Open Society Names 2018 Soros Justice Fellows
The Open Society Foundations on Thursday announced its 2018 class of Soros Justice Fellows. The 16-person group of community organizers, journalists, lawyers, policy advocates, and artists seek to advance reform and spur debate on a range of issues facing the U.S. criminal justice system. The Fellowships are part of a larger effort within the Open Society Foundations to reduce the destructive impact of current criminal justice policies on the lives of individuals, families, and communities in the U.S. Every member of this year’s class is a person of color. Giselle Ariel Bleuz is working on transgender people, their portrayal by the media, and the criminal justice system. Gabrielle Chapman will lead a West Virginia coalition promoting racial justice. Amplifying the stories of Black people under the federal “three strikes” drug law will be MiAngel Cody. Linda Heng will document the stories of Southeast Asian youth with regards to immigration and the criminal justice system. Jason Hernández will help organize clemency campaigns. Creating a multimedia campaign to look at how incarceration affects immigrant parents’ children will be Julieta Martinelli. Leyla Martínez will create a coalition of Latinas to help shape public attitudes toward the criminal justice system. Dominique McKinney will challenge state practices that funnel vulnerable youth into the juvenile and adult justice systems. Jenni Monet will produce multimedia to expose extreme gender violence against indigenous women and girls in the U.S. Establishing a model Vietnamese deportation support system will be Tung Nguyen. Samora Abayomi Pinderhughes will combine music and audio interviews to explore the realities of daily violence, incarceration, and detention in communities of color. Working to support incarcerated law clerk programs and provide mentorships for those seeking legal careers after prison will be Jhody Polk. Donovan X. Ramsey will write a narrative nonfiction book that re-evaluates the crack epidemic, told through the stories of those who survived it. Developing an interactive website that captures the stories of victims of fatal police use of force in LA will be Anthony Robles. LaTonya Tate will look at community-based alternatives to Alabama’s probation and parole practices. Troy Williams will create a multimedia platform and community engagement program to help formerly incarcerated people document their experiences. Together, they were awarded $1.4 million for their projects and initiatives. More here.