10 Ways to Give to The Fortune Society

10 Ways to Give to The Fortune Society

11/20/2017

This year, we celebrated our 50th Anniversary. Though our organization has a rich, full history, there is still a long road ahead to ensuring that all individuals with justice involvement can thrive in the community.

In addition to directly donating to support our mission and programs, there are a number of ways that you can contribute to our ongoing efforts. Continuing last year’s list, consider the 10 options below, and select one, a few, or all to try this holiday season.

1. Rediscover Fortune’s history.

50 years has produced a wellspring of memories, lessons, and victories within our organization. To fully grasp what lies ahead, take a close look at what came before. Read up on past issues of our biannual publication, The Fortune News, pore through the History section on our website, and engage with our #Fortune50 history tidbits on social media.

2. Learn about policies negatively impacting individuals with justice involvement.

Government-sanctioned rules and regulations, compounded by societal stigma, make it challenging for individuals with justice involvement to access a range of essential resources needed for successful community reentry. This includes housing, education, and employment. Our David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy (DRCPP) leverages the personal insight of individuals with justice involvement, our organizations own 50-year history, and in-depth criminal justice research to reduce our society’s reliance on incarceration, increase opportunities for successful community reentry, and promote systemic change through continued research and litigation.

Read up on all of DRCPP’s work through our website, and see key reports they’ve recently co-authored with others: A Place to Call Home: A Vision for Safe, Supportive, and Affordable Housing, and Criminal Justice Debt: Costs and Consequences.

3. Host a criminal justice documentary screening.

In 2016, Avu DuVernay’s 13th captivated audiences everywhere with its gripping look at the racial disparity in our criminal justice system. Similarly, Time: The Kalief Browder Story shed light on our society’s failure to protect our most vulnerable, and the immense damage this lack of care causes. Other documentaries expose more horrors: Rikers: An American Jail, which features Fortune staff members Ismael Nazario and Barry Campbell, gave personal vantage points of a facility long in need of closure. All of these works are visual portraits of a system in need of transformation. Share them with family and friends—let their masterful storytelling empower them to become advocates.

*Image via Mass Appeal

4. Create a Facebook fundraiser for The Fortune Society.

From your personal Facebook page, you can now fundraise on behalf of Fortune. It’s a quick and easy way to galvanize support for our efforts among your friends list. The amount and duration is up to you. Share your story as it relates to our mission, or why investing into our work is an investment in to the community at large.

However you choose to support us through online fundraising, we greatly appreciate it.

5. Prepare for upcoming elections.

Though politics at national and global levels often captivate our collective attention, it is our local politicians who most impact our day-to-day lives. Prepare for upcoming elections by keeping track of key voting dates and learning about each candidate as soon as possible.

The more you know, the more you can help ensure that those in office reflect the people they are elected to serve.

6. Share our services with your network.

Considering that it has impacted over two million individuals in the U.S., it is likely that you or someone you know has had justice involvement experience in their lifetime. Regardless of the circumstances that led to their involvement, our holistic programs are designed to support their successful integration back into the community.

Share who we are with those you know —if in New York City, we can help them. And if outside the city, we may be able to direct them to support systems in their area.

A single tweet or Facebook post about us may transform a life forever—it’s possible.

7. Read essential books on criminal justice.

Fortune in My Eyes by David Rothenberg

From Blood in the Water, Heather Ann Thompson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning look at the Attica Prison uprising, to Fortune in My Eyes, our founder’s memoir detailing his journey from Broadway producer to criminal justice advocate, there are a number of key of books to add to your reading list. See more recommendations on The Marshall Project, and add a few to your wish list this season.

8. Tell your employer to hire individuals with justice involvement.

Through our Employment Services program, we give participants tips on how to answer difficult questions regarding their incarceration histories at job interviews. Still, in the highly competitive job market, it can be difficult to overcome the stigma of justice involvement.

Culturally conscious employers counteract this, and make it easier for individuals with justice involvement to succeed.

Encourage your employer to be explicit about its hiring practices regarding individuals with incarceration histories. Tell them to contact us, in order to be a part of our upcoming job fairs, and help craft internal communications regarding ways the company culture can be more inclusive to individuals like Fortune participants.

These steps can greatly help individuals move past their mistakes and find fulfillment in new careers.

9. Meet Rodney, Brittany, and Sam.

Though the journeys that led them to us are vastly different, Rodney, Brittany, and Sam have each found hope through our holistic services. In our latest video, discover their inspiring stories of new beginnings with the help of a supportive community. And see why contributing to our organization can help even more individuals like them soar.

10. Attend an upcoming Fortune event.

Rallies, galas, panel discussions: We’d to connect with you in person.

Our teams host a number of events year-round, each one exploring the nuances of criminal justice in unique ways. Bookmark our Events page, and add a few to your calendar. Know of an event that we should be a part of? Send us a message—we want to hear about it.


*Written by David Leon Morgan

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