Non-profit

Justice Accelerator Fund

The Justice Accelerator Fund (JAF) is a grantmaking organization affiliated with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), the corporation which manages the philanthropic projects of billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan. Launched in January 2021, the Fund will primarily sponsor groups which push for left-of-center race and criminal justice policies, but also promote initiatives for increasing immigration and reducing enforcement of immigration laws. While JAF is independent from CZI, the Initiative was its primary funder at launch. CZI also appointed Ana Zamora, its director of criminal justice reform, to direct the Fund. [1]

Background

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has distributed about $40 million a year in grants to criminal justice and race advocacy groups since its founding in 2015, according to Zuckerberg. [2] In June 2020, dozens of the Initiative’s employees accused it of being insufficiently committed to its own left-of-center race and diversity agenda. CZI spokesperson Raymonde Charles responded that “racial equity is already a focus of some of our work” but said that the Initiative was “committed to expanding beyond these efforts.” [3]

Justice Accelerator Fund is one of several law-enforcement policy grantmaking organizations which CZI has backed financially. The California Black Freedom Fund, also launched in 2021, promotes left-of-center criminal justice policy changes with a particular emphasis on defunding and eliminating police departments. It receives funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation, a member of the CZI network. [4] CZI also funds FWD.us, a group opposing the enforcement of immigration laws, and awarded it a $100 million grant in January 2021. [5]

Leadership

Ana Zamora is the executive director of Justice Accelerator Fund. She previously directed Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s criminal justice reform initiatives. Before that, she worked on criminal justice policy advocacy at the American Civil Liberties Union and was the campaign manager for two unsuccessful left-of-center ballot measures related to abolishing the death penalty in California. [6]

Aly Tamboura is a strategic advisor to JAF. He joined the Fund in February 2021. Tamboura was previously the program manager for the CZI criminal justice reform project. Before that, he worked on a successful initiative to overturn a Louisiana law allowing non-unanimous juries in felony cases. [7] Tamboura spent fourteen years in prison for domestic violence against his wife. [8]

Financials

JAF received an initial investment of $350 million from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in January 2021. Before the Fund was created, the Initiative had invested more than $160 million into left-of-center criminal justice policy advocacy. [9]

References

  1.            “Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Announces $450 Million to Accelerate Criminal Justice & Immigration Reform.” Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. January 27, 2021. Accessed June 11, 2021. https://chanzuckerberg.com/newsroom/chan-zuckerberg-initiative-announces-450-million-to-accelerate-criminal-justice-immigration-reform/ ^
  2.          Theodore Schleifer. “Exclusive: Mark Zuckerberg is creating a new criminal justice reform group in an overhaul of his political operation.” Vox. January 27, 2021. Accessed June 11, 2021. https://www.vox.com/recode/2021/1/27/22251211/mark-zuckerberg-priscilla-chan-czi-criminal-justice-immigration-overhaul ^
  3. Theodore Schleifer. “More than 70 employees at Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropy say it needs to change how it deals with race.” Vox. June 17, 2020. Accessed June 11, 2021. https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/6/17/21294396/mark-zuckerberg-priscilla-chan-philanthropy-education-george-floyd-petition-czi ^
  4.    Current Fund Partners. California Black Freedom Fund. Accessed June 11, 2021. https://cablackfreedomfund.org/#partners ^
  5.      “Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Announces $450 Million to Accelerate Criminal Justice & Immigration Reform.” Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. January 27, 2021. Accessed June 11, 2021. https://chanzuckerberg.com/newsroom/chan-zuckerberg-initiative-announces-450-million-to-accelerate-criminal-justice-immigration-reform/ ^
  6.      Ana Zamora. LinkedIn. Accessed June 11, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ana-zamora-6180ab17/ ^
  7.   “Justice Accelerator Fund Names Aly Tamboura As First Strategic Advisor.” Justice Accelerator Fund. February 11, 2021. Accessed June 11, 2021. https://justiceaccelerator.org/justice-accelerator-fund-names-aly-tamboura-as-first-strategic-advisor/ ^
  8.        Samara Lynn. “After A 14-Year Bid In San Quentin, He Is Now Coding Apps For Mark Zuckerberg’s Foundation.” Black Enterprise. February 22, 2018. Accessed June 11, 2021. https://www.blackenterprise.com/after-a-14-year-bid-in-san-quentin-he-is-now-coding-apps-for-mark-zuckerbergs-foundation/ ^
  9.           “Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Announces $450 Million to Accelerate Criminal Justice & Immigration Reform.” Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. January 27, 2021. Accessed June 11, 2021.

    Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Announces $450 Million to Accelerate Criminal Justice & Immigration Reform

    ^

  See an error? Let us know!