The Open Philanthropy Project recommended a grant of $200,000 over two years to Grassroots Leadership, Inc. to support the Texas Advocates for Justice Project (TAJ). TAJ offers intensive community organizing and communications trainings for formerly incarcerated people, who then lead and participate in local policy-change campaigns in cities across Texas. TAJ intends to use this grant to expand its staff and launch chapters in six additional cities by 2019, including San Antonio, Dallas, and Fort Worth.
Open Philanthropy's Program Officer for Criminal Justice Reform, Chloe Cockburn, considers Texas an especially high-impact state on which to focus decarceration work due to its large number of prison admissions. She sees additional value in supporting a project run by a formerly incarcerated person—Jorge Renaud—whom she considers an experienced and effective advocate for reform.
This grant falls within Open Philanthropy's work on criminal justice reform.