Non-profit

Gathering For Justice

Location:

NEW YORK, NY

Tax ID:

47-2966777

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $167,021
Expenses: $445,493
Assets: $346,661

Formation:

2005

2013 (tax-exempt status)

Type:

Far-Left Criminal Justice Advocacy Group

Founders:

Harry Belafonte (2005)

Carmen Perez (2013)

Executive Director:

Carmen Perez

Director of Operations:

Julianne Hoffenberg

Fiscally Sponsors:

Women’s March (2017)

The Gathering for Justice is a far-left criminal justice advocacy group that was created in 2005 by radical activist, singer, and actor Harry Belafonte. Its focuses on the development of left-of-center activists through organizing courses, and it seeks to end juvenile incarceration. While the group itself doesn’t engage in direct activism, its “Gatherings,” or the community groups that it trains or funds, carry out its reformative goals.

Gathering for Justice was the fiscal sponsor of the 2017 Women’s March and shares at least two leaders with the Women’s March organization: Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez. It is the parent organization of Justice League NYC and Justice League CA, both of which include collaborators like controversial Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, activist actor Jussie Smollett, and extremist Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. [1] It is also the fiscal sponsor of former NFL quarterback and anti-police activist Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Campaign. [2] The overwhelming majority of the Gathering’s activism work, aside from its sponsorships, is done for and through the Justice League NYC.

Background

Founding

Harry Belafonte, an entertainer and longtime far-left activist started the Gathering for Justice, amid controversy over the case of Jaisha Scott. Scott, an elementary school-age African-American girl, was handcuffed in front of her class by police officers for disruptive behavior, which sparked a lawsuit against the City of St. Petersburg and her school district. [3] After the incident, Belafonte used his extensive network of activist connections to begin the first “Gatherings.” [4]

Carmen Perez

In August 2005, at one of the group’s initial gatherings, Belafonte met Carmen Perez [5]. At the time, Perez was a community organizer for Barrios Unidos, a nonprofit that works with former inmates and at-risk populations to avoid prison recidivism. [6] She joined Gathering for Justice’s executive committee soon after as a youth representative, and later, in 2008, she became its primary national organizer. In 2010, the group appointed her executive director.

In addition to furthering the development of the Gathering’s training programs, under her leadership, it founded the Justice League NYC and the Justice League CA. [7] Gathering for Justice also obtained its independent nonprofit status in 2013; previously, it was supported by other organizations through fiscal sponsorships.

Trainings

The Gathering’s trainings are based around the occasional conference, which usually take place in New York City. These periodic sessions are held under the banner of “Justice University”; the group held one in June, 2018. [8]

Aside from Justice University, Gathering for Justice holds training conferences to train volunteers to marshal for demonstrations or to provide experienced activists for the activities of their Gatherings, particularly Justice League NYC.

Fiscal Sponsorships and Major Campaigns

Women’s March

Gathering executive director Carmen Perez and Justice League NYC leaders Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour all hold board positions with the Women’s March. Together, they make up 3/4ths of the 2019 board’s leadership. [9] Harry Belafonte also held an honorary board seat during 2017.

Together with several partner organizations, the Gathering runs the Women’s March EMPOWER initiative, a program that is targeted specifically at young people. One part focuses on creating high school and collegiate liberal activism chapters, while the other works on increasing youth voter turnout through a host of policy-based, organizational partnerships. These groups include Planned Parenthood, Rock the Vote, and the Brady Campaign, all of which are left-of-center organizations. [10]

Gathering for Justice also played a significant role in the Women’s March organization’s finances. According to the Women’s March 2017 annual report, as quoted by The Daily Beast: “’The majority of the 2017 Women’s March on Washington was paid for by [its] fiscal sponsor, The Gathering for Justice.” [11] Women’s March, Inc. spun off as its own independent nonprofit in 2018.

