Justice. Liberation. Healing.

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Dear Community,

I feel proud and humbled by the strength of our community as we share Root & Rebound’s 2020 Annual Report: Justice. Liberation. Healing.

When I think about 2020 as a whole, I am reminded of a quote from the great James Baldwin:

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

This year has presented a choice to us as a nation: to face the truths about our country’s history and the inequities underpinning our society, now rising to the surface – or to look away. Root & Rebound remained unwavering in our commitment to face those truths.

Through this report, you will get a window into Root & Rebound’s work not just on a systemic level but through the eyes of our clients Andrew, Van, and Monica, and their families. These three amazing people represent the thousands we are honored to support, who are trying, against all odds, to live lives of dignity in a world that often denies them even the most basic opportunity. As you watch their videos, we hope you can feel the impact of the work we do – work that you make possible.

Our work for Justice, Liberation, and Healing has never been more important. As we face collective truths together, let’s stay focused on the reason why we are engaging in this deep learning and understanding: to bring about change.

Onward,

Katherine Katcher
Executive Director
Root & Rebound

MISSION

Root & Rebound is a team of lawyers, advocates, and activists committed to creating a more just and restorative society. We carry out this work through an innovative model which combines interconnected prongs to dismantle racial and economic inequity from all sides:

Educate

In 2020, we educated and trained more people about the rights of justice-impacted people than ever before, reaching 5,500+ people with records, their families, and service providers who support them. Since our founding, we have educated and trained over 12,500 people.

Advocate

R&R attorneys provided comprehensive free legal support to 1,800+ justice-impacted people and their families with 2,200+ different legal issues - from reducing barriers to employment to reuniting with their children. Since our founding, we've provided legal support to more than 7,500 people.

Reform

We continue to bring together directly impacted activists and movement partners to protect the rights of justice-impacted people. This year, we successfully opened pathways to housing, higher education, and employment for people with records. As we ramped up our reform work over the past 3 years, we've led and worked alongside coalitions to advance eight major legislative reforms in these arenas.

Staying the
course in an
unprecendted year

The Dual Pandemics, 2020 elections, & the CARES act

It’s been an unprecedented year in California, South Carolina, and across the country. Our team has done an incredible job of responding to both the COVID-19 pandemic and the national awakening around racial injustice that followed the killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. It’s been a year of adapting, growing, and responding to needs as they develop. We’ve been nimble, to say the least. And we couldn’t have done it without the generosity of our donors, partners, and volunteers this year. Here’s how we’ve adapted and how you’ve helped:

Responding to COVID-19

  • We opened what had previously been a small client-only emergency fund to all families in CA and SC that are justice impacted and living in poverty—distributing more than $35,000 to 680 families.
  • We created a COVID-19 Response Page on our website, keeping it updated with the most relevant legal guidance, employment information, and resources for our community. 
  • We launched a virtual “Know Your Rights” series—where experts, advocates, and lawyers support people in need, leading over 20 trainings with 5,500+ people tuning in. 

Fighting for Racial Justice as the Nation Awakens

  • When people took to the streets to protest for their rights this summer, we led a know-your-rights training on how to respond to police brutality, and shared this information through our Reentry Legal Hotline. We also provided free legal support to people in CA & SC who had been criminalized during the unrest and uprisings. 
  • Our team took activism days throughout the year to invest in the movements for justice and accountability.
  • We hosted two virtual events, Voices for Justice: An evening of Art, Hope, and Resilience and Voices for Justice: Standing for Black Lives, bringing together artists from our community to create a healing space centering Black voices and speaking truth to power through art. 

Civil Rights and Voter Protection

  • To enforce economic rights under the CARES Act, we rolled out an education platform for incarcerated people to understand how to apply for stimulus payments, and got this information inside prisons and jails through our Hotline. 
  • To protect our democracy, we protected voting rights: 
    • We led three national trainings for justice-impacted people on their voting rights, how to register, and the criminal justice reforms at stake on their ballots.
    • In South Carolina, we worked on election day to protect the rights of people statewide at the polls through an Election Protection hotline. 

Our Impact

The People we serve and the lives we change

Since our founding, we've served nearly 100,000 systems-impacted people across the country, with the furthest reach and deepest roots in California and South Carolina. While our reach has been impressive, we've always cared most about Impact - the measurable difference we make in our clients' lives. This summer, we carried out our most ambitious survey yet of our clients who have received in-depth direct legal services. The survey results speak volumes about the impact and value of our work, and we are excited to share them with you throughout this report.

Employment

Among those surveyed, only 42% of people were employed when they sought R&R’s support. After working with us, 85% secured employment, and 60% increased their income.

  • 80% feel less stressed about their criminal record holding them back from opportunities
  • 92% feel more confident that they will be able to find a new or better job if they want or need to.
  • “The fresh start. Being able to clear away a debt and obtain my license and move forward. You guys cleared the way… there was this barrier that felt insurmountable, and the help I received made me feel alive and like I could move forward in my life.” 

