SEATTLE (August 12, 2020) — Marguerite Casey Foundation is making a rapid response grant of $200,000 to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) to protect the voting rights of returning citizens and help end disenfranchisement of all people who have been formerly incarcerated.
Marguerite Casey Foundation was one of the first philanthropic funders of the pioneering Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, a grassroots organization run by returning citizens. The membership-based group is dedicated to ending discrimination against people with convictions and creating a more comprehensive and humane system that supports successful reentry, reduces recidivism, and increases public safety. The Foundation’s rapid response grant builds on its longstanding commitment to civic engagement for everyone and FRRC President Desmond Meade’s leadership.
“We are heading into one of the most consequential elections of our lifetime and it’s crucial that everyone across the country has the opportunity to vote,” says Marguerite Casey Foundation Vice President of Programs, Jonathan Jayes-Green. “The ploy of preventing people from voting through financial burdens is not new in this country. But Desmond has been a bright light in the fight for voting and criminal justice reform issues in this moment. We’re honored to continue supporting him, the FRRC and all returning citizens seeking to participate in our democracy.”
In 2018, Florida voters approved Amendment 4, which restored the voting rights of 1.4 million people with past felony convictions. Today, Marguerite Casey Foundation calls on other foundations and philanthropic organizations to support nonprofits and grassroots leaders that are working to ensure that all Americans, including returning citizens, have a voice in upcoming elections and can be civically engaged members of society.
“Recognizing that no citizen should be forced to choose between providing for their family or voting, Marguerite Casey Foundation has once again demonstrated their commitment to creating a more vibrant and inclusive democracy by empowering those that have been marginalized,” Desmond Meade says. “This support allows FRRC to empower returning citizens of color in rural communities by providing assistance in satisfying their legal financial obligations and creating a clear pathway to being able to fully engage in our democracy by voting.”
About Marguerite Casey Foundation
Marguerite Casey Foundation is committed to giving people and communities the power and resources to change the world. We support leaders and changemakers who can shift the balance of power in this country to working people and families, particularly communities that have been historically denied access to power and opportunity. Our grantmaking provides substantial multiyear general support in four regions – the South, Southwest, Midwest, and California – as well as nationally.
About Florida Rights Restoration Coalition
FRRC is a grassroots membership-based organization run by returning citizens dedicated to ending discrimination against people with convictions and creating a more comprehensive and humane system that supports successful reentry, reduces recidivism, and increases public safety. For more information, visit https://floridarrc.com.