RALEIGH, NC (October 19, 2023)—The Just Trust, an organization that works to scale, align, and deploy resources to criminal justice reform in the United States, today announced the second cohort of its Safer Communities Accelerator. It welcomes seven new organizations for a total of 15 participating groups. The Accelerator launched in 2022 to cultivate a community of leaders that are advancing new and proven models for public safety, including violence prevention and interruption work, deflection and diversion programs, and pre-trial restorative justice. It provides grant funding, strategic support, convenings and trainings, and a broader learning community for knowledge sharing and collective narrative change efforts.
The seven new organizations work in the jurisdictions of Baton Rouge, Oklahoma City, Louisville, Jackson, Selma, and Charlotte, and champion a breadth of approaches for reducing violence, crime, and harm in their communities while also reducing the number of people funneled into the justice system. Most also collaborate with law enforcement in some capacity.
“The Accelerator is here to ensure that communities have a broader menu of options when it comes to public safety,” said Neha Raval, program officer at The Just Trust. “These are actionable solutions that prevent crime, center accountability, connect people to the services they need, and create pathways to healing rather than always defaulting to arrest and incarceration. They are meeting their communities where they are, and creating safety now.”
The second cohort of the Safety Communities Accelerator includes:
Baton Rouge Community Street Team / A.G.I.L.E. Planning Solutions
The Baton Rouge Community Street Team (BRCST) is a neighborhood-centered program that assists in the reduction of violence and crime in Baton Rouge. BRCST draws upon an evidence-based, trauma-informed approach to violence reduction that has been implemented in several cities across the country and aims to resolve relationship-based disputes toward a peaceful outcome.
Foundation for Liberating Minds
Foundation for Liberating Minds (FLM) aims to disrupt the root causes of oppression and marginalization through transformative education. Through both Restorative and Transformative Justice practices and approaches, FLM works with youth and the broader community to foster a growing awareness and knowledge about different responses to violence to achieve justice and accountability.
LiveFree OKC is a community-based violence intervention program that aims to reduce gun violence in impacted OKC communities through intervention and effective provision of resources.
No More Red Dots
No More Red Dots, Inc (NMRD) focuses on reducing gun violence that often leads to homicides and shootings and helps participants identify the factors that keep them in conditions of risk while also teaching them how to remove their chances for injury and death.
Operation Good focuses on interrupting violence in Jackson, Mississippi. Credible, trusted, and highly skilled Violence Interrupters fulfill the mission of building unity in the community and creating environment changes that will ultimately change the mindset of those most impacted by violence. Empowered by strong relationships and close connections to the community, Operation Good is uniquely positioned to support those of the highest risk with mentoring and skill building opportunities, while also facilitating peaceful conflict resolution.
Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth, & Reconciliation
The Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth & Reconciliation focuses on reducing violence by reconciling relationships, counteracting the harmful narrative of the dominant culture, and providing holistic, client-centered, wraparound services to survivors of homicide, bereaving family members, and living victims of violent crime throughout Selma and Selmont.
Youth Advocate Programs
Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. is a national nonprofit that partners with youth justice, child welfare, education, behavioral health, and other systems to provide community-based alternatives to youth incarceration, congregate placements, and neighborhood violence. YAP Charlotte implements an Alternatives to Violence (ATV) program that combines the Cure Violence Global model with key features of YAP’s core principles and model to support violence interruption.
These groups join the inaugural cohort of the Accelerator, including: Atlanta Policing Alternatives & Diversion Initiatives (PAD); Law Enforcement Action Partnership; Cahoots/White Bird Clinic; Community Based Public Safety Collective; Cure Violence Global; Equal Justice USA; Common Justice; and Impact Justice.
Since March 2022, The Just Trust has moved more than $2 million into the cohort, and has held two in person convenings in the last eight months. The Just Trust as a whole has moved over $83 million in total funding to the field of criminal justice reform.
About The Just Trust
Founded in 2021, The Just Trust is 100% dedicated to scaling, aligning, and deploying resources to criminal justice reform in the United States. It is made up of The Just Trust for Education, a 501(c)(3), and The Just Trust for Action, a 501(c)(4). Visit TheJustTrust.org for more information.