Racial Justice Strategic Initiative

Trinity Church’s Racial Justice strategic initiative is committed to dismantling racism by ending mass incarceration in New York City. This initiative advances Trinity’s strategic mission goal to build up the neighborhoods of New York City, by advocating for justice to amplify the voices of those who are not heard, by speaking in the pulpit and in public, and by providing support to organizations that work with us to confront injustice, racism, and inequality.

Racial disparities are embedded at every level of the criminal justice system. The population of New York City is 26 percent Black, yet 53 percent of people held in jail are Black. In a city that is 29 percent Latino, 34 percent of people held in jail are Latino. In total, almost 90 percent of the jail population in New York City is Black or Latino. Many remain in jail without a conviction because they cannot afford to pay bail. People of color comprise 37 percent of the U.S. population, but 67 percent of the prison population. In the United States, there are 2.2 million people in prison and jails, which represents an increase of 500 percent over the last 40 years.

Mass incarceration exacerbates structural inequality and has created the most pressing issues of our time. Our grants support organizations working to address racial disparities in incarceration and build up alternatives to our punitive justice system. We seek to strengthen the policy influence of those directly impacted by the system by amplifying their voices and supporting the infrastructure for their successful reentry. By funding policy, practice, and narrative change efforts, we aim to advance racial justice and address the structural inequities perpetuated by the criminal justice system.

Grantmaking in 2019 will support the following goals:

  • Pilot and scale restorative and transformative justice approaches
  • Advance policies that end the school-to-prison pipeline and prevent young people from entering the criminal justice system
  • Advance efforts to close the jails on Rikers Island
  • Advance bail reform efforts to end unnecessary pretrial detention and safeguard the equitable implementation of legislation
  • Eradicate discriminatory housing practices and lower the barriers of entry into the housing for justice-involved individuals
  • Disrupt the detention and deportation of immigrants
  • Support narrative change to end mass incarceration and promote racial healing

Independent Commission on Criminal Justice Reform. “A More Just New York City” pg. 24 & pg.34
Sentencing Project, Criminal Justice Facts