Open Society Institute

From KeyWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

The Open Society Institute is a George Soros project that works to build "vibrant and tolerant democracies" by trying to shape public policies.

On a local level, OSI tries advance justice, education, public health, and independent media while also building alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information.

Key people

Communities Against Hate

The Open Society Foundations’ Communities Against Hate initiative "supports organizations that are grappling with the spike in hate incidents in the United States over the last several months" as explained by a white paper dated June 22 2017 [1] It continues: "Our local grants, which range from $15,000 to $150,000, aim to support, protect, and empower those who are targets of hateful acts and rhetoric, and to bolster communities’ resilience and ability to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future. We are making grants on a rolling basis, and there are a few more in process. A complete list will be published on the Open Society Foundations website when all of the grants have been issued."

2017 Soros Justice Fellows

In July 2017, the 2017 Soros Justice Fellows were announced.

“We are facing a potential sea change from the criminal justice policies of the past decade,” said Leonard Noisette, who oversees the Soros Justice Fellows program as director of the Justice team at the Open Society Foundations’ U.S. Programs. “This is an exceptionally important time to seed the field with new blood and new leadership. We are thrilled to be working with such a talented group of fellows at such a pivotal moment in history.”
“We are particularly excited to collaborate this year with our colleagues in the Open Society Foundations’ Youth Exchange in supporting the Youth Activist Fellows, who together bring a vital perspective and set of experiences to the work,” said Adam Culbreath, who manages the Soros Justice Fellows program. “In these times, it’s especially important to recognize—and tap into—the capacity of the next generation of leaders. They are the future architects of the society that we want to see.”
"To carry out their work, fellows receive a stipend ranging from $40,000 to $110,000 for full-time projects lasting between 12 and 18 months. The 2017 fellows join more than 375 others who, since 1997, have received support through the Soros Justice Fellowships.

The 2017 Soros Justice Fellows were announced:[2]

  • Bella BAHHS will create Sister Survivor, a group designed to support young black women organizing to mitigate the impact of the criminal justice system on their lives.
  • Rose Elizondo will create alternatives to the retributive justice system using Navajo peacemaking philosophy to restore balance to communities after crime.
  • Claudia Gonzalez will create a program for formerly incarcerated women in California’s Central Valley, with the goal of increasing pathways to healing and success beyond the prison’s walls.
  • Valencia Gunder will create a rapid response toolkit to advance solutions to the overlapping problems of interpersonal violence and police violence.
  • Mark-Anthony Johnson will build a statewide network of health care professionals, criminal justice organizations, wellness practitioners, and formerly incarcerated leaders to address the long-term impacts of incarceration.
  • Martina Kartman will support communities impacted by the criminal legal system, addressing the harms associated with interpersonal and state violence, and pushing for alternatives to punitive sentencing.
  • James Kilgore will lead an effort to advance more effective and less punitive policies on the use of electronic monitoring in the criminal justice system.
  • Damon Locks and Sarah Ross will produce an animation and mobile media project that seeks to expand the discourse of the prison reform movement to include people serving long-term sentences.
  • Ola Osaze will build regional networks of advocates working to safeguard black LGBTQ immigrants from the harms of the criminal justice and immigration systems in the United States.
  • Katie Rose Quandt will publish a series of articles and data visualizations on extreme sentencing for violent offenses, with a particular focus on life without parole.
  • Hannah Sassaman will work with communities impacted by mass incarceration to limit how “predictive algorithms” using race, and factors correlated with it, affect decisions about who stays locked up and who goes home.
  • Luis Angel Reyes-Savalza will create a community-led deportation defense model that involves legal representation and organizing with undocumented immigrants.
  • Topeka K. Sam’s Probation and Parole Accountability Project will help educate, empower, and defend the rights of people currently on probation, parole, or federal supervised release.
  • Kandace Vallejo will lay the foundation for a multiracial, youth-led statewide movement to reduce incarceration, detentions, and deportations in Texas.
  • Jarred Williams will use a novel dataset and analytical method to show how past prison closures can provide a model for future closures.