Housing

  • 68% of respondents have more secure housing since working with R&R; and 
  • 66% feel they are better able to keep their housing.

“Now I can go to a lender and qualify for housing I want. There’s not even a word to explain your services.”

Family Wellness

  • 75% say that Root & Rebound helped them reconnect with their family;
  • 91% feel more confident in their ability to be there for their family.

“They helped me to deal with my divorce and custody hearings and give me guidance on the next step I should take. If I didn’t have that I may not have been able to get custody of my kids.”

Confidence and Community Engagement

  • 90% feel more knowledgeable about their rights;
  • 88% feel more confident navigating government systems and programs;
  • 72% have more time to participate in their community;
  • 87% feel more confident that they can play a part in changing the criminal justice system; and
  • 100% of people surveyed feel that Root & Rebound will be there for them if they experience barriers or challenges because of their conviction history or past justice system involvement.

“It’s given me so much personal strength and empowered me to the point where I’m giving that to my daughter. My daughter is also incarcerated, she sees me empowered, she sees me fighting, and now she believes there is hope for her future, and that is invaluable. I’m a stronger person so now I can give that to her.”

Stories of Justice, Liberation, and Healing

When we launched Root & Rebound more than 7 years ago, we recognized that the criminal legal system was not exactly “broken” as many people would say. In fact, it works exactly as it was designed to. Its “tough on crime” policies are rooted in racial and economic discrimination and injustices that didn’t begin in carceral facilities. We saw that we needed both legal expertise and policy advocacy to fuel our model. However, we also needed a more just, liberatory, and healing framework to truly make a difference—so we created one.

That’s why we provide our clients urgent access to Justice, Liberation, and Healing through our trauma-informed legal and direct services; through our in-prison and women’s programs that provide wraparound services and support; and our advocacy, public education, and narrative changing work that centers systems-impacted experiences and interrupts the cycles of trauma and violence in California, South Carolina, and nationally.

That's why we're introducing you to Andrew, Van, and Monica - so you can understand the impact of our work through their eyes.

JUSTICE

Supporting people in overcoming the barriers to economic opportunity associated with their arrest or conviction records has been core to our model from the beginning. It is clearly unjust that people face 48,000 legal barriers to opportunity post-conviction while there is only one public interest lawyer for every 20,000 people who need one in California—and one for every 40,000 in South Carolina. How can we expect formerly incarcerated people—people who’ve served their time—to overcome their past and move forward in their lives when we accept these statistics? We do not accept the status quo—because our clients, their families, and their futures matter. Our clients like Andrew, whose story we’d like to share with you in the video below.


ENSURING ACCESS TO JUSTICE FOR ALL

Through our direct legal services...

We fight housing discrimination, employment discrimination, the denial of entry into higher education and school programs.

We fight the child welfare system that separates our clients from their children and denies them their parental rights.

We fight for the rights of our rural and native communities to fight exorbitant fines and fees that prevent them from accessing driver’s licenses, leaving them unable to work or provide for their children.

We fight for the rights of our clients to become career professionals, gaining access to occupational licensing in a system that supports blanket bans and denies so many people with records.

We do this and so much more, all free of charge.


Our Expansive Reach

Across California and South Carolina, we provide direct legal support for justice impacted people and their families. Since our founding, we have directly served more than 7,500 people. In 2020 alone, we provided direct legal support to 1,800 people in California and nearly 200 in South Carolina. This support ripples across each and every one of our clients’ families and communities.

We are able to serve thousands of people a year because we have built a model designed to create access. We do not use restrictive income, geographical, or other eligibility criteria that many legal service groups do – we serve everyone with a record in need. And we do so through a “we come to you” model – making access free and easy through our Reentry Legal Hotline and mobile legal clinics, which have gone virtual in 2020.


Reforming Systems of (In)Justice

While this work to help individuals overcome the impact of their justice invovlement is crucial, R&R recognizes that because an estimated 100 million Americans – nearly 1 in 3 American adults – has a record, we must simultaneously work to change the systems that lock these people out of opportunity. In CA and SC we have made systemic advances in the following areas this past year:

California

Expanding Job Opportunities: In California, one in five jobs require an occupational license, but for decades the boards that grant these licenses have denied them to anyone with a record. So we took action.

Read How

Starting in 2017, R&R founded and has co-led a coalition supporting occupational licensing reform. Our first big victory—California Assembly Bill 2138—reduces barriers to licenses for people with conviction histories under the Department of Consumer Affairs, which covers the majority of the boards in CA. The bill went into effect on July 1, 2020, reforming over 40 boards’ policies, and R&R and its partners are litigating cases to enforce the law.

Breaking Barriers to Higher Education: Education is critical to economic mobility, but private and public higher education institutions have long equated candidates with their records and not provided applicants an opportunity to show who they are to admissions offices. We’re changing that.

