Non-profit

Essie Justice Group

Website:

essiejusticegroup.org/%20

Location:

Oakland, CA

Tax ID:

80-0956021

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2019):

Revenue: $3,270,139
Expenses: $1,775,513
Assets: $5,076,319

Executive Director:

Gina Clayton-Johnson

Type:

Criminal justice reform group

Essie Justice Group (EJS) is a left-of-center criminal justice policy group made up primarily of women with incarcerated partners or relatives. EJS describes itself as building a “black feminist future that is liberatory for all.” The group describes the United States as being in an “age of incarceration” primarily fueled by “anti-black racism and sexism.” [1]

EJS advocates for defunding the police and ending money bail. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, EJS demanded that the federal government release all prisoners, cease making arrests, and permanently close all prisons and jails in the United States.

EJS’s “Healing to Advocacy” program provides a nine-week therapy and social-support program to women with incarcerated partners or relatives. The program encourages participants to join EJS and become activists for social justice reform. Participants are “nominated” through a process in which incarcerated individuals write to the group about the women in their lives and how they have been negatively impacted by incarceration [2]

EJS is a member of Check the Sheriff, a coalition of left-wing groups aligned against Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s (D) policy on homelessness. [3]

Campaign to End Money Bail

Essie Justice Group advocates for ending money bail. The group’s campaign consists of advocating for corporate divestment from businesses that benefit from bail (primarily bail bondsmen) and urging state legislatures to end the practice. EJS also works with Southerners on New Ground, Movement for Black Lives, Color of Change, and Law for Black Lives to raise money to pay bail for black mothers. [4]

Black Lives Matter

In the summer of 2020, Essie Justice Group published a four-step guide for activism and “solidarity” with Black feminism in the wake of the death of George Floyd. [5]

First, the guide advocates donating money to a list of organizations in the Black Lives Matter movement: Movement for Black Lives, National Bail Out, People’s Advocacy Justice, Highlander Research and Education Center, Black Visions Collective, Southerners on New Ground, Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, Anti Police-Terror Project, Freedom Inc., and Three Point Strategies. [6]

Second, the guide advocates for joining one of the following organizations in the Black Lives Matter movement: Movement for Black Lives, the Working Families Party, JusticeLA, Color of Change, Showing up for Racial Justice, White People for Black Lives, and Mijente. [7]

Third, the guide urges individuals to engage in “hyper-local” racial activism organizing, such as having “hard conversations” with friends or hosting reading sessions. For more confident activists, the guide recommends hosting “defund the police” protests and introducing Black Lives Matter concepts into local PTA groups. [8]

Fourth, to further educate one’s self on racial activism, the guide provides a reading list which includes Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, Mariame Kaba’s “Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police,” and Angela Davis’s “Are Prisons Obsolete?”[9]

COVID-19 Demands

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Essie Justice Group demanded a series of radical criminal justice policy changes. [10][11]

First, EJS demanded the closure of all prisons and detention facilities, as well as the release of all prisoners and detained illegal immigrants, and the cessation of all arrests. While these measures are demanded as a consequence of the threat to prisoners from the COVID-19 pandemic, EJS’s demand also includes permanent closure of “carceral facilities” throughout the United States. [12][13]

Second, the group demanded that the government increase welfare services to low-income communities to support the influx of released convicts. These support services include stipends for families who house released criminals, rent stipends, paid family leave, and a month of free medication for released criminals. [14][15]

Third, if prisoners are not released, EJS demands the implementation of strict lockdown procedures within prison to combat the spread of COVID-19. Fourth, EJS demands permitting all prisoners to receive visits from loved ones despite COVID-19 restrictions. Fifth, due to the deferral of parole and education services in prison, EJS demands a moratorium on prison sentences throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, EJS demands that government resources be allocated to supporting women with incarcerated loved ones due to the uniquely amplified isolation they are feeling during the COVID-19 pandemic. [16][17]

