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Initiative

Culture of Justice

 

Reimagining Community Justice Through Arts and Culture

Our Goals

Integrate promising practices into local community development and human service systems

Deepen leadership roles of residents involved in the justice system, particularly boys and men of color

Center social and economic mobility in those processes

Share authentic narratives of individuals and communities impacted by the U.S. justice system

Created to ignite new approaches to community justice, this national initiative will center around a grantee cohort of five community-based organizations that are using arts and culture to reimagine justice in their local cities. Culture of Justice is a joint effort of Kresge’s Arts & Culture Program, the Boys and Men of Color Working Group and the Human Services Program.

The initiative has four main goals:

  • Integrate promising practices into local community development and human service systems
  • Deepen the leadership roles of justice-involved residents, particularly boys and men of color
  • Center social and economic mobility in those processes
  • Give visibility to authentic narratives of justice-impacted individuals and communities

There is still little national emphasis on positioning those most impacted by the justice system – particularly boys and men of color – to lead in setting agendas or bringing forward solutions. We aim to center and empower residents who are most impacted and build the cultural competency of organizations working to do so.

Culture of Justice launched in 2019 with $1.2 million in funding, providing individual grants of $240,000 to each grantee partner. Grantees are also tasked with developing a community of practice through convenings and on-the-ground peer exchanges.

Through this initiative, we will:

  • Create a learning community among local arts, culture and community justice programs.
  • Rely on the expertise, wisdom and creativity that comes from the lived experiences of those involved in and impacted by the justice system.
  • Integrate place-based innovations and solutions into the community-development sector.
  • Elevate narratives that recognize the systemic challenges facing justice-impacted communities, but also uplift stories of strength, resilience and capacity to propose priorities and solutions.
  • Use those first-person narratives in the development and implementation of practice, programming and policy.

Culture of Justice Grantees

Kresge staff is working remotely, and our offices are closed until further notice.  See our promise to partners during COVID-19.
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