It is hard to adequately summarize 2020. It has been an incredibly difficult year, but not one without hope. New and necessary voices are emerging and reframing the conversation on justice. These voices reinforce that opportunities for a new vision of justice are both real and ripe.
As we end the year, I wanted to share some articles by women that have given me hope this year. These women capture not only the conversation at this moment but also remind us of our history and where we need to head next. I find myself hoping that 2021 delivers even more of these voices.
The Women Fighting for Prison Abolition Believe a Better World Is Possible by Amanda Abrams in Glamour Magazine, highlighting the work of Detroit Justice Center’s Amanda Alexander, Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice Director Heidi Mueller, Women on the Rise Co-Founder Marilyn Winn, and more.
Hyperlocal Giving to Black-Led Nonprofits Cannot Simply Be a Trend by Chicago Beyond’s Liz Dozier and myself in Stanford Social Innovation Review highlighting the work of Melanca Clark at Hudson-Webber Foundation and Yanique Redwood at Consumer Health Foundation, among others.
In Philanthropy, Race Is Still a Factor in Who Gets What, Study Shows by Cheryl Dorsey in the New York Times.
Why America is Still Living with the Damage Done By the ‘Superpredator’ Lie by Kim Taylor-Thompson in the Los Angeles Times.
These leaders show that a transformative vision of justice is possible – and that it’s worth fighting for.
I also recently had the opportunity to contribute to the Association of American Law Schools’ Section on Leadership for its special edition on race in America. My essay, Armed with History: A Letter to My Niece’s Granddaughter, is my attempt to outline what is needed to begin to advance racial equity in America – reconciliation, re-education, and recompense.
So, despite all that 2020 has entailed, we look to 2021 with hope and optimism as we deepen relationships and fan out in the Foundation’s newly announced target jurisdictions. Together, I know that we will continue thinking of ways to raise our voices and contribute to the change we want to see in the world.