Know Your Rights

Gathering for Justice is also the fiscal sponsor for Colin Kaepernick’s “Know Your Rights Camp,” described by center-left The FADER magazine as “Black Panthers-Inspired.” [12] According to a September 2017 press release, Carmen Perez acts a personal advisor to Kaepernick and as a trainer with the camp. [13]

Know Your Rights Camp hosts conferences in cities across the country, aimed at instructing African-American youth population on how to interact with the police. In its “Resources” section, Know Your Rights Camp publishes pieces that are highly critical of conservatism and the Trump administration. One article, “After Trump,” accused President Trump of knowingly wielding an “instrument of white nationalism” through his immigration policy. [14]

March 2 Justice

Outside of its fiscal sponsorships, the Gathering’s most prominent campaign was its 2015 “March 2 Justice,” which was led by subsidiary organization Justice League NYC. On April 13, 2015, organizers Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez, and Linda Sarsour left Staten Island, New York, and marched for 9 days, arriving in Washington, D.C. on April 21st. They delivered the “Justice Package,” a series of legislative proposals that sought to end racial profiling and the provision of “military-grade” equipment to law enforcement, as well as reducing juvenile incarceration. [15]

Eric Garner Protests

Following the December 2014 death of Eric Garner, Gathering for Justice organized several protests against the New York Police Department through Justice League NYC. This culminated in the presentation of ten “Demands,” which called for the firing of the involved officer and several political and policing reforms. These included making “the use of lethal force [by police] illegal” and “an immediate end to NYPD’s ‘broken window’ policing.” As of 2019, New York City had conceded to three of the demands: meeting with Justice League NYC, the passage of New York’s “Right to Know” Act, and the appointment of a special prosecutor to handle use of force policing cases. [16]

Controversies

Support of Extremist Figures

Gathering for Justice founder Harry Belafonte was and remains an outspoken opponent of U.S. foreign policy. He was an avid supporter of the late Fidel Castro’s communist regime in Cuba and organized an activist trip to Venezuela to meet and praise Venezuelan socialist dictator Hugo Chavez. [17]

Belafonte was also a noted critic of President George W. Bush’s administration. Most notably, he faced significant pushback over his comments comparing Secretary of State Colin Powell to the “slaves that lived in the house,” insinuating that he and other African Americans in the administration were “sell-outs.” [18] He received similar condemnation when he equated the President Bush with Osama Bin Laden, and the Department of Homeland Security with Nazi Germany’s Gestapo. [19]

Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory have both expressed admiration for Assata Shakur (also known as Joanne Chesimard), a Black Liberation Army terrorist and fugitive from justice convicted for the murder of a New Jersey State trooper currently believed to reside in Communist Cuba. [20]

Carmen Perez praised Sekou Odinga, a Black Panther and Black Liberation Army member convicted for the attempted killing of six New York police officers. [21]

Association with Louis Farrakhan

Much of Gathering for Justice and Justice League NYC’s leadership has come out in vocal support of radical extremist and anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

According to New York Times commentator Bari Weiss, Carmen Perez “posted a photo in which she holds hands with Mr. Farrakhan, writing, ‘There are many times when I sit with elders or inspirational individuals where I think, ‘I just wish I could package this and share this moment with others.’ She’s also promoted video of Mr. Farrakhan ‘dropping knowledge’ and another in which he says he is ‘speaking truth to power.’”[22]

Weiss noted that Tamika Mallory “posted a photo with her arm around Mr. Farrakhan, the 84-year-old Nation of Islam leader notorious for his anti-Semitic comments, on Twitter and Instagram. ‘Thank God this man is still alive and doing well,’ she wrote. It is one of several videos and photos and quotes that Ms. Mallory has posted of Mr. Farrakhan.” [23]

Tamika Mallory has made other anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements. In 2018, she was heavily criticized by Jewish groups and removed from her keynote speaker position for an Australian social services conference for calling the foundation of Israel a “human rights crime.” Mallory also accused the left-of-center Anti-Defamation League of “constantly attacking black and brown people,” and took a picture of herself with Farrakhan following a speech in which Farrakhan had said that “powerful Jews are my enemy” and that he had “pulled the cover off the eyes of the satanic Jew.” [24]

Linda Sarsour, in addition to maintaining close ties with Farrakhan and speaking at a 2015 rally of his, has made several controversial anti-Israel statements. In 2012, Sarsour tweeted “nothing is creepier than Zionism” and suggested that support for the state of Israel is racist. [25]

