Mark Zuckerberg and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to launch Justice Accelerator Fund


The Mark Zuckerberg Initiative of Phil Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan’s philanthropy plan to end their political program and delegate much of their advocacy work to outside organizations, Recode has learned.

This is a strategic shift for CZI and the biggest structural change for the organization since the couple made it five years ago.

Zuckerberg and Chan will launch a new group focused on criminal justice reform which they will return from their fortune with $ 350 million. CZI is also effectively merging their in-house immigration work with Zuckerberg, an external group supported by FWDD.US, which emphasizes comprehensive reform.

All told, over the next few years, the billionaire couple are committing $ 450 million in crime for both reasons. These changes are the latest development of how Zuckerberg is trying to fulfill his policy ambitions at the dawn of a friend Joe Biden administration – and at a time when he is becoming more than a political liability for those very reasons.

The CZI was launched in 2015 with a particular focus on politics – one of its three core central “pillars” was an advocacy unit called the Justice and Opportunity Initiative – and became one of the most important philanthropies in America has gone. Now, that political work is being outsourced to outside organizations, and the Joy team at CZI is expected to be massively diverted.

Philanthropy is increasing the total amount that is committed to criminal justice reform each year, and it is likely that cramp will increase the total amount that CZI puts into politics, at least in the short term. CZI spent just under $ 450 million on these Joy programs over the past five years. So this could mean that the CZI spends almost as much as it did a long time ago, but in a more agile, less centralized way – whatever the non-profit or political reasons have autonomy to spend outside. Gives to groups and they don’t do CZI, at best.

The CZI would then be a political bank account and contain less direct campaign and advocacy work than it can contain, which can be hairy and dangerous work that usually makes enemies.

Some CZI employees are concerned about where they will fit into the new structure, according to two sources familiar with the matter, but CZI told Recode that there will be no layoffs. Some employees who work on CZI’s political projects can find new homes at the Criminal Justice Group or Fwd.us.

There are also concerns of some people associated with the CZI, with sources saying that each existing grantee will continue to take the total amount of money under the new arrangement. CZI is not expected to offer so-called “sunset grants” – major financial commitments to non-profits when a philanthropy is shutting down its work in a region. But groups like Fwd.us are trying and trying to ensure that groups at the grassroots level will not experience unexpected funding gaps, a source said, although some are nervous because these CHI grantees are now getting a new look for their work The party will have to be persuaded.

CZI’s political spending has drawn more scrutiny as its co-CEO Zuckerberg has become more and more politically divisive due to his role as CEO on Facebook. During Zuckerberg’s few days of work he has his eyes on CZI, a separate organization, but reputedly associated with the founder of Facebook. When the CZI began an ambitious effort this year to amend a law to pass California’s voting initiative, which was considered the state’s third rail, Zuckerberg’s involvement as a line of attack by opponents Banned it.

The new system, whether intentional or not, would give Zuckerberg greater distance from his specific wager, even if it financed the same amount and type of political projects. The CZI has recently been driven by unrest within the organization over how it behaves in race and its political functions, including a claim for continued discrimination (which the CZI has called “baseless”).

Spun-Out, the independent criminal justice group called the Justice Accelerator Fund, will be led by Ana Zamora, who leads CZI’s work on the subject and led the ACLU in Northern California. Zuckerberg has stated that CZI spends about $ 40 million per year on criminal justice reform grants, making it one of the largest funds of this work in philanthropy.

CZI currently plans to spend $ 350 million over the next five years to stake the Justice Accelerator Fund, an average of $ 70 million per year. The organization, whose exact structure has not yet been determined, will then grant grants to new groups. The CZI expects the Justice Accelerator Fund to take money from other donors in the future.

“The time is ripe for more America, and this boom of funding will dramatically accelerate the pace of progress,” Zamora said in a new letter to CZI partners.

Another $ 100 million over the next three years will be from CZI to Fwd.us, which originally focused solely on immigration work, but now has some advocacy on criminal justice cases as well. A small amount of $ 100 million is expected to be given again to other groups. (Fwd.us historically does not fund outside organizations, meaning it will be a new phase for it as well.) The majority of its financing for operating has long come from CZI, about $ 30 million per year. In financing, which means its budget. Only slightly faster – albeit now with a long-term commitment.

CGI’s work on housing affairs issues, the third board of its JO program, will remain under CZI’s roof and more on regional issues in California. Recode reported last month that Joy’s chief, who oversaw all the functions of this policy, left the organization.

The $ 100 billion-plus philanthropy will continue its work on the other two non-political priorities of its work – its support for scientific research and its education efforts, both of which have been heavily involved in coronovirus relief efforts.

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