Criminal Justice Initiative Announce SOS Rapid Response Fund

Posted on October 14, 2018

CJI Announces SOS Rapid Response Fund!

Under the current U.S. presidential administration, each day reveals a previously unimaginable violation of already oppressed communities, a new way to terrorize and traumatize. Those of us committed to resistance are growing outrage fatigue. Fortunately, the solution to outrage fatigue is movement building: organizing, strategizing, and fighting together so we can win together.

Toward that goal, CJI has launched our SOS Fund (Strategic Opportunities for Support), an emergency, rapid response fund to enable amazing organizations on the ground to move quickly and strategically to counter efforts of this morally bankrupt administration that will further harm individuals, families, and communities affected by mass incarceration.

To be eligible for an SOS Grant, organizations must:

  • Include former-incarcerated and/or directly-impacted people in their leadership;
  • Contribute to building the movement to radically transform the criminal justice system;
  • Be collaborative in their approach.
  • Propose unanticipated actions or strategies created as real-time responses to new developments.”

The use of the funds should support movement building activities or efforts, such as:

  • addressing new political developments or opportunities that could advance the movement against mass criminalization/incarceration/state violence;
  • building efforts to oppose the expansion of criminalization, especially the criminalization of constitutionally protected behavior, activity, association or populations;
  • engaging in actions or activities that expose, oppose, or halt state actions, policies or programs that expand criminalization, incarceration, or state violence;
  • advancing restorative justice principles;
  • organizing movement-building activities or events that support new connections between and among different communities, such as:
    • convenings to support directly-impacted participation
    • healing work that strengthens the movement/leadership development

To apply, please fill out the SOS application on Submittable:

Applicants must submit the following:

  • Organization name, location, and contact info
  • Description of the involvement of directly-impacted people in the organization’s leadership
  • Description of the purpose of grant, and how it is strategic.
  • Project budget
  • Organizational budget.

If you have difficulties accessing the internet, you can arrange to dictate your application by phone to a CJI staff member by calling (646) 849-9174, or emailing

The Criminal Justice Initiative (CJI) is an innovative grant making collaborative of community organizers, activists, donors, and donor-activists. Together we identify, fund, and nurture grassroots organizations led by those most impacted working to transform the criminal justice system in the United States. We fund where the movement is developing, shifting and growing. We fund work that uproots the systems that harm and perpetuate injustice while sowing justice, healing, atonement, kinship, creativity, and love in its place. CJI believes this movement should be led by those most impacted by the injustices of the current system, working in alliances across race, class, faith, gender, gender identity, sexuality, immigration status and age.