Grants in Action

Future Fund grantee Student Labor Action Project at Penn (SLAP), in collaboration with dining staff at the University of Pennsylvania, launched a “Justice on the Menu” campaign in March for better working conditions in campus dining halls. Out of the power of this worker-student alliance, the workers joined Teamsters Local 929 in April and negotiated a new contract, securing higher wages, paid sick leave, pensions, and affordable health care for themselves.

Photo: Becky Havivi Dining staff at the University of Pennsylvania celebrate their new contract in April.

Photo: Becky Havivi
Dining staff at the University of Pennsylvania celebrate their new contract in April.

The Goldring Reentry Initiative, a Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative grantee, hosted its first annual conference, “Breaking Down Walls: Intersections of Mass Incarceration and Its Implications,” in March. The full-day event, which featured panels of previously incarcerated people, activists, and academics, allowed those working for reform to exchange ideas with one another, linking their issue areas to create a more nuanced understanding of mass incarceration’s root causes. As a result, the 300 attendees left the conference prepared to launch innovative and collaborative interventions.

Pointman Soldiers Heart Ministry (PSHM), a Future Fund grantee, is collecting signatures for its petition demanding that the 2014 City of Philadelphia budget include a director of veterans’ affairs. With several hundred supporters so far, PSHM hopes to reach 2,000 signatures by early fall, when they submit the petition to Mayor Nutter and City Council.

In June, Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative grantee Pennsylvania Innocence Project hosted a workshop about the dangers of eyewitness reporting, one of the leading causes of false criminal conviction. The 40 participating police chiefs learned how to adapt their identification procedures to produce the most accurate results when determining suspects. Pennsylvania Innocence Project is planning a follow-up training for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Police Department this fall.