education in prison, reentry, supporting justice-involved students on campus, workforce development and economic success, racial justice, and gender justice, with a particular focus on policy and systems change. Previous Smart Justice grantees include the Forestry and Fire Recruitment Program, UCI LIFTED, the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Impact Justice, Root and Rebound, Vera Institute of Justice, RAND Corporation, and the Campaign for College Opportunity.

The vision for the Spark Grant Program is to introduce an innovative just-in-time grantmaking process to fill urgent needs for organizations that are well-aligned with our focus areas. The Spark Grant Program is available to United States–based nonprofits. For this round of funding, we have decided to focus our impact on organizations that are doing work in California. Organizations whose work does not impact California will be ineligible for this opportunity. Your project must address at least one of our focus areas in order to be considered. 

Learn more about the Spark Grants program and register for the informational webinar today!

For questions regarding eligibility, reach out to Ryan Erickson-Kulas, Director of Programs and Operations, ryan@20mm.org.


November 30, 2023
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Event Category:


Michelson 20MM Foundation
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