Read How

R&R founded and co-led a Higher Education Coalition that advanced a bill to “Ban the Box” in higher education—CA Senate Bill118. The new law went into effect on Aug. 6, 2020, requiring public and private colleges and universities across the state to remove the criminal history “box” from all applications for admission by Fall 2021—a huge step towards brighter futures for our community.

South Carolina

Protecting Parents and Children: After just one full year in SC, we are pushing forward systems change work on multiple fronts.

Read How

We are working to reform broken child support laws that further punish and alienate incarcerated people from their children by deeming incarceration a “voluntary” absence from their children. And we are moving to end the archaic “felony food stamps ban” which has been abolished in all but 13 states—which prevents needy parents with certain past drug convictions from accessing food to feed themselves and their children.

Protecting Our Democracy and Our Votes: In South Carolina, we led massive outreach and voter protection efforts for those with criminal records.

Read How

In South Carolina, we led massive outreach and voter protection efforts for those with criminal records. In advance of the election, we hosted multiple educational events and created written resources to answer questions on how people with records can successfully exercise this essential civil right. We watched the polls on Election Day, serving hundreds of voters through a legal hotline for our community members facing discrimination at the polls. We continue to advocate for policies that would make voting from jail easier and would eliminate the fees often associated with regaining voting rights after incarceration.

National Litigation - Enforcing Civil Rights

Stemming from our policy reform work over the last few years, in 2020 R&R devoted significant efforts to building out a new strategy for systems change – litigation.

Read How

In CA, our team is exploring opportunities to enforce new laws that protect people with conviction histories from discrimination in employment, housing, and occupational licensure through the courts. In SC, we filed federal litigation against the Spartanburg County Jail, for the jail’s deliberate failure to protect the people detained there from COVID-19 by denying people access to the most basic, medically required protections. We advanced this litigation in hopes of securing urgent protections and release of the most vulnerable people across the state and to influence the behavior of people running jails and prisons across the country.

In 2021, we look forward to welcoming R&R’s first National Litigation Director for Economic Opportunity to expand our litigation strategy in California, South Carolina, and nationally.

TRIBAL JUSTICE

Supporting Indigenous Communities

Indigenous peoples have known very little justice in this country, and today, our legacy of colonization and genocide manifests itself in a legal system that disproportionately harms Native Americans.

In partnership with R&R Board Chair and Chief Judge of the Yurok Tribal Court Abby Abinanti, R&R has long partnered with tribal communities throughout California to bring legal advocacy to Native people impacted by incarceration through mobile legal clinics and trainings.

Since our inception, R&R has led over 35 clinics targeting rural tribal communities and provided direct legal support to 314 Native American- or Indigenous-identifying people. We have lifted up this experience to create a toolkit for other legal service providers on how they can expand programs into Tribal communities, and we are passionate about seeing this work grow across the country.

Going forward, R&R seeks to deepen our partnership with the Yurok Tribe, the largest surviving tribe in our state, as well as the other tribes we work with in Northern CA, including the Karuk Tribe, the Hopland and Sonoma Bands of Pomo Indians, the Yuki Tribe, the Hupa Tribe, the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation, the Cahto Tribe, the Yakama Tribe, and the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians. We are helping them bring home tribe members from state prisons and supporting their efforts to build back their own systems of justice – which emphasize healing, wellness, and responsibility to the community, rather than punishment.

“It is only through understanding and unveiling where we are today – what is “not right” – that we can recreate these systems. These systems need to be recreated not only to support Tribal people – the true, original people of this country – but to protect all of us as one nation today, and those most marginalized among us. Today, we fight for our lives to matter by a system never meant to protect them.”
– Abby Abinanti, Chief Judge of the Yurok Tribal Court and R&R Board Chair

 

ADDRESSING THE HARMS OF THE WAR ON DRUGS

Despite national efforts to decriminalize certain drug use and advance justice for victims of the failed War on Drugs, there is a parallel injustice that persists. The now legal cannabis industry is booming and those formerly criminalized for use or sale of the drugs aren’t sharing in the fortunes.

R&R is working to change the cannabis industry and promote the hiring of people impacted by the War on Drugs by educating the cannabis sector and connecting people with drug convictions to new “green jobs”. Alongside our partners at Viola – a cannabis company seeking to advance social equity in their industry – R&R recently published A New Leaf : a reentry planning resource to connect people with drug-related convictions to employment in the legal cannabis industry and other sectors.

“In joining forces with Root & Rebound, we will look to help those communities of color who have historically been the victims of cannabis-related incarceration and who have fallen on hard times, and turn those struggles into opportunities for success within this rapidly growing industry.”
– Al Harrington, Founder, Viola

LIBERATION

For us at Root & Rebound, liberation means freedom and second chance opportunities for people with records, eliminating the barriers that keep them imprisoned, even in the community. It means empowering system-impacted people, their families, and their advocates through education about how best to navigate life with a record. Sometimes, liberation is simply being there for someone who’s just come home from prison, walking with them as they find their way through the most challenging time in their lives – someone like Van, who’s the story of liberation featured in the video below.


