Dear FFJ Community,

More than a year after uprisings began in Ferguson, MO, communities across the US continue to turn up the heat and keep the pressure on public officials and police for meaningful change:

On Saturday, protesters in Chicago, including members of BYP100, The BlackOut Collective, Assata’s Daughters, and #Not1More, disrupted the meeting of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Read a statement released yesterday by BYP100. While everyone has been released, there will be ongoing legal expenses, as well as costs for this action – support BYP100’s grassroots organizing efforts, and read about the three-day counter-conference – a series of workshops and trainings –  that culminated in this direct action.

At the same time, communities mobilized in New York City, for RiseUpOctober, protesting ongoing brutality by the NYPD, and horrible conditions at prison facilities on Rikers Island. Thousands of people turned out to actions and marches across the city, and the police arrested several protestors. The mobilization was co-initiated by Dr. Cornel West, and endorsed by many families of those killed by the police, cultural and faith leaders, community-based organizations, and celebrities like director Quentin Tarantino. Although protestors were expected to be released today, they will also need ongoing legal support.

Earlier this month, protestors took over City Hall in Baltimore, demanding that public officials and government agencies protect people over profit, even as the police shut off power in the building and blocked the protestors from food and bathrooms for hours. Read more about the occupation, during which twelve people were arrested, and contribute to the Baltimore United Fund 4 #CityHallShutDown Youth. Baltimore funders, including the Annie E. Casey Foundation, have been working directly with Baltimore organizations involved in the occupation, to support capacity-building, community power-building, and community-driven change.

Additionally, in Ohio, the mother of Tamir Rice, killed by a Cleveland police officer for holding a toy gun, has called for an independent prosecutor in the criminal investigation into Rice’s death, after initial investigators were found to be biased in their examinations. for more information and to take action.

Also making headlines: Black Lives Matter has called for an additional democratic presidential debate that would focus on the issues of BLM – Democrats offered a town hall instead, and BLM continues to push for a full debate; as a result of ongoing pressure from ColorOfChange and others, Hillary Clinton agreed to stop taking donations from the private prison industry.

For ongoing updates on grassroots organizing for police accountability and racial justice, funding needs and opportunities in the field, and connections to your peers in philanthropy, visit us at, and write to us at

In Struggle,

Lorraine Ramirez

Program Manager

Neighborhood Funders Group