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Alliance of Families for Justice

Grants Awarded

Unrestricted Funding

Funding Type Unrestricted
Funding Total $300,000
Impact Area Equity and Justice
Years Funded 2021-2025

The Alliance of Families for Justice (AFJ) was founded in 2016 by Soffiyah Elijah, a former criminal defense attorney and longtime social activist. Throughout her career, she saw the need for an organization specifically dedicated to supporting and empowering families impacted by mass incarceration. Through free behavioral health and legal services, AFJ helps New York families turn their pain and trauma into power to help their incarcerated loved ones and to advocate for local and state policy reforms. It hosts advocacy and communications skills trainings, community organizing meetings and campaigns, conferences and healing retreats called Family Empowerment Circles. These retreats enable families to share their painful experiences and support one another. In 2020, AJF launched the Youth Empowerment Project to develop the leadership skills of justice-impacted young people ages 16 to 24. AFJ is headquartered in Harlem, with a satellite office in Ithaca and a chapter in the Buffalo area. This funding provides general operating support for AFJ and its mission to build the capacity of families with incarcerated loved ones and those incarcerated as leaders to successfully advocate for justice system reforms.