Social Justice

We aim to improve the lives of youth by supporting community-centered approaches to intervene in narratives of criminalization that have led to mass incarceration and anti-immigrant policies, especially for low-income communities and people of color.
Social Justice

We support just alternatives and reforms to the current criminal justice and immigration enforcement systems, enabling our grantees to build power in communities that are directly impacted by criminalization.

We value work that makes meaningful and lasting change in the lives of the most disenfranchised. We believe in supporting programs that address racial inequities and the increasing criminalization of poverty. Through our grant-making, we aim to invest in the leadership of those who are closest to social justice challenges, working together to create long-term solutions.

The Youth Justice program aims to reduce criminalization and incarceration of youth, eliminate systemic discrimination, and provide pathways for systems change. We seek to ensure transformational reforms in the lives of young people impacted by the criminal justice system. To that end, we support community-based alternatives and policy solutions targeted at reducing arrests, recidivism, and school suspensions, as well as building authentic leadership and the development of formerly incarcerated youth.

Our Immigration program seeks to strengthen social, civic, and economic opportunities for immigrant youth and families, and build power in immigrant communities to shift policy. We invest in programs that support communities disproportionately impacted by both the criminal justice and immigration enforcement systems. Our strategy is to support community-centered efforts to address the critical needs of immigrant communities, build the capacity of immigrant communities to advocate and organize for change, and increase access to public benefits and legislative protections.

Please note that we make grants by invitation only and do not accept unsolicited requests.

Recent News

Swapna Reddy Profiled in Forbes

Swapna Reddy of Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project, a 2017 Innovation Prize awardee, was profiled by Forbes as part of her Ashoka Fellowship. Read more about her, and the incredible work of ASAP, here.

Vera Institute of Justice Releases Report on Pre-Trail Detention

The Vera Institute of Justice finds that the number of people in pretrial detention is rising even as crime rates fall. The report shows that this type of detention has an especially severe effect on marginalized communities — like poor people, women, and black and Latino people. “There’s no logical tie between money and public safety,” says Insha Rahman, director of strategy and new initiatives for the Vera Institute. “Just because you’re rich doesn’t mean you’re less of a threat to anybody than if you’re poor.” Read more in their report, Justice Denied.

No ICE Arrests in New York Courts Without Judicial Warrant

ICE agents looking to make arrests inside courthouses in New York can’t do so without judicial warrants or orders, according to a directive from the NYS Office of Court Administration. A report by our grantee Immigrant Defense Project found 178 arrests in NYS courthouses last year compared to 11 in 2016, and advocates have said immigrants are increasingly fearful to visit courts as a result. Read more from AP News.

New York Makes a Big Shift on Trials

The Legislature revamped a law that kept evidence from defendants. Prosecutors now must show their hands earlier. The overhauled law, written largely by public defenders and advocated for by the Katal Center and VOCAL-NY, will fundamentally transform how trials are conducted in New York, moving the state from having one of the most restrictive rules in the country regarding turning over the government’s evidence — a process known as discovery — to having one of the most open. Read more in The New York Times.

ASAP’s First Client Featured in The New Yorker

The New Yorker featured the case of Suny Rodriguez, an asylum seeker from Honduras who, with the help of ASAP, successfully sued the government for the abuses faced by her and her son while being held in family detention. Read about Suny’s harrowing story – and the start of Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project – here.