FREEDOM THROUGH EDUCATION

Because of the scale of the problem – 100 million Americans are impacted by a record due to mass incarceration – R&R provides legal education at scale. We conduct free and accessible trainings for directly impacted people, their families, and service providers who support them on how to navigate barriers to each of their goals, from finding a job to reuniting with their children.

R&R’s seven-year track record of getting accurate know-your-rights information into the hands of the people who need it most prepared us well to respond to COVID-19’s sudden and devastating impact on our community as well as the national racial justice reckoning and protests following the police murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd

We created a COVID-19 response page on our website with legal information, resources, and employment opportunities for impacted people and expanded our curriculum to include first amendment rights and protections for people engaged in protest. This vital information, as well as our entire library of legal educational resources that empower justice-impacted people to self-advocate is now easier than ever to access on our redesigned website.

We also began hosting regular virtual community forums open to the public, leveraging the legal expertise of our team and bringing in topic experts from partner organizations to train attendees on everything from what to expect when reentering during COVID-19, to protesting with a record, to how to find transitional housing with a record. We led 20+ trainings over the year, reaching over 5,500 impacted people and their advocates in California and South Carolina, all of which can be accessed on our Vimeo page.

After a year in which we reached more people through our public education than ever before, we surveyed our community to see how we had done:

  • 91% of people who tuned into our trainings reported a stronger understanding of the criminal legal and reentry systems.
  • 91% have shared, or are planning to share, what they learned about the collateral consequences of incarceration with their colleagues, family members, or others who could benefit.
  • 89% of people who listened to our employment trainings have encouraged, or are planning to encourage, their employer to offer people with records a fair chance at job opportunities.

INSIDE PRISON PROGRAMS

Opening Pathways to Reintegration

Our work to support the liberation of impacted people by fostering self-advocacy begins long before someone’s release from prison. Through our in-prison Roadmap to Reentry program, we help people anticipating release prepare for the stressful transition period that lies ahead.

What began as an educational program for men inside California Correctional Center in Susanville, CA, has continued through an alumni program, and our team has expanded our educational work to the Central California women’s Center in Chowchilla. R&R In-Prison Programs Attorney Jamie Popper and In-Prison Programs Coodinator Sandra Johnson go inside CCWF to teach classes of 40-60 women how to set themselves up for success once released. Each woman receives a tailored “Blueprint” reentry plan that maps out what resources they’ll need to meet their goals on the outside.

Our team was just getting their work at CCWF started – having graduated their first class of 55 women – when COVID-19 hit and CA prisons went on full lock-down. We have adapted the curriculum into a correspondence course while the pandemic persists, and are eagerly awaiting the day we can continue classes inside.

In the meantime, the team is leading an “Alumni Program” by holding regular group check-in classes with graduates of the Roadmap program from both CCWF and CCC – making sure they have the support they need as they navigate their reentry one day at a time.

READ WHAT ROADMAP TO REENTRY ALUMNI SAY ABOUT R&R

Voices of “Roadmap to Reentry” Alumni

“One day there was this sign up on the wall about a reentry class. I thought, awesome, because I’m leaving in 5 months!…Because of the class and the Roadmap, I knew all the things I needed to do. So by the first day I was like okay, I need my birth certificate, I need to go to the DMV, I need this form, I need that. I had it all planned out. Sandra and Jamie also clued me into a lot of resources I didn’t know were out there—where to get free food, how to sign up for a free clinic where I have access to a social worker.” —Denise W., a former Roadmap to Reentry participant at CCWF, now a corporate trainer at Safeway with plans to open her own Sober Living Environment for reentering women.

“Guess what? I got the job!!!! They emailed me the official welcome letter and I am starting this Monday!!!! Man I cannot be any happier…Hard work pays off, right? I kept trying and trying and kept going after 6-7 denials. Thank you to both of you, you both have always supported me, believed in me and always motivated me to keep pushing and that’s exactly what I did. I highly appreciate you both and will never forget everything you guys did for me. You both are good hearted people and god loves you.” —Kam C., Roadmap to Reentry alum, now back at work in the IT field.


Strengthening Pathways to Economic Opportunity

In Fall 2020, after a federal court ruled that incarcerated people were eligible for the CARES Act stimulus payments but had a limited window of time to apply for the relief, we jumped into action. Our team created educational trainings and fact sheets on how incarcerated people with records could apply for the $1,200 – a massive sum for someone in prison. For the month after the case was decided, R&R spoke to hundreds of people per day on our Hotline, hiring a CARES Act coodinator to disseminate critical information. R&R is the only statewide legal services provider in CA with free hotline support, serving the thousands of incarcerated people in need of economic support.


HEALING

For the people R&R serves, healing is a constant process, and that process looks different for everyone. We see healing in our clients’ resilience – when a mother can reunite with her children after coming home, or discovers that her true calling is to help counsel others who are taking their first steps in reentry. We also try to bring about collective healing through our efforts to change the narrative about incarceration, to name the trauma it has wrought on so many, and speak truth to the powers that entrenched this unjust system.