Although both Mallory and Sarsour apologized prior to the 2019 Women’s March, they only did so after they were pressed to resign by an original founder of the Women’s March, Teresa Shook. [26]Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez of Women’s March, Inc. have steered the Movement away from its true course,” Shook said. [27]

Prior to Shook’s comments, the two had refused repeated calls to apologize, and Gathering for Justice director of operations Julianne Hoffenberg wrote an op-ed accusing Shook of “smear[ing] women of color and eras[ing] the decades of leadership that each of them can stand upon.” [28]

Funding

Tax filings by Gathering for Justice are from 2016 and show a total revenue of $167,021 and total expenses of $445,493. Most of its expenses were spent on salaries, representing a near $200,000 increase from 2015. [29]

These numbers aren’t indicative of the Gathering’s current financial state, however. Seeing as how it is the primary fiscal sponsor behind the Women’s March, it is likely that its revenues have massively increased since 2016. For example, in 2017, it received $825,789.92 from a “The Breakfast Club” radio show fundraiser drive alone, featuring prominent donors like Eminem, P Diddy, and Kevin Hart. [30]

Leadership

Carmen Perez has been the executive director of Gathering for Justice since 2010.

Julianne Hoffenberg works as Gathering director of operations. Prior to joining in 2015, she worked as a theater producer for far-left advocacy productions. [31]

The rest of the Gathering’s staff was added in 2018: Jasmine Dellafosse, a senior regional organizer for California; Luis Hernandez, the youth leadership and engagement coordinator; and Kristine Arroyo, a NYC regional organizer. [32] A number of these additions appear to have strengthened the Justice League CA.

Gathering for Justice has a three-person Board of Directors: Michael Skolnik, the co-founder of The Soze Agency, a firm that develops campaigns for progressive organizations like Planned Parenthood, Amnesty International, and Emily’s List;[33] Ebro Darden, radio host and the global editorial head for hip hop and R&B for Apple Music;[34] and Alida Garcia, vice president of advocacy for FWD.us, a center-left lobbying group. [35]

Gathering for Justice also has an advisory board, which is made up of: Daniel Alejandrez, the founder of Barrios Unidos; Harry Belafonte, Gathering for Justice’s founder; Marvin Bing, the Co-Founder of Justice League NYC; Mike de la Rocha, founder of Revolve Impact, a “social impact” consulting firm; and Bart Lubow, a senior consultant with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a center-left grantmaking organization. [36]

