Funders Summit on Justice Reform: The Nation’s Eyes on Rikers

Thursday, December 14, 2017 -
9:00am to 3:30pm EST
Philanthropy New York; 1500 Broadway, 7th Floor, NYC 10036
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We have reached maximum capacity for this program and will now be starting a waitlist. Please email to join the waitlist. We will notify you as spots open up. 

Long before the current leadership took the helm at the U.S. Justice Department, the leaders of the movement to end mass incarceration knew that the most meaningful efforts had to take place at the state and local level.  Grassroots leaders, with significant support from the philanthropic community, are harnessing momentum at the local level and pushing city and state governments to move forward on multiple fronts, including bail and sentencing reform, decriminalization and diversion programs, ending school-to-prison pipelines, ending the cycle that traps formerly incarcerated people in a cycle of recidivism, and many other elements of essential change in the system.

With the #CLOSErikers movement, we have an excellent example of the promise and major unresolved challenges at the heart of complex, multi-front, intergovernmental reform playing out here in our own community. Six months after the release of the Independent Commission’s report and the Mayor’s promise to close the facility on Rikers Island, we have a crucial opportunity for funders to better understand the work that lays ahead and the tangible strategies for breaking down political, logistical, and financial barriers.

Philanthropy New York’s ad hoc Justice Reform Funders group invites you to a convening with government, nonprofit, and philanthropic leaders to outline the individual levers each sector is pulling to make ending mass incarceration in New York – with closing Rikers at the core – a reality. We will examine the changes required in our courthouses, the advocacy work being done in City Hall and Albany, and of the coordination necessary from our elected officials. We will also highlight the necessity of seeking community input – and the lack of resources dedicated to the task – to rethink incarceration and ensure that the recommended borough-based jails are not replicas of Rikers in culture, physical condition, and population. We will center our conversation on the wisdom of formerly incarcerated leaders and where they are placing their energies at this critical point.

More philanthropic dollars going into justice reform than ever before. To foster peer-to-peer learning, the convening will conclude with discussion among foundation and justice reform leaders on how they are thinking about grantmaking strategies, both locally and nationally.

  • The logistical, political, financial barriers in closing Rikers
  • How we can use the opportunity to #CLOSErikers as learning for other local movements and government coordination efforts across the nation
  • Strategies national and local funders are using to end mass incarceration
  • Opportunities for funders to engage and coordinate efforts around different strategies, including advocacy, research, and community engagement

Summit Outline:

8:45-9:00am       Breakfast and Registration

9:00-9:20am       Welcome

9:30-9:40am       PHIL Talk

9:40-9:50am       What Can We Learn from Rikers?: The National Implications

10:00-11:00am   Panel: From City Hall to Albany- Government’s Role

11:20-12:20pm   Panel: The Outside Game of Holistic Systems Change 

12:20-1:20pm   Lunch

1:20-2:15pm     Panel: What Are Funders Doing Now on Justice Reform?

2:15-3:25pm       Funder Collaboration Breakouts 

3:25 - 3:30pm     Closing

Funders Summit Planning Committee:

Designed for

All interested funders.


8:45 - 9:00 AM  Check-in
9:00 - 3:30 PM  Program

Registration is required by December 13.

Members: To register yourself and/or a colleague at your organization, please log in and click the Register Now link above.

Non-Member Funders: Please email to register for this program.

Please email with any questions.

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