Roughly 23% of the people who reach out for R&R’s in-depth direct legal support are seeking to regain custody of their children, or have another family law related issue. After working with R&R, 91% report feeling more confident in their ability to be there for their family; and 78% say their family feels safer or more secure. This is true for Monica, whose healing journey toward family reunification you can watch in the video below.


RESTORING COMMUNITIES

Legal Advocacy Projects Across California

Alongside our in-depth legal advice and representation, R&R provides case management, social-emotional supports, and employment coaching to clients of our Fresno program. Thanks to our deep partnerships with social service providers, clients at each R&R site have access to these healing wraparound supports.

Click on each site below to learn more about our deep direct service work.

FRESNO

In 2020, R&R provided ongoing legal, social, and employment readiness support to 47 justice-impacted women like Monica through the FRWEI, and legal support to an additional 645 people in Fresno and the broader Central Valley through community clinics and the Hotline. Despite how challenging COVID-19 has made connecting with clients, the team has adapted by leading Rooted in Resilience, a weekly Zoom group meeting intent on creating a safe space for the women in the program to participate in workshops that empower them with the tools to be independent and financially stable.

SAN BERNARDINO

R&R’s Rights, Equality, and Law (R.E.A.L) partnership with San Bernardino-based housing and social service provider Time for Change Foundation (TFCF) turned one year old at the end of July 2020. Over the project’s first year, Site Director Attorney Veena Gursahani, in partnership with the TFCF team, has provided wraparound legal and social support to 55 system-impacted adults and 58 children—helping families reunite, secure housing, enroll in financial education and parenting classes, and secure Individualized Educational Plans and age-appropriate therapy for their children.

LOS ANGELES

Through our partnership with the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), Site Director Nicole Jeong leads one-on-one legal support, direct representation, and know-your- rights workshops available to their entire ARC member base of 1,300 formerly incarcerated people across LA County, as well as the over 6,000 men and women they serve still inside prisons and detention facilities. In 2020, she provided direct legal support to over 190 justice-impacted people in ARC’s mentoring, supportive housing, and employment programs as they navigated their reentry during COVID-19.

Voices of Deep Direct Service Clients

“As I began to love myself, I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, i know, this is Authenticity. THANK YOU (it makes me cry)!” – Judy

“What Root & Rebound does is very powerful. When I came home I was so frustrated I almost wanted to give up. I had an old DUI from 10 years before, I owed 6 hours of the 18 month program and because I was gone—in jail—they wanted me to repeat the whole program…I was like, man I just got out, I don’t even have the money to do all this….but I need a drivers license so I can get a job, and get back to work and get back to my life. It was a nightmare, but R&R was great. They helped me argue my point…we kept pushing, and they gave in. I was able to finish the program. – Michael

“Root & Rebound has helped me to not feel like I’ve abandoned my youngest baby, like I did my oldest two… without you guys, I wouldn’t be as far as I am today with the connection I have with my daughter, and her grandparents.” – Bunna


REPARATIVE JUSTICE IN SOUTH CAROLINA

R&R’s SC Second Chance Justice Collaborative (SCJC) has grown considerably since its 2019 launch. Led by SC Director & Managing Attorney Kate Weaver Patterson, the Collaborative welcomed Staff Attorney Ana Walker at the beginning of 2020 – together Kate and Ana have combined 25 years of legal experience. Then, in the fall, the team welcomed two additional members – Equal Justice Works Fellow Allison Elder, who’ll be advocating for justice-impacted families facing legal barriers to reunification, and University of South Carolina Social Work student Rolyn Rollins, who’s providing social service support to SCJC clients as part of her social work practicum.

Our partnership with Soteria Community Development Corporation (“Soteria”), a powerful local organization led by formerly incarcerated changemaker Jerry Blassingame, remains foundational to the SCJC.

 

Read What We’ve Accomplished Together

 

R&R provides legal support to all of the men Soteria serves, allowing them to achieve their self-defined reentry goals on their journey through Soteria’s transitional housing, life skills, and job training programs. This combined approach has fundamentally changed the depth of Soteria’s support, and given R&R a foothold in the local community through which we’ve built a client base of nearly 200 South Carolinians.Some major wins alongside our clients this year included: getting child support modifications for clients so they can maintain their jobs and housing, and begin to fully support their children; advocating on behalf of a group of clients being threatened with eviction and successfully keeping them housed; challenging a civil asset forfeiture on behalf of a client, successfully getting his money returned after it was improperly seized during an arrest; and supporting multiple people in filing for pardons.

