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Funds & Campaigns

  • The Justice Fund works to ensure a more effective justice system by promoting practices that enhance community safety and reduce the excessive use of incarceration. It seeks to secure a fair system of justice that is free of racial and ethnic bias and to reduce the destructive impact of current criminal justice policies on the lives of individuals, families, and communities in the United States.

  • The Justice Fund’s Campaign for a New Drug Policy supports efforts to effectively address the health, safety, and social harms associated with drug use and drug markets, while reducing the high levels of incarceration, racial injustice, and violation of individual rights associated with current drug policy.

  • The Equality Fund advances fairness and equality for all people in the United States. It works to ensure that people of color and other marginalized groups can participate fully in economic, social, and political life. It supports the advancement of equal protection of the laws and full access to quality lifelong opportunities, such as education and employment. It also works to ensure economic systems are fair, transparent, and account for the needs of low-income and families of color.

  • The Equality Fund’s Campaign for Black Male Achievement aims to create hope and opportunities for black men and boys.

  • The Democracy Fund seeks to advance a more informed and engaged public. It supports efforts that increase access to high-quality information as well as the ability to use it to further public discourse and inform public debate. The fund also supports efforts toward a responsive and effective government, one that acts in the public interest, expresses common good, promotes equity, and works with the public to solve civic problems.

  • The Democracy Fund’s National Security & Human Rights Campaign works to dismantle the flawed paradigms used to justify current national security policies, and to promote progressive policies that respect human rights, civil liberties, and the rule of law.

  • The Special Initiatives and Partnerships Unit responds quickly to advocacy opportunities and challenges not addressed elsewhere within U.S. Programs. In 2013, this includes work on economic equity, fiscal policy, gun violence prevention, and other emerging priorities. The fund also leads U.S. Programs’ investments in grantees with expertise on multiple issues to expand our impact and inform our analysis of key open society priorities.

  • The Open Society Institute-Baltimore is the social justice laboratory of U.S. Programs. It focuses on drug addiction, over-reliance on incarceration, and obstacles that prevent youth from succeeding inside and out of the classroom – inter-related issues that together impede justice and economic equity. Working with public and private partners, it seeks to build better education programs and policies and to increase opportunities for all Baltimore residents. It also supports a growing corps of social entrepreneurs committed to underserved populations in Baltimore.

  • The Open Places Initiative is a new U.S. Programs effort to advance justice, equity, and democracy at a local level and create more effective civic capacity. The project, now in the application phase, will include approximately three to five Open Places sites around the country that build upon local leadership and assets over multiple years.

*Note: U.S. Programs has recently reorganized to maximize the effectiveness and impact of its work. Core elements of the former Democracy and Power and Strategic Opportunities Funds have been absorbed throughout U.S Programs and in particular, by the new Special Initiatives and Partnerships Unit. The Special Fund for Poverty Alleviation, a time-limited initiative that began in 2009 to respond to the economic crises by leveraging resources to promote opportunity and ameliorate poverty, has ended as planned at the end of 2011.