Learning Community

Learning from Community Leaders

Participating funders invested in an initial round of grantmaking and peer-learning opportunities for a diverse cohort of organizations from across Michigan that directly serve justice-impacted individuals (adult and youth), and/or that work to develop or advocate for systemic policy improvements that support this population across a number of domains including health, economic security and mobility, and community investment and well-being. This work resulted in a strategic grantmaking plan for the Fund informed by the initial cohort of grantees and other stakeholders.

Twenty-six organizations were invited to participate in the cohort, and each received a one-time $20,000 general operating grant to support full and robust participation. The organizations were selected to be representative of a diverse cross-section of organizations from across Michigan that directly serve justice-impacted individuals (adult and youth), and/or that work to develop or advocate for systemic policy improvements that support this population across a number of domains including health, economic security and mobility, and community investment and well-being.

Funders of the Michigan Justice Fund strongly believe that effective philanthropic strategy must be directly informed by those who are closest to the work. Input from cohort participants, in addition to other system stakeholders, helped the Michigan Justice Fund:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the sectors that the Michigan Justice Fund will move into, and potential opportunities to break silos to advance shared objectives
  • Identify or cultivate opportunities to leverage public/private/philanthropic resources, and explore ways the Fund can be most supportive to existing and emerging networks of practice; and
  • Refine Fund objectives and outcome metrics.

Ultimately, this input helped the Michigan Justice Fund develop a strategic grantmaking plan and roadmap for supporting a thriving enabling environment in Michigan necessary to advance justice reform initiatives, as well as a vision for how safety and justice efforts can be supported in our state beyond the life of the Fund.

2020 Learning Cohort

  • ACLU of Michigan
  • Alternatives for Girls
  • American Friends Service Committee – Michigan Criminal Justice Program
  • Black Family Development
  • Center for Behavioral Health and Justice
  • Center for Employment Opportunities
  • Center for Youth and Families
  • Citizens for Prison Reform
  • Corporation for a Skilled Workforce
  • Detroit Justice Center
  • D-LIVE
  • Force Detroit
  • Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit
  • Hope Network
  • Humanity for Prisoners
  • Mackinac Center for Public Policy
  • Michigan Collaborative to End Mass Incarceration (MI-CEMI)
  • Michigan Center for Youth Justice
  • Michigan League for Public Policy
  • Michigan Liberation Education Fund
  • Nation Outside
  • Professional Consulting Services
  • Safe & Just Michigan
  • State Appellate Defender Office
  • The Yunion
  • West MichiganWorks!

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Surabhi Pandit

Questions? Feel free to contact

Surabhi Pandit

Director, Human Services Initiatives