 

“I have dreams and goals again. They have been so kind and compassionate and empathetic to me. I didn’t know people could be this good. Even at 63, I feel like I have a future. I intend to pursue that furture. I feel empowered to live my life now. None of this would’ve been possible were it not for R&R.”– Recently surveyed SCJC client

 

Beyond our direct legal support in South Carolina, we’ve worked to change hearts and minds. Kate and Jerry have partnered to lead conversations and public presentations on the intersection of race and mass incarceration in their state, and presented to hundreds of people at colleges, probation/parole departments, conferences, and faith communities prior to the pandemic. When COVID-19 broke out, they adapted this work virtually to lead a webinar on mass incarceration and the racial inequities of the system in partnership with United Ministries, which reached an audience of over 2,300, and co-authored an op-ed in the Greenville News, imploring the public and the state to not ignore the plight of inmates during the pandemic.

Not only does this narrative changing work raise awareness about the need to reform our unequal justice system – it lets people who might not otherwise reach out to R&R know about the support we can provide them. Take our client Jerline for example – after hearing about Kate’s presentation at her church from a friend, Jerline realized that the felony charge she’d lived with on her record for 40 years might be able to be removed. She reached out to the team, and we were able to get that process started.

“I feel good to know that I don’t have any secrets, and that my name is not in jeopardy of denying me from anything I want in life.”– Jerline, R&R South Carolina Client


CHANGING THE NARRATIVE

Healing Through Art & Dialogue

In 2020, given R&R’s position as a prominent voice in the movement for criminal justice reform, we began to leverage our reentry legal expertise and experience in working alongside justice-impacted people to change the narrative around the devastating impact of our country’s broken criminal legal system – which has disproportionately locked poor Black and Brown communities into poverty for generations. Only once the truth about the system’s impact has been heard and understood can healing truly begin.

We launched an op-ed series highlighting how national crises like the U.S response to COVID-19 and hundreds of years of systemic racism and brutality against Black people reveal the punitive, inhumane, and destructive nature of the U.S. justice system. The series has thus far included:

Demanding a System of Justice, Worthy of Such a Name; We Must Do More: Because Black Lives Matter

On Tribal Justice

Laws Written with One America in Mind: Our Statement on the Breonna Taylor Case

Lessons the Cannabis Industry should take from the WNBA

 

Why is this narrative changing work so important?
Carving out space for this dialogue online has been a crucial step in discussing incarceration as an issue of humanity that requires overhauling violent, broken systems and embracing more restorative forms of justice. We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished in our communications this year and are eager to continue taking deeper dives into the topics at the heart of our work.Our narrative changing work has helped us reach thousands more people across the country in 2020. We’ve reached clients like Jerline in South Carolina who learned that even after 40 years there can be second chances. We’ve reached clients like Andrew, Van, and Monica who offered to share their stories of second chances and resilience to inspire the millions of systems-impacted people, their families, and communities who most need to hear these stories.

When the pandemic threatened to stop all our 2020 events – our team had other plans. We decided to produce the Voices for Justice series, a first of its kind virtual spoken word event series born out of sheer necessity.


VOICES FOR JUSTICE

Creating Healing Spaces for Our Community

In 2020, we produced our Voices for Justice spoken word event series, which spotlighted activists and poets whose art is dedicated to the movement for radical change. As advocates fighting against the systems of injustice that are ingrained in the history of this country, we believe that promoting healing and connection is crucial for the strength of our movement. We need time to breathe and process the experiences at the heart of this work so that we can push our fight forward – this was especially important amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide outcry against police brutality that reached a fever pitch in 2020.

Voices for Justice

An Evening of Art, Hope, and Resilience broke the silence that shrouds issues like mass incarceration, criminal justice disparities, and the impact of COVID-19 on the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated.

Standing for Black Lives centered Black voices and lived experiences, amplifying the need for racial justice, liberation, and healing – systemically, collectively, and individually.

In bringing these events to life, we were lucky to work with a group of incredible, talented artists. We’re proud to have held space through these events to promote healing as part of our work for justice. Check out their pieces from the events below:

“Recidivism is the greatest tool for white supremacy. It is working. It always has.” – Cici Jevae, “Caged Classrooms”

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth. The opposite of poverty is justice.” – Cece Jordan, “A Block, US History”

“Maybe the first thing we can do to prevent ‘I can’t breathe’ is to let love be the first act that takes our breath away. To stare into each other’s eyes long enough to recognize our humanity, and to allow our heartbeats to sync, long enough to fight the silence in us, until we, each of us, can finally hear, what love says.” – Sekou Andrews, Love Says

“Being in America, and calling yourselves American is a work-in-progress, and it can only be shaped and realized by how much we are willing to resist the ugly and participate in the beautiful struggle for justice.” – Watani Stiner, R&R Board Member, “What does it mean to be an American?”


FINANCIAL OVERVIEW

Below is a snapshot of R&R's audited revenues and expenses for the 2019 calendar year

THANK YOU

Root & Rebound is able to serve our clients and community because of our generous supporters. We appreciate the individuals, private foundations, law firms, and businesses who made a gift to Root & Rebound between November 01, 2019 - November 18, 2020.

