Young New Yorkers
Young New Yorkers is an arts-based sentencing diversion program for young people who are arrested in New York City. YNY allows court-involved youth to experience “art, not jail” through 1 day and 4 week counseling/art workshops, providing a second chance to avoid the stain of a criminal record. YNY programs culminate in an exhibition of the young peoples’ art in a courtroom, attended by judges, attorneys and often the police officers who arrested them. This is an opportunity for everyone to celebrate the young peoples’ worth beyond their rap sheets. YNY graduates advise other arrested youth and, in many cases, continue to use their art for advocacy.
Ameelio is a non-profit tech platform which allows families to connect with their loved ones in prison, for free, and provides educational resources for the incarcerated. The existing prison telecom industry charges inmates and their families exorbitant fees for phone calls, emails and other communication. Ameelio’s goal is to disrupt this predatory prison telecom industry by providing free services, including web-based visitation for families and educational resources. Contact with family during incarceration has been shown to improve post-release outcomes and reduce recidivism. Through their free software platform, Ameelio lessens financial exploitation of the incarcerated, and empowers them to chart a path toward successful reentry from day one.
Upsolve is a nonprofit tech tool that helps people file for bankruptcy on their own, for free. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a legal process that allows people to erase certain debts, including medical debt, utility bills, credit card debt, car loans and payday loans. The Upsolve app gives people a second chance to emerge from debt and begin anew with dignity, without legal fees to set them back even further. A Time Magazine 2020 Best Invention winner for their app, the team at Upsolve is creating a movement to fight for a legal and financial system everyone can access with the motto “Civil Rights Should Be Free”.
University of Michigan Prison Creative Arts Program
The Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP) brings those impacted by the criminal justice system together with the University of Michigan community for artistic collaboration. PCAP gives University of Michigan students the opportunity to interact with, and learn from, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals through theater, art and writing workshops. PCAP’s Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners is one of the largest prison exhibitions in the world, featuring 800 pieces of work in a selection process involving almost 660 incarcerated artists.
GI GO Fund
GI GO Fund was founded in 2006 in memory of Lt. Seth Dvorin, a relative of the Wenigs who was killed at age 24 by an IED blast in Iraq. GI GO’s mission is that no military member’s sacrifice is forgotten, and that veterans are taken care of when they return home. The non-profit provides employment assistance, housing and financial aid, as well as benefits assistance and legal support. Their Veterans Center offers shared office space and a new business incubator program for veterans. The founders also created JobPaths, an online employment platform designed to address the unique needs of diverse job seekers, including veterans, people with disabilities and the formerly incarcerated.
Marin Shakespeare Company
Marin Shakespeare Company is a professional theatre company based in Northern California with a social justice focus. As one of Marin’s most successful performing arts organizations, it entertains audiences of over 10,000 theatregoers, and provides learning experiences for more than 4,000 students each year. MSC offers Shakespeare, Autobiographical Story-telling, Acting for Veterans, and Drama for Re-Entry classes at San Quentin and 12 other California State Prisons and Alameda Juvenile Hall for men, women and youth. MSC is also home to the Returned Citizens Theatre Troupe, actors who have survived incarceration who tell stories of importance through theatre.
Prison Journalism Project
The Prison Journalism Project trains incarcerated writers to be journalists and publishes their stories, empowering a marginalized community to be a vital voice in criminal justice reform. PJP plans to create a national network of prison journalists, bringing transparency to the world of mass incarceration. In 2021, they launched PJP J-School, their first correspondence-based journalism course tailored for prison writers. PJP’s faculty of veteran journalists and educators work with incarcerated students to train them in the basics of journalistic writing and reporting, allowing incarcerated writers’ stories to be featured in the influential mainstream press.
The Forestry and Fire Recruitment Program
FFRP provides career support to formerly incarcerated firefighters (and those currently incarcerated in California’s Conservation Camps) who are interested in careers in firefighting and forestry. Their mission is to increase wildfire personnel from non-traditional and underrepresented communities, providing them with the training needed to secure gainful employment. Our Fund has provided laptops and other technology for their new Oakland, CA office, so they can train additional brigades to combat California’s wildfires.
Justice Arts Coalition
The Justice Arts Coalition unites teaching artists, arts advocates and artists who are currently or formerly incarcerated to harness the transformative power of the arts. Through the sharing of resources, national conferences, art exhibits, online galleries and educational opportunities, JAC amplifies the voices of those impacted by mass incarceration, creating a public dialogue on the intersection of the arts and justice.
Code.org is a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools and increasing participation by young women and students from marginalized racial and ethnic groups. Their vision is that every student in every school has the opportunity to learn computer science as part of their core K-12 education. Code.org is the leading provider of K-12 computer science curriculum in the largest school districts in the United States, and created the annual Hour of Code campaign, which has engaged more than 15% of all students in the world.
Girls Who Code
Girls Who Code is on a mission to close the gender gap in technology – to change the image of what a programmer looks like. GWC offers a wide range of programs in computer science education, including clubs, summer, college and career programs. They have taught more than 500,000 girls through in-person programming and educational content, with 50% of the girls served coming from underrepresented groups.