Funding

Essie Justice Group has received funding from the Future Justice Fund, the J.M. Kaplan Fund, the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust, Ashoka, Grinnell College, the Heising-Simons Foundation, the John M. Lloyd Foundation, the S.H. Cowell Foundation, the Race Gender and Human Rights Giving Circle, the Fund for Nonviolence, the San Francisco Foundation, Google, the Lear Family Foundation, and the Open Philanthropy Project. [18]

References

  1. “About.” Check the Sheriff. Accessed July 21, 2021. https://www.checkthesheriff.com/about. ^
  2. “Healing to Advocacy Program.” Essie Justice Group. Accessed July 21, 2021. https://essiejusticegroup.org/healing-to-advocacy-program/. ^
  3. “About.” Check the Sheriff. Accessed July 21, 2021. https://www.checkthesheriff.com/about. ^
  4. “#EndMoneyBail.” Essie Justice Group. Accessed July 21, 2021. https://essiejusticegroup.org/end-money-bail/. ^
  5. “Solidarity Action Plan in 4 Steps.” Essie Justice Group. Accessed July 21, 2021. https://essiejusticegroup.org/2020/06/solidarity-action-plan-in-4-steps/. ^
  6. “Solidarity Action Plan in 4 Steps.” Essie Justice Group. Accessed July 21, 2021. https://essiejusticegroup.org/2020/06/solidarity-action-plan-in-4-steps/. ^
  7. “Solidarity Action Plan in 4 Steps.” Essie Justice Group. Accessed July 21, 2021. https://essiejusticegroup.org/2020/06/solidarity-action-plan-in-4-steps/. ^
  8. “Solidarity Action Plan in 4 Steps.” Essie Justice Group. Accessed July 21, 2021. https://essiejusticegroup.org/2020/06/solidarity-action-plan-in-4-steps/. ^
  9. “Solidarity Action Plan in 4 Steps.” Essie Justice Group. Accessed July 21, 2021. https://essiejusticegroup.org/2020/06/solidarity-action-plan-in-4-steps/. ^
  10. “Lives On the Line.” Lives On the Line. Accessed July 21, 2021. https://livesontheline.org/. ^
  11. “COVID-19 Advocacy Platform From Women With Incarcerated Loved Ones.” Lives On the Line. Accessed July 21, 2021. https://livesontheline.org/demands/#demand1. ^
  12. “Lives On the Line.” Lives On the Line. Accessed July 21, 2021. https://livesontheline.org/. ^
  13. “COVID-19 Advocacy Platform From Women With Incarcerated Loved Ones.” Lives On the Line. Accessed July 21, 2021. https://livesontheline.org/demands/#demand1. ^
  14. “Lives On the Line.” Lives On the Line. Accessed July 21, 2021. https://livesontheline.org/. ^
  15. “COVID-19 Advocacy Platform From Women With Incarcerated Loved Ones.” Lives On the Line. Accessed July 21, 2021. https://livesontheline.org/demands/#demand1. ^
  16. “Lives On the Line.” Lives On the Line. Accessed July 21, 2021. https://livesontheline.org/. ^
  17. “COVID-19 Advocacy Platform From Women With Incarcerated Loved Ones.” Lives On the Line. Accessed July 21, 2021. https://livesontheline.org/demands/#demand1. ^
  18. “Our Partners.” Essie Justice Group. Accessed July 21, 2021. https://essiejusticegroup.org/partners/. ^

Donor Organizations

  1. Bafrayung Fund (Non-profit)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: June 1, 2014

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2019 Dec Form 990 $3,270,139 $1,775,513 $5,076,319 $129,698 N $3,256,871 $0 $11,418 $112,300 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $2,919,079 $1,713,788 $3,968,853 $540,858 N $2,912,458 $0 $6,420 $115,000 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $2,127,320 $1,104,312 $2,257,498 $34,794 N $2,125,737 $0 $0 $95,085
    2016 Dec Form 990 $1,176,312 $524,143 $1,216,355 $16,660 N $1,176,312 $0 $0 $60,958 PDF

    Essie Justice Group

    1700 BROADWAY SUITE 200
    Oakland, CA 94612-2141