After The Verdict: Funding Recommendations

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

With last week’s guilty verdict on all three counts, the criminal legal system finally held a white police officer accountable for the murder of George Floyd. But this conviction doesn’t resolve the deeper, systemic problems in our society.

The verdict doesn’t bring George Floyd back to his family. It doesn’t erase the fear and trauma that Black Americans face in their everyday lives. On the same day, we received news of yet another egregious police-involved shooting that claimed the life of Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old in Ohio who called 911 for police protection from a group of girls.

I do hope this verdict is a transformative and long overdue turning point for America. I hope it accelerates and sustains our national reckoning and collective action to achieve racial justice and ensure that all Black lives truly matter.

If you are moved to action, as I am, Hirsch Philanthropy Partners recommends supporting these exceptional organizations advancing justice for Black communities. These are Black-led organizations based in the Bay Area, with one exception. All are 501(c)3 organizations/projects able to accept contributions from foundations and donor advised funds.

Black Organizing Project – Successfully removed the police department from Oakland public schools in response to the murder of Raheim Brown. Now they are focused on holding leaders and institutions accountable to prevent parole officers or other non-police “security” from being used in school settings, and instead move towards restorative justice practices.

Oakland Ceasefire – An evidence-based, collective impact collaboration that has dramatically reduced community violence in Oakland through a community-police partnership that includes clergy and faith communities, street outreach, service providers, and law enforcement. (If you’re interested in contributing, let us know and we’ll send you a donation link.)

Ella Baker Center for Human Rights – Has interrupted cycles of incarceration and poverty in the Bay Area, statewide and nationally for more than 20 years, shifting resources away from prisons and punishment and toward opportunities that make communities safe, healthy, and strong. Executive Director Zach Norris is the author of Defund Fear: Safety without Policing, Prisons and Punishment.

Expecting Justice – Their innovative approach supports Black and Pacific Islander expecting mothers in San Francisco through guaranteed income, stable housing and high quality jobs, while reducing structural racism and implicit bias in health and social service systems.

Integrity First for America – Leading a landmark civil lawsuit against the perpetrators of violence in Charlottesville to stop white nationalism and extremism. Headed to trial in October, the effort has significant potential to bankrupt and dismantle the white supremacist movement. While not a Black-run organization, their mostly pro-bono legal team works on behalf of Black Lives Matter protesters and numerous plaintiffs of color injured in the Charlottesville attack.

MediaJustice – A powerful national grassroots movement for digital civil rights, a more participatory media and racial, economic and gender justice. Their MediaJustice Network successfully banned discriminatory facial recognition technology from police use and is working to end FBI surveillance and anti-Black racial profiling during protests.

Racial justice is a moral imperative – we look forward to partnering with you for as long as it takes to make it real. Please reach out anytime to talk with us or ask questions.

With continued hope for a safe and just future,

Susan Hirsch and the Hirsch Philanthropy Partners team