Champions of Change $100,000+

 

Arnold Ventures

The California Wellness Foundation 

Anonymous Donors

Gerbode Foundation

The Kresge Foundation

Tides Foundation

United Way of Miami-Dade

 

Impact Circle $50,000- $99,999

 

Annenberg Foundation

The Center at Sierra Health Foundation

The Clorox Company

Anonymous Donors

Equal Justice Works

Heising-Simons Foundation

Hollingsworth Funds

The Leonard & Robert Weintraub Family Foundation

The San Francisco Foundation

Select Equity Group Foundation

Serving USA

United Way of Greenville County, SC

 

Liberation Circle $25,000 – $49,999

 

The Annie E. Casey Foundation

The California Endowment

Anonymous Donors

Irvin Stern Foundation

The James Irvine Foundation 

Jolley Foundation

Legal Services Funders Network

George Loening & Kimbrough Towles 

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Michelson 20MM Foundation

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina

University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Irvine

Viola Cares

The Women’s Foundation of California 

 

Healing Circle $10,000 – $24,999

 

The Bigglesworth Family Foundation

Quinn Delaney & Wayne Jordan

The East Bay Community Foundation

The Futures Project

InkHouse

Susan & Lee Klarich

The Miner Anderson Foundation

The Nathan Cummings Foundation

Perfect Union

The Race, Gender and Human Rights Fund

The Snider Foundation

thredUP

van Löben Sels/RembeRock Foundation

Wells Fargo Foundation

 

Justice Circle $5,000- $9,999

 

Checkr

Clif Bar Family Foundation

The Clinton Family Fund  

Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina

Cowan Slavin Foundation

First Republic Bank

Tamaron Greene

Leonard Carder LLP

Lightsource BP

The Vireo Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation 

The Walter S. Johnson Foundation

 

Reform Circle $2,500 – $4,999

 

Chad Bolduc

Chen Carlisle Fund

Anonymous Donors

Doug Dossey & Kathrin Dellago

Chad Fong

Evan Guillemin & Ricki Stern

Hanley Foundation

The Joanna Foundation 

Margaret Katcher & Jacob Albert

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Miriam Muscarolas & Grant Abramson

Jo Osika

Patrica M & Emanuel M Papper Foundation

Stan Stojkovic

Beatriz Vasquez 

Villarreal Hutner PC

VISA

Michael & Lauren Weithorn 

 

Trailblazers $1,000 – $2,499

 

Abby Abinanti 

Jonathan Allen

Apple Inc

Bickel Family Gift Fund, Peter J. & Nancy K. Bickel

Sergio Broholm

Juliana Castedo

Shannon Coit

Christina Coll & Bashir Agah

Carolina de Armas

Anonymous Donors

Farella Braun + Martel LLP

John Fisher & Raphaela Lipinsky DeGette

Aditi Joshi 

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Milton & Ruth Berman Family Foundation

Mailman Foundation

Vanessa Murray

Narrative Oakland

Jenny Netzer & Ellis Seidman

Danny & Lauren O’Mahony

Michael O’Reilly 

Perry Passaro

Vanessa Perez 

The PH Fund

Matthew & Kelley Pickering

Alexis Pozen & Kevin Monahan

Kevin Reed

Bill Rielly

Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP

Diana & Steve Sackett 

Marie Santos

Kathleen Sedey & Erik Tonnesen

Shartsis Friese LLP

Jonathan Simon

Kevin Smith

Julia & Chris Stenzel 

Watani Stiner

Bryan & Hannah Stitt

Roselyne Swig

Gretchen Wagner

Ludwig Weaver & Jean Diener Weaver

Peggy West & Charles Honart

Olivia Wolfe

 

Changemakers $500 – $999

 

Stephen Alexander & Judy Regotti-Alexander 

Jose Arias & Julie Wilson

Caroline Avery

Ina Bazley

Sarah Bauer

Dr. Leah Bowser & Nathan Douglas Matthews

Bornstein Family Fund

Maisha Brown 

Diana Burden

Kimberly Cluff & Robert Larkin 

Brian Collins

Barbara Conviser 

Elliot Covert

David Dexter & Brandi Collins-Dexter

Anonymous Donors

Sofia Geoghegan

Chris George

Wendy & Joel Greenberg 

Deborah Gross 

Cory Harris

Intel Corporation

Kinard Johnson

Bill Kramer & Judy Duffield

Molly Leiwant

Bonnie Levin

Alan Levy

John Lieberman

Luisa Mancera

Kristin Miro

Lorie Nachlis 

Miles Ogron

Michael Patti & Nicole Lamy

Cody Perlmeter & Emily Ryder Perlmeter

Pamela Riley

Lena Robinson

Melinda Sarafa 

Savalle Sims

Rune Stromsness

Aster Tadesse

Laura Tennant

Deborah Wald

Elizabeth & Ryan Wegner

Jane Zuercher

 

Advocates $250-$499

 

