Chan Zuckerberg Initiative makes major commitment to Represent Justice

Represent Justice is thrilled to announce that the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) has committed a $450,000 general operating grant to the organization, which will help implement a two-year strategic plan that turns stories into action for justice reform and transformation. 

CZI brings together technology, community-driven solutions, and collaboration to tackle some of our world’s toughest problems. To date, they have committed $164 million in funding to frontline organizations in the justice reform space, which has included efforts to bring more accountability and transparency to prosecutorial practices; supported movements like the Formerly Incarcerated, Convicted People and Family Movement; and helped lead record clearing campaigns like the Clean Slate Initiative, which has led to millions of Americans having their criminal records cleared.

“We’re so grateful to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative for their tremendous partnership and continued investment in Represent Justice’s work and vision,” said Represent Justice CEO Daniel Forkkio. “CZI understands we are at a pivotal moment for justice system transformation in this country and that stories are one of the most powerful tools we have to create proximity to the individuals most impacted by the system. At Represent Justice we believe that this proximity — and the shifting of narratives around the current system — are what will scale up public action and demand for change.” 

“We’re thrilled to continue supporting Represent Justice in their evolution from an advocacy campaign to a fully fledged nonprofit,” said Ana Zamora, Director of Criminal Justice Reform at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. “They bring to the criminal justice reform ecosystem a dedication to narrative change, a commitment to system-impacted leadership, and unique expertise in measuring the impact of storytelling for social change. Their work is about changing attitudes, shifting perspectives, driving action, and inspiring impactful policy change nationwide.” 

Represent Justice plans to use these general funds, which will be administered by CZI’s DAF, an advised fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, to advance narrative and cultural shifts around the immediate policy agendas of juvenile justice, prosecutorial awareness & accountability, and dignity for incarcerated women. In close partnership with grassroots organizations, this will include: the production and strategic distribution of system-impacted storytelling (including short-form video and film) focused on narratives of hope and redemption; and the growth of a data and research initiative that uses messaging testing, social listening, polling, and even behavioral and physiological research to shape narrative change strategy in the justice ecosystem.

Notably, Represent Justice puts system-impacted individuals at the center of its work. “One of our fundamental beliefs is that those who are most impacted by an issue are the ones whose stories need to be told; and they are the ones who should do the telling,” said Forkkio. “This grant will allow us to continue to increase the visibility and influence of our 13 system-impacted ambassadors, who are incredible storytellers, artists, advocates, and movement leaders, among so much more.”

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