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We advance fairness, equality, and justice in the United States with a focus on the most vulnerable communities and the most significant threats to open society today.
U.S. Programs works to further a vibrant democratic society in which all people can meaningfully participate in its civic, economic, and political life.

U.S. Programs

The Open Society Foundations’ U.S. Programs is committed to building a vibrant, inclusive, and more just society in the United States. Through grant making, the Soros Justice Fellowships, and a special reserve fund used as crises and unexpected opportunities arise, U.S. Programs seeks to promote full participation in the nation’s civic, political, and economic life—particularly for communities that are historically marginalized and vulnerable—and to ensure that the core institutions of civil society are effective and accountable to the public.

The work of U.S. Programs is organized around four central goals: a more inclusive and accountable American democracy; a fair criminal justice system; full political, economic, and civic participation of communities of color and immigrants; and equitable economic growth.

Among its priorities:


Working to end mass incarceration; making police departments more accountable to the communities they serve; challenging the death penalty; and replacing youth justice policies that stigmatize and suppress with those that safeguard the rights of children.

Drug Policy

Promoting policies that address drug use—and the health, mental health, and social needs it creates—within the context of communities rather than the justice system, and working to ensure access to comprehensive treatment.


Promoting fairness and equality for all people in the United States by removing barriers to full participation in economic, social, and civic life for marginalized communities; seeking to reduce the racial wealth gap and reform harsh school discipline policies that disproportionately impact children of color; working to improve life outcomes for boys and men of color; and changing the racial narrative in this country.


Supporting high-quality journalism to help hold powerful institutions accountable; protecting the free flow of information through an internet accessible to all; reducing the undue influence of money in politics; expanding electoral participation and combat voter suppression; and advancing reforms safeguarding the independence of state courts.

Economic Advancement

Working to promote economic opportunity for all Americans, reduce income equality, and advance fair housing and lending policies.

National Security & Human Rights

Working to promote the rule of law, defend civil liberties and human rights, and combat Islamophobia in the face of overbroad or discriminatory U.S. counterterrorism policies and practices.

Philanthropy of Place

Testing ideas at the state and local level through our sole field office, the Open Society Institute–Baltimore, which focuses on drug addiction, over-reliance on incarceration, and obstacles that prevent youth from succeeding inside and out of the classroom, as well as through the Open Places Initiative, which promotes equality and improved civic participation in Buffalo, San Diego, and Puerto Rico.

See a list of grantees and fellows.