References

  1. “Linda Sarsour.” Women’s Media Center. Accessed March 07, 2019. https://www.womensmediacenter.com/shesource/expert/linda-sarsour; Bell, Crystal. “‘Empire’ Star Jussie Smollett Says Police Brutality Is A ‘National Emergency’.” MTV News. April 23, 2015. Accessed March 28, 2019. http://www.mtv.com/news/2142148/empire-jussie-smollett-police-brutality/ ; Sommer, Allison Kaplan. “The Women’s March Anti-Semitism Controversy Threatening the Movement’s Future.” Haaretz.com. November 14, 2018. Accessed May 01, 2019. https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-explained-the-women-s-march-anti-semitism-controversy-1.6652829.
  2. Pinillos, Ebbony. “The Breakfast Club Raised Over $700,000 for The Gathering for Justice Organization Through Change 4 Change Radiothon.” The Source. November 17, 2017. Accessed March 28, 2019. http://thesource.com/2017/11/17/the-breakfast-club-raised-over-700000-for-the-gathering-for-justice-campaign-through-change-4-change-radiothon/.
  3. Barker, Cyril Josh. “The Gathering for Justice Celebrates 10th Anniversary.” New York Amsterdam News: The New Black View. October 29, 2015. Accessed March 28, 2019. http://amsterdamnews.com/news/2015/oct/29/gathering-justice-celebrated-10th-anniversary/. ; Dakss, Brian. “Handcuffed 5-Year-Old Sparks Suit.” CBS News. April 25, 2005. Accessed April 03, 2019. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/handcuffed-5-year-old-sparks-suit/.
  4. “Belafonte, Harold George, Jr.” The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute. April 12, 2018. Accessed April 07, 2019. https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/belafonte-harold-george-jr.
  5. Hasaanw. “Carmen Perez Interview: A Fearless Activist Gathering The People For Justice.” Get Far Magazine. August 16, 2016. Accessed April 09, 2019. http://getfarmagazine.com/carmen-perez-interview-a-fearless-activist-gathering-the-people-for-justice/.
  6. White, Dan. “Alumni Weekend Keynote to Feature Co-chair of Women’s March on Washington.” UC Santa Cruz News. March 13, 2017. Accessed April 08, 2019. https://news.ucsc.edu/2017/03/perez-carmen-alumni-weekend-keynote.html.
  7. Reichard, Raquel. “Why I Launched An Organization to Fight Police Brutality.” Latina Magazine. August 2, 2015. Accessed April 8, 2019. http://www.latina.com/lifestyle/our-issues/why-organization-fights-police-brutality?page=0,1.
  8. “Justice University.” The Gathering For Justice. Accessed April 09, 2019. http://www.gatheringforjustice.org/justiceuniversity.
  9. “National Team.” Women’s March. Accessed April 09, 2019. https://womensmarch.com/team.
  10. Wicker, Jewel. “Next Up for the Women’s March? Getting You to Vote.” Teen Vogue. May 23, 2018. Accessed April 09, 2019. https://www.teenvogue.com/story/womens-march-youth-empower-coalition-help-young-voters.
  11. Jackie Kucinich, Emily Shugerman. “Embattled Women’s March Finally Releases Financial Records.” The Daily Beast. November 30, 2018. Accessed April 09, 2019. https://www.thedailybeast.com/embattled-womens-march-finally-releases-financial-records?ref=scroll.
  12. Bundy, Will. “Colin Kaepernick Started A Black Panthers-Inspired Camp For Kids.” The FADER. November 08, 2017. Accessed April 09, 2019. http://www.thefader.com/2016/10/31/colin-kaepernick-know-your-rights-camp.
  13. “#TakeAKnee.” The Gathering For Justice. Accessed April 09, 2019. http://www.gatheringforjustice.org/takeaknee.
  14. Petrella, Christopher. “After Trump.” Know Your Rights Camp. April 06, 2019. Accessed April 09, 2019. https://knowyourrightscamp.com/2019/04/after-trump/.
  15. Simon, Erica Williams. “3 Women Set out to Deliver a Package. On Foot. 250 Miles Away. Here’s Why.” Upworthy. April 22, 2015. Accessed March 28, 2019. https://www.upworthy.com/3-women-set-out-to-deliver-a-package-on-foot-250-miles-away-heres-why?g=2&c=hpstream.
  16. “#FIREPANTALEO.” The Gathering For Justice. Accessed April 09, 2019. http://www.gatheringforjustice.org/firepantaleo.
  17. Italie, Hillel. “Semper (and Suffer) Fidel: Artists Conflicted about Castro.” AP NEWS. December 03, 2016. Accessed March 28, 2019. https://apnews.com/afba66454b864007a8c2e367077a90e6 ; “Venezuela Plans to Expand Program to Provide Cheap Heating Oil to US Poor.” Taipei Times. Accessed March 28, 2019. http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2006/01/08/2003288040
  18. “Belafonte Won’t Back down from Powell Slave Reference.” CNN. October 16, 2002. Accessed March 28, 2019. http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/10/15/belafonte.powell/.
  19. Judkis, Maura. “Harry Belafonte’s Five Feistiest Political Quotes.” The Washington Post. October 18, 2011. Accessed March 28, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/arts-post/post/harry-belafontes-five-feistiest-political-quotes/2011/10/18/gIQAJIHLuL_blog.html?utm_term=.301201434830.
