Since 1967, we’ve held true to our mission of supporting successful reentry from incarceration and promoting alternatives to incarceration. Each year, over 6,000 individuals enter our doors to receive our holistic services, all of which puts them on paths to productivity. We’re incredibly proud of the impact we make in the lives of our participants and in the community at-large. We also are keenly aware that we need the support of people like you to continue doing effective work.
You are vital to our success— now more than ever. This holiday season, consider these 10 options for contributing. We deeply appreciate your support.
1) Subscribe to The Fortune Weekly
Our Fortune Weekly is a go-to destination for all things criminal justice. Get inspiring participant stories, top news, and insightful events sent directly to your inbox. Sign up here.
2) Use humanizing language
Terms like “inmate,” “convict,” “ex-offender,” and “ex-con” stigmatize individuals with criminal justice involvement, making it difficult for them to move forward. Aid in their reentry process by using language that keeps their humanity front and center— and acknowledges their ability to navigate on a positive path. Examples of suitable terms to use include:
Encourage others to do the same. Through this, you’ll help emphasize that justice-involved individuals are not defined by their conviction histories.
3) Volunteer with us
From assisting with resumes to providing tutoring support, volunteering at Fortune is a fantastic way to directly contribute to the lives we assist. Learn more about our volunteer program, and fill out an application, here.
4) Connect with us on social media
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for regular streams of thought-provoking content, including our #FortuneFaces campaign and live event updates. Be sure to re-share our posts to your network— you’ll help keep criminal justice reform a conversation worth trending.
5) Share three participant success stories
Meet Damon, Alisa and Otis, three participants who spent a combined 57.8 years in prison, but whose successful reentry was made possible by The Fortune Society. They’re three of the 6,000 individuals you help us positively impact each year. Watch their video, and share the inspiration.
6) Become a sustaining supporter
Make a monthly commitment to the well-being of formerly incarcerated individuals. Your consistent financial contribution will help more people obtain access to opportunities that lead them to fulfilled lives.
7) Train to join The Fortune Flyers
Every year, we participate in the TCS New York City Marathon, raising money to help more individuals rebuild their lives through our services. Start training for a spot among The Fortune Flyers, our team of runners, for the 2017 marathon. In a year’s time, you’ll be in tip-top shape to soar across the finish line. See photos from this year’s marathon here, and be sure to connect with us on social for an announcement on when next year’s applications are available.
8) Are you an employer? Hire our participants
We’re nationally recognized as a leader in providing workforce reentry services for job seekers who’ve had prior involvement in the criminal justice system and are ready to successfully enter the labor market. In 2015 alone, our Employment Services program placed more than 591 qualified job seekers with numerous employers. Learn more about hiring from our qualified talent pool: Call our Employment Services offices at (347) 510-3686.
9) Tell others about the need for criminal justice reform
The US leads the world in the number of people in jail or prison. According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2013, over 2.2 million adults were incarcerated in US federal and state prisons, and in county jails— that’s about 1 in 110 of the nation’s resident population. Communities of color are particular and disproportionately affected by this current system. All of this needs to change, and awareness is a key first step. Host viewing parties for eye-opening documentaries like RIKERS and 13th, or create book clubs around informative resources like Heather Ann Thompson’s Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy or Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow. You’ll help shed light on the specific reasons why we should all fight for reform.
10) Take part in #GivingTuesday
Join us on November 29 in celebrating a day dedicated to philanthropy and generosity. It’s the perfect time to encourage others to help us support successful reentry and alternatives to incarceration. On this special day, share our Donate page, highlight inspiring stories like participant-turned-Education counselor Osi Gerald or make a special, one-time financial contribution. Every little bit helps, and is greatly appreciated.
*Article by David Leon Morgan