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Newsroom Press release

Open Letter from the National Security and Human Rights Campaign

In January 2008, with one year remaining of the Bush administration, the Open Society Institute and Atlantic Philanthropies launched the National Security and Human Rights Campaign in order to take advantage of the opportunities that a changed political environment could offer to promote progressive national security policies that respect human rights, civil liberties, and the rule of law. OSI and Atlantic have each allocated $20 million for grantmaking for the three-year period from January 2008 through December 2010 and have been working with, and are seeking, additional funding partners.

Because the National Security and Human Rights campaign has only a three-year term of operation, it engages in strategic grantmaking to achieve short-term policy objectives while it builds the capacity of the field for the long-term. OSI has decided to channel the predominant portion of its $20 million allocation into a docket of grants that further the campaign’s goals, and Atlantic Philanthropies is pursuing a similar course. At the same time, the foundations have dedicated a substantial portion of their allocations to support increased collaboration between campaign funders and advocates, and to leverage and make strategic use of the limited pool of resources available to the national security and human rights field.

From its inception, the campaign has sought the advice, feedback, and participation of advocates and experts. OSI and Atlantic convened 20 leaders from emerging Muslim, Arab, South Asian, and Middle Eastern community organizations in February 2008. And OSI, Atlantic, and the Proteus fund convened 85 leaders for a field convening in May 2008 and 75 advocates for a communications convening on November 21, 2008, at which original communications and research projects were presented.

This open letter further describes the National Security and Human Rights Campaign’s activities during its first year.

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