Defender Association Receives $25k for Participatory Defense Hubs

January 10, 2020
George Jackson  |  267.765.6768  |

PHILADELPHIA–The Defender Association of Philadelphia has been awarded a $25,000 from the R.K. Mellon Family Foundation to support the work of Philadelphia’s Participatory Defense Hubs. The award follows a $100,000 Key to Community grant from the Malinda R. Farrow Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation that was awarded following a public vote.
“Winning these awards is a big deal because it shows that foundations, the public, and other charitable funding sources are starting to recognize the value of participatory defense programs,” said Chief Defender Keir Bradford-Grey, “This continues the momentum to make the case to the public and elected officials.”
Launched in 2018, Philadelphia’s participatory defense hubs utilize community support to prepare and empower individuals and families as they navigate the criminal justice system. The hubs’ trained volunteers and facilitators give people a deeper understanding of what is expected from them at each stage of the criminal justice process, including meetings with their attorney, court dates, and other critical steps. Philly currently has seven neighborhood-based hubs that meet weekly. 
“Our Participatory Defense Hubs are mostly run by volunteers who are extending themselves to help their neighbors navigate the criminal justice system,” said Martha Williams, a leader of the Philly Hubs, “These funds will give our Hubs more resources to help us provide knowledge and support to even more people in our community.”
The funds from the R.K. Mellon Family Foundation will be managed by the Defender Association, who will disburse them directly to support the Participatory Defense Hubs. 
“These community-based hubs are already making a huge difference in people’s lives. These funds will help them boost the impact they’re already having in their neighborhoods,” said Bradford-Grey, “It’s a testament to what can happen when we work together to highlight the importance of participatory defense for just outcomes in the criminal justice system.”
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