The trustees of the Fund for New Jersey, a philanthropic organization based in Princeton that is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Garden State by supporting good policy decision-making, have decided to dedicate additional funding to advance racial justice in New Jersey.
They have also issued a statement reaffirming the organization’s commitment to achieving racial justice in New Jersey by investing in policy reforms in housing, education, criminal justice, economic justice, and public health. The seven-page statement also includes data and an analysis of the interconnected crises of structural racism and COVID-19 in New Jersey.
“Across this country, people of all races and ethnicities are focused on the ways in which Black Americans have been targeted and denigrated by the policies and practices of our public institutions. Americans, collectively, are coming to understand how deeply structural racism has shaped those policies and practices that disproportionately harm Black, Latinx, Asian, and immigrant communities,’ reads a portion of the statement. “At the same time, in New Jersey as elsewhere, the COVID pandemic has underscored these racial disparities and structural inequities. People of color, again, are disproportionately impacted by the public health crisis and hurt most by the corresponding economic fallout. Addressing these crises requires a commitment to ending systemic racism.”
The fund expects to spend, beyond its regular grants budget, $900,000 in 2020-21 and again in 2021-22 to promote racial justice in the state. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awarded the fund $450,000 to support the organization’s efforts.
“The Fund for New Jersey is proud to invest in diverse non-profit organizations that are working collectively and strategically to bring about systemic policy change in New Jersey,” said Princeton resident Kiki Jamieson, president of the fund. “We encourage other foundations and nonprofits to join our effort aimed, in the words of The fund’s statement, ‘to improve our state’s institutions, policies, and practices so that structural racism will end.’ ”
The Fund for New Jersey’s trustees believe that New Jersey’s COVID and post-COVID policy and advocacy response must address directly systemic racism and its effects, according to the statement. Reforms must be led by, and advance the rights and interests of, Black, Latinx, Asian, and immigrant communities.
Racial justice funding from the organization will enable support for policy and advocacy organizations that are at the forefront of developing and pursuing a collective racial justice policy agenda; community engagement, including Black-led grassroots organizing and networks of youth leaders that emanate from Black, Latinx, Asian, and immigrant communities; and shared resources such as coordinated communications, collaborative planning, and technology to support efforts.
The full statement by the trustees can be read online at the Fund for New Jersey’s website.