The Justice Collaborative




Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2017):

Revenue: $152,477,814
Expenses: $124,313,268
Assets: $114,897,778


Left-of-Center Litigation Group

Project of:

Tides Center

Executive Director:

Rob Smith

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The Justice Collaborative is a left-of-center litigation group that files lawsuits on a range of policy issues, including to challenge federal detention of illegal immigrants on the U.S.-Mexico border, to mandate a union-rate “living wage,” to secure government-supplied housing, to obtain free public transportation, and to ensure “a government job to every person who wants one.” 1 It is a project of the Tides Center, a fiscal sponsorship provider affiliated with the Tides Nexus of liberal grantmaking and incubation groups based in San Francisco, California. 2

The Justice Collaborative Engagement Project is the group’s affiliated political advocacy arm and a project of the Tides Nexus-associated fiscal sponsor for lobbying groups, Tides Advocacy.


The Justice Collaborative supports about defunding police departments and redistributing the funding towards social workers. 3 In June 2020, the center developed a coalition with 200 civil rights activists and faith leaders with the purpose of demanding police defunding. The coalition signed on to a letter addressed to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) that called for defunding police departments. 4

The Appeal is The Justice Collaborative’s news platform and one of its major projects. The Appeal focuses on cultural issues, with a left-progressive perspective on policing and criminal justice. It publishes articles related to evergreen discussions while also keeping an ear to the news cycle, particularly stories that relate to The Justice Collaborative’s mission. In June 2020, the Appeal released multiple articles regarding Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police in May 2020 after police entered her house and were shot at by her boyfriend who allegedly thought the cops were robbers. 5 The Appeal also published multiple pieces following the death of George Floyd, who died while in the custody of Minneapolis police, provoking widespread demonstrations against police misconduct. 6

The Justice Collaborative Institute is the research branch of the center that focuses on collecting national figures to translate into resources for policy development, polls, and various advocacy platforms. 7


Rob Smith is the executive director for The Justice Collaborative. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a law degree from Harvard Law School. Prior to joining The Justice Collaborative, Smith taught law at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a senior fellow at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School. 8

Josie Duffy Rice is the president of The Justice Collaborative’s publishing unit, the Appeal. She has been published in many left-leaning media outlets and appeared on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” where she said that police “aren’t doing a very good job” in reference to handling crimes such as rape and murder, and advocated for the defunding of the police. 9 She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Columbia University and a law degree from Harvard Law School. 10

Justin Levinson is the faculty director for The Justice Collaborative Institute. He is a professor of law, the author of Implicit Racial Bias Across the Law, and a noted figure for left-progressive approaches to racial advocacy. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, a law degree from the University of California Los Angeles School of Law, and a Master of Laws from Harvard Law School. 11


  1. “Blueprint.” The Justice Collaborative. Accessed June 2, 2020.
  2. “About.” The Justice Collaborative. Accessed June 2, 2020.
  3. Guevara, Vivianne, and Nakia Winfield. “People In Crisis Need Social Workers, Not Cops.” The Appeal, July 2, 2020.
  4. “Coalition on Police Defunding.” Divest From Police Org. Accessed July 3, 2020.
  5. “Breonna Taylor.” The Justice Collaborative. Accessed July 3, 2020.
  6. “George Floyd.” The Justice Collaborative. Accessed July 3, 2020.
  7. “About.” The Justice Collaborative Institute. Accessed July 6, 2020.
  8. “Robert Smith.” Accessed July 6, 2020.
  9. “What Does It Mean to Defund or Abolish the Police?” The Daily Social Distancing Show. YouTube, June 10, 2020. (Time begins at 8:25)
  10. “Josie Duffy Rice.” Annenberg Innovation Lab. Accessed July 6, 2020.
  11. ““Justin D. Levinson.” Justin D. Levinson | William S. Richardson School of Law. Accessed July 6, 2020.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: January 1, 1995

  • 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
    2017 Dec Form 990 $152,477,814 $124,313,268 $114,897,778 $14,910,586 Y $140,696,542 $10,744,275 $1,273,700 $0 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $111,222,369 $110,657,162 $83,179,454 $11,408,594 Y $97,647,384 $13,015,427 $671,144 $0 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $104,127,247 $98,686,850 $80,310,038 $9,133,793 N $90,488,342 $13,232,655 $593,590 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $95,574,874 $97,699,436 $75,078,370 $9,130,623 N $83,006,016 $12,116,554 $403,407 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $92,925,976 $90,010,931 $75,990,096 $7,768,636 N $82,917,247 $9,859,961 $443,382 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $86,014,685 $95,532,629 $72,150,699 $6,253,323 Y $75,941,529 $9,595,709 $605,677 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $105,027,833 $99,076,893 $82,300,644 $7,270,093 Y $94,079,671 $10,074,349 $753,819 $358,626 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    The Justice Collaborative

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94129-1755