Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative

About the Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative

The Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative provides grants to organizations using community organizing for criminal justice reform. Grantees target issues that include (but are not limited to) police accountability, racially biased sentencing policies, growth of the for-profit prison industry, criminalization of youth, and the death penalty.

The Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative makes grants to community groups that are building a base for taking collective action against injustices within the criminal legal system and have a long-term vision and engage strategies that promote justice within the criminal legal system.

Who are previous Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative grantees?

The Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative has supported a wide range of grantees, from Books through Bars to X-Offenders for Community Empowerment. Check out our list of recent grantees to see if the Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative is right for your organization.

Does my group qualify for a grant from the Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative?

The Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative makes grants to community groups that:

  • Meet all of Bread & Roses basic funding criteria
  • Have a long-term vision and engage strategies that promote justice within the criminal legal system
  • Are led by people most affected by injustice, and build broad membership and leadership bases that can survive when key leaders step down
  • Understand power differences based on identity and can talk about how they are trying to challenge those power imbalances both within their organizations and in their communities
  • Have a shared vision for what that change looks like and can articulate that vision
  • Prioritize ongoing education/consciousness raising for constituents and allies that broadens their membership base
  • Have a plan, including short term and long term goals that are specific, achievable, and relevant to criminal justice
  • Are knowledgeable about other organizations working on the same issue, and are able to work in coalition across movements, issues, and communities to amplify impact
  • Are less likely to be funded by more traditional funders, because of their commitment to challenging power and prioritizing the leadership of marginalized people. Therefore, a grant from Bread & Roses Community Fund is critical to seeding or sustaining their work
  • are building a base for taking collective action against injustices within the criminal legal system and have a long-term vision and engage strategies that promote justice within the criminal legal system.

What is the award size from the Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative?

Grants range from $2,000 to $6,000. Groups who have received grants from the Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative in the past may reapply in the following grant cycle.

Who makes decisions about grants?

The fund was established in 2000 as a unique partnership between the Phoebus Fund family foundation and Bread & Roses Community Fund.

Bread & Roses convenes grantees, organizes site visits, arranges grant review meetings, and provides all administrative support for the Fund. Final decisions on Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative grants are made jointly by family members and criminal justice activists. Learn about who made this fund possible. Decisions are made in March.

What is the deadline for the Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative?

The deadline is December 1, 2019.