The Rosenberg Foundation announced that they have awarded $250,000 unrestricted grants to nine bold movement leaders who have been selected as Leading Edge fellows for the next three years. With support from the Leading Edge Fund, the fellows will work to end and replace the incarceration and criminalization of young people of color, build economic hubs led by and for transgender people, create alternatives to police response, end child poverty, and much more.
Cat Brooks, activist, actress, playwright and poet said, “I do this work side by side with some of the most passionate, committed, fierce, smart and principled people on the planet: The Anti Police-Terror Project Team. While I am the recipient of this honor, it really belongs to them and more importantly to the families who are survivors of state violence and channel their pain into fighting for justice. These funds will be used to build alternatives to public safety that don’t rely on the violence of the carceral state but rather invest in our humanity and prevention strategies that stop “crime” from happening in the first place, to develop art pieces that tell our stories for our eyes, ears and souls, to interrogate interrupting the daily trauma inflicted on our communities by white supremacy, lingering racism. I’m honored and humbled and grateful to so many Oaklanders for leaning hard into true progressive values and the legacy of resistance that is The Town.”
The 2022 to 2024 formation of Leading Edge Fund Fellows are:
- Aria Sa’id aims to end the economic oppression and marginalization of transgender people by creating thriving economic hubs led by and for transgender people of color.
- Brandon Anderson is disrupting the 911 system and ending aggressive police response by building an alternative dispatching system that meets people’s needs during acute crises without ever involving police.
- Cat Brooks is revolutionizing public safety in cities across the state by engaging visual arts, theater and organizing to imagine and implement abolitionist solutions to effectively respond to community crises with care — not a badge and a gun.
- Chaney Turner is working to win tax and policy changes so people in the communities most harmed by the drug war can enter the cannabis economy and realize equity and economic mobility by increasing reinvestment in those communities.
- Christina “Krea” Gomez’s vision is replacing punitive and dehumanizing systems with a comprehensive new architecture that provides young people with the support and resources they need to address their trauma, heal and thrive.
- Jackie Byers is inspiring radical change through grassroots organizing, telling the story of Black organizing that led to historic victories and a national reckoning around the role of police in schools and communities.
- Malkia Devich Cyril is creating a Radical Loss Movement, mobilizing California’s bereaved Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other communities of color to build a radical practice of grief that can fuel transformative grievance and governance, replacing racialized policies and practices that punish and disenfranchise BIPOC grief.
- Nicole Lee is working to end youth incarceration in Alameda County and pass that torch to the next generation of activists who are reimagining an entirely new youth justice system across California
- Shimica Gaskins vision is to close the racial wealth gap and create economic mobility for California’s most vulnerable children by piloting the baby bond program.