Giving Compass’ Take:
· Robert Bray explains how NEO Donor Services project Circle for Justice Innovations is taking a stand in the fight for transgender rights, specifically in the criminal justice system.
· What unique challenges does the transgender community face within the criminal justice system? How can donors support advocacy efforts for transgender rights?
The Circle for Justice Innovations (CJI) funds grassroots organizations to end mass criminalization and incarceration, especially among vulnerable communities. Early on, CJI recognized the need to support organizations working to address the unique set of issues facing the transgender community when it came to ensuring justice in the criminal legal system.
CJI engages several organizations working on transgender rights and empowerment, including TGI Justice Project, TRANScending Barriers, Trans Queer Pueblo, Brave Space Alliance and other groups. Through its work, CJI has learned of the horrific situations that trans people face in their own communities as well as at the hands of police.
“After they were criminalized when they were put in prisons, they were the most likely to be abused—sexually, repeatedly, and in all types of ways—and they were the least likely to be defended or protected by guards,” CJI executive director Aleah Bacquie Vaughn explains. “We felt strongly that we needed to bring more attention to what was happening with them.”
In order to learn more, CJI invited members of the transgender community to meet with them and share their stories. “We listened to them talk about how they were being sidelined, marginalized, oppressed,” Bacquie Vaughn remembers.
That meeting illustrated a critical need: That directly affected people were needed in leadership positions in order to ensure the voices of trans individuals were centered in any decision-making that affected the trans community.
Read the full article about transgender rights by Robert Bray at NEO Philanthropy.
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