  20. Weiss, Bari. “When Progressives Embrace Hate.” The New York Times. August 01, 2017. Accessed April 09, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/opinion/womens-march-progressives-hate.html.
  21. Weiss, Bari. “When Progressives Embrace Hate.” The New York Times. August 01, 2017. Accessed April 09, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/opinion/womens-march-progressives-hate.html
  22. Weiss, Bari. “When Progressives Embrace Hate.” The New York Times. August 01, 2017. Accessed April 09, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/opinion/womens-march-progressives-hate.html.
  23. Weiss, Bari. “When Progressives Embrace Hate.” The New York Times. August 01, 2017. Accessed April 09, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/opinion/womens-march-progressives-hate.html.
  24. “Tamika Mallory Dropped from Australian Event over Anti-Israel Remarks.” The Jerusalem Post | JPost.com. June 07, 2018. Accessed April 15, 2019. https://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Tamika-Mallory-dropped-from-Australian-event-over-anti-Israel-remarks-559296.
  25. Sarsour, Linda. “Linda Sarsour Twitter Post.” Twitter. October 31, 2012. Accessed April 09, 2019. https://twitter.com/lsarsour/status/263651398250545152?lang=en.
  26. Keller, Megan. “Women’s March Founder Calls for Group’s Leadership to Step down.” TheHill. November 19, 2018. Accessed April 09, 2019. https://thehill.com/homenews/news/417480-womens-march-founder-teresa-shook-calls-for-linda-sarsour-tamika-mallory-and.
  27. Keller, Megan. “Women’s March Founder Calls for Group’s Leadership to Step down.” TheHill. November 19, 2018. Accessed April 09, 2019. https://thehill.com/homenews/news/417480-womens-march-founder-teresa-shook-calls-for-linda-sarsour-tamika-mallory-and.
  28. Hoffenberg, Julianne. “To the “Founder” of Women’s March…” Medium. November 21, 2018. Accessed April 15, 2019. https://medium.com/@jules_85216/to-the-founder-of-womens-march-b5939286efd5.
  29. “Unrated Profile for Gathering for Justice Inc.” Charity Navigator. Accessed April 18, 2019. https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.profile&ein=472966777.
  30. Hazelwood, Janell. “OneUnited Bank and The Breakfast Club Raise $700,000 to Advocate for Social Justice.” Black Enterprise. December 02, 2017. Accessed April 18, 2019. https://www.blackenterprise.com/week-of-nov-27-oneunited-bank-and-the-breakfast-club-raise-700000-to-advocate-for-social-justice/.
  31. Rourke, Mary. “Jenifer Estess, 40; Theater Producer Founded Group to Research Gehrig’s Disease.” Los Angeles Times. December 23, 2003. Accessed April 18, 2019. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2003-dec-23-me-estess23-story.html.
  32. “New Staff Announcement.” The Gathering For Justice. Accessed April 18, 2019. http://www.gatheringforjustice.org/new-staff.
  33. Fessler, Leah. “Why Activist Michael Skolnik Won’t Let His Son Listen to Donald Trump on TV.” Quartz at Work. November 01, 2018. Accessed April 18, 2019. https://qz.com/work/1415193/why-activist-michael-skolnik-wont-let-his-son-listen-to-donald-trump-on-tv/.
  34. Mitchell, Gail. “Radio Host Ebro Darden Joins Apple Music as Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B: Exclusive.” Billboard. January 02, 2019. Accessed April 18, 2019. https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/8492003/ebro-darden-apple-music-global-editorial-head-hip-hop-r-and-b.
  35. Boogaard, Peter. “Alida Garcia Promoted to Vice President of Advocacy at FWD.us.” FWD.us. August 15, 2018. Accessed April 18, 2019. https://www.fwd.us/news/alida-garcia-promoted-to-vice-president-of-advocacy-at-fwd-us/.
  36. “Advisory Board.” The Gathering For Justice. Accessed April 18, 2019. http://www.gatheringforjustice.org/advisory-board.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Marvin Bing
    Board Member
  2. Ebro Darden
    Board Member
  3. Alida Garcia
    Board Member
  4. Michael Skolnik
    Board Member
  5. Julianne Hoffenberg
    Director of Operations
  6. Tamika Mallory
    Board Member
  7. Carmen Perez
    Founder (2013), Executive Director
  8. Brea Baker
    Former Executive Assistant
  9. Harry Belafonte
    Founder (2005 Iteration)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: April 1, 2015

  • 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
    2016 Dec Form 990 $167,021 $445,493 $346,661 $537,502 N $167,021 $0 $0 $180,000
    2015 Dec Form 990 $399,258 $326,779 $210,748 $138,269 N $511,201 $0 $0 $180,000 PDF

    Gathering For Justice

    310 WEST 43RD STREET 14TH FLOOR
    NEW YORK, NY 10036-3981