2017 Soros Justice Youth Activist Fellows

  • Jasmine Babers will highlight connections between the foster care system and the criminal justice system.
  • Yanitza Cubilette will launch an organizing effort in Connecticut addressing the needs, dreams, and demands of black and brown youth in the state.
  • Shulora Gonzales will help educate and support women who have chosen to leave sex work.
  • Destiny Harris will apply youth-led restorative and cultural healing to work with those who have been harmed by incarceration.
  • Derek Rankins will develop a space for men of color to build community.
  • Set Hernandez Rongkilyo will use participatory video storytelling to examine the mass criminalization of immigrants in the United States.
  • Austin Smith will help black youth at different levels of interaction with the criminal justice system create a space to build power.

Connecting "progressives"

On November 29, 2006 Open Society Institute held a roundtable discussion entitled "How Do Progressives Connect Ideas to Action?"

Individuals and organizations with similarly progressive goals often dilute their power by working alone or even working at cross-purposes. As Americans who are politically left of center move forward, questions of infrastructure, communication, and collaboration are particularly important.

Participants included several key leaders of the "progressive" movement:[3]


Along with the rest of the Soros Foundations Network members, the following are initiatives for the OSI:

Grants distributed

Funding Sojourners

On July 17, 2010, blogger Marvin Olasky wrote that on October 22, 2004, George Soros's Open Society Institute had given Jim Wallis's Sojourners group a grant of $200,000 for the purpose of "Supporting the Messaging and Mobilization Project: Engaging Christians on the Importance of Civic Involvement".[5] Since then Sojourners has received at least two more grants from Soros organizations.[6] These include $25,000 in 2006 for the purpose of "helping to determine a new name and visuals for the merger of Sojourners and Call to Renewal",[7] and $100,000 in 2007 "to support the Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform campaign".[8]


Grant recipient Purpose Amount Year Term
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, Inc. General support $250,000 2004 1-year
Reproductive Freedom Project $100,000 2004 1-year
Second year of the Aryeh Neier fellowship prog. $75,000 2004 1-year
Union of Concerned Scientists Scientific Integrity Program $400,000 2006 2-year
Consumers Union of United States, Inc. Democratic Pluralism in Media project $150,000 2004 1-year
Grassroots organizations and media $200,000 2005 2-year
New York Civil Liberties Union Foundation Protecting Protest project $150,000 2004 1-year
Completion of the Protecting Protest project $48,000 2005 1-year
Union for Reform Judaism Religious Action Center's Deborah Campaign $35,000 2006 1-year
Religious Action Center's Deborah Campaign $75,000 2005 1-year
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Maryland, Inc. Fundraising and management capacity $29,500 2004 1-year
Public school reform through advocacy, monitoring and public information activities $130,000 2006 2-year
Advocacy, litigation, public education and mobilization activities to secure adequate funding for public education in Maryland and effective reform in the Baltimore City Public School System $100,000 2004 2-year
Union Memorial Hospital Improve health and drug addiction treatment outcomes for heroin addicted patients transitioning from Baltimore hospitals to the community $50,100 2004 28-month
Open Society Institute Budapest Foundation Teaching and special projects exclusively to alumni of the Edmund S. Muskie/FREEDOM Support Act Graduate Fellowship Program in the 15 countries of the former Soviet Union $306,643 2004 1-year

To individuals

Grant recipient location Purpose Amount Year Term
Yaounde, Cameroon Attend the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Conference and the Treatment Action Group's Community Workshop in Paris, October 30th to November 6th, 2006 $2,199 2006 1- month
Astana, Kazakhstan Professional development of junior faculty from former Soviet Union countries $15,000 2006 4-month
Telavi, Georgia Professional development of junior faculty from former Soviet Union countries $15,000 2006 4-month
Jalalabat, Kyrgyzstan Professional development of junior faculty from former Soviet Union countries $15,000 2006 4-month
Telavi, Georgia Professional development of junior faculty from former Soviet Union countries $15,000 2006 5-month
Astana, Kazakhstan Professional development of junior faculty from former Soviet Union countries $15,000 2006 4-month
Tbilisi, Georgia Professional development of junior faculty from former Soviet Union countries $15,000 2004 10-month[9]

In 2006 for a 15-month term, the Open Society Institute awarded a $100,000 grant to the SEIU Support and Education Fund to support the Since Sliced Bread project.

Open Society Fellowship

The following have been fellows of the Open Society Fellowship of the Open Society Institute:[10]

External links