Our strategy

To enhance public understanding of inequality based on gender, race, and ethnicity, our work supports new kinds of organizing, networks, collaboration, and strategies that include and go beyond the gains made through legal and policy advocacy. Through our commitment to building institutions and networks, we make long-term investments in organizations that are pivotal in fighting inequality and making meaningful progress in this area. We engage groups that are testing new strategies and alliances and that are expanding tactics beyond shifting rules to advancing cultural change. 


Advancing Freedom and Dignity

Our work focuses on countering abuses of power and reimagining the state’s role in protecting the safety and dignity of all people. This looks different in different places: from the mass incarceration of young men of color in the U.S. to violence against indigenous leaders and social justice activists in Latin America to the brutal repression of LGBT people and those who are HIV positive in parts of Africa.

We support efforts to strengthen the rights and influence of those who are most affected by violence and suppression, shift repressive power dynamics, promote alternative models of justice, change public perception, and shape policy—and engage state authorities as partners in that process.

Anticipated Outcomes

Reduced mass incarceration, detention, and deportation
Criminal and immigration policies and practices are reformed, with a significant reduction in the overall numbers and racial disparity of people incarcerated at the state and local levels, and immigrants subject to detention and mass deportation.
A shift away from criminalization
Policies and practices that lead public safety institutions to disproportionately harass, surveil, arrest, or detain marginalized communities are repealed and prevented. At the same time, affirmative policies uphold the state’s responsibility to protect the safety of its people.

Expanding the Rights and Agency of Women and Girls

Strengthening the rights of women and girls is an integral part of all our programs. This strategy is focused on strengthening organizations, building networks, and developing new leadership that explicitly address the rights of women and girls—both on their own terms, and as part of the agendas of other identity-based movements and social justice efforts—with the goal of improving the lives of women and girls who are marginalized by race, ethnicity, and class. This means moving beyond understanding girls and women as the beneficiaries of global and national development programs, to ensuring that they are setting the priorities and leading the design of such plans.

A priority is broadening the base of support for sexual and reproductive justice as part of a broader social justice strategy. This includes support for legal and policy work, communications and journalism, and helping women’s rights networks develop strategies that cross national and regional boundaries. It also includes support for efforts to strengthen the connections between the movement for reproductive and gender justice, and those working to advance economic and racial justice, and criminal justice reform.

Anticipated Outcomes

Strengthened reproductive and gender justice
Laws, policies, and public narratives that disparately restrict the sexual and reproductive rights of women of color, women living with HIV, and low-income women are rejected. In their place, affirmative laws, policies, and narratives advance and are strengthened at the federal level, and in disparately impacted areas like the US South.
What we don’t fund

We do not fund standalone conferences and individual research projects that are not linked to ongoing strategy support, and we do not fund individual degrees and fellowships. We also do not support work in the following areas: juvenile justice, the school to prison pipeline, prisoner re-entry services, employment and civic engagement of formerly incarcerated people, indigent defense reform, civil access to justice, conditions of confinement, death penalty, wrongful convictions, broad-based strategies to achieve comprehensive immigration reform, immigrant labor issues, naturalization and civic engagement of immigrants, educational and health access for immigrants, language access, asylum and refugee rights, spatial segregation, voting rights, employment inequality, the wealth gap and educational attainment/affirmative action, sexuality education, Latin America SRHR and HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence, human trafficking, and sex trafficking.