Alana Ain 

Drew Amerson

Darci Burrell

Cid & Macedo Inc

Kelly & Jacob Dagger

Luis de Armas & Ellen Downey

Katherine Den Boer

Iain Denham

Anonymous Donors

Sean & Rachel Douglas

Emily Duncan & Matt Meenan

Richard Edwards & Rachel Williams

Mary Fawkes 

Brendan Folie & Cassie Gamm

Carolyn L Gandy 

Suzanne Gautier

Philip & Kay Gehman

Odiaka Gonzalez

Diane Griggs

Denisse Halm & Humberto Castro

Lauren Handelsman

Lesley & Evan Heller

Annie West-Honart

Sara Hundt 

Joshua Kappel

Chris & Cathy Kerr

Andrew Lamas 

David Lawrence Jr. & Roberta Lawrence 

Katherine Mancera

Douglas McBride

Steven Meinrath

Patrick Mesiti-Miller

Barbara Moulton

Dennis O’Malley

Sibyl O’Malley

David Oppenheimer & Marcy Kates

Anne Osmun & John Eidinger

Maryann Osullivan

Karla Rich

Judith Robinson

Julia Root 

Samsara Inc

Roy Santos 

Abigail & David Schumer

Lawrence Smyth

Martha Todd & Jeff Crow

Craig Valdes 

Joan Waranoff

Mary Weaver

Christine Weldon

Angela Yip

 

Partners $1-$249

 

AKOO, LLC

Aaron Akwaboah

Daniel Alexander

Gina Altman

Joshua Altman

Amazon Smile

Sekou Andrews

Samuel Appel

Stella Ashley

Suzanne Astar

Lura Daniels Ball

Remo Barr

Callie Bass

Jyotswaroop Bawa

Ellen McGrew Bayon

Alexander Bazley

Benevity Charitable Fund

Denise Bergez

Alexei Berla

Brittany Betham

Kris Bjornerud

Emily Blake

Brian Boies

Tess Brandwein 

Carmen Brick

Clement & Helen Brown

Juanita Capri Brown 

Vicki & Rick Brubaker

Burden Enterprises

Becky Buckwald

Joe Buser

Alex Cagle

Lucia Calderon

Martina & Phillip Caldwell

Steve Camuti

Elyssa Caplan 

Rose Carr

Pauline Casalegno

Ann Casper

Charlotte & Philip Cassel

Nora Cassidy

Aurora Castaneda 

Angie Cavaliere

Catherine Chacon

Susan Champion 

Jess Chen

Yoohyun Choi

Yooju Choi

Caroline Clark

Erin Clarke

Margaret Clifford

Wanda & Karl Cole-Frieman

Natalya Copeland

Dolores Curiel

Teresa Curran-Godsil 

Morgan Curtis

Samantha Cowart

Ashlyn Dadkhah

Dani Dalega

Janet Dalton

Jennifer Dalton

Melody Davis 

Savio Davis

Barbara Delahoyde

Tina Delaney

Kalia Demarquez

Kathy Diener

Liz Dollmeyer

Anonymous Donors 

Kate Duchowny

Katia Dunkel

Nhi Duong

April Dyer-Morton

Macharia Edmonds

Tamar Enoch

Amy Epstein

Bianca Escalante

Gloria Espinosa

Lourdes Espinosa 

Valentina Fanfani 

Laura Ferree

Aaron Field

Savina Fierro

Allison Fitzmaurice

Lynn Fladebo

Lillian Brock Flemming 

Kathryn Forbes

Gwen Foster

Roberta Fox

Linda Frazier

Katerina Friesen

Frontstream 

Faith Fuller

Carmen Garcia

Veronica Garibay 

Zachary Gates

Lauren Gauthier

Sigrid Gearhead

Jennifer Gee

Ted & Mary Gentry

Malcolm Gissen & Judith Cohen

Deborah Glupcznski

Kristin Godfrey

Cindy Goldberg

Max Goldstein

Ellen Goldwasser

Anna Gooler

Donald Gordon & Amy Lowenthal

Zack Gratz-Lazarus 

Dana Gross

Aubrey Grove

Skylar Grove

Stephen Gurney

Meena & Krishan Gursahani

Khanh Ha

Matthew Haas

Jen & Jeremey Haile 

Sarah Hardin

Shalishah Harmon

Nicole Harris 

Karin Hart

Hilary Hayes

Russell Heller 

Gary Helfand

Cassidy Higgins

Marianna Hoitt-Lange

Karen & Graham Holmes 

Ruth Holton-Hodson

Truvette Hollinquest

Peter Honigsberg

Joanna Hossack

Korin Houston

Christian Huffman

Ronnell Hunter

Jean Hyams

Camille Jackson 

Joanna Jackson 

Nora Jacob 

Erika Janke

Stephanie Jaspers

Annie Jean-Baptiste 

Sandra Johnson

Sharonda Johnson

Shawntai Johnson 

Anita Jones

Raegan Jones

Sanchit Joshi

Paula Joubert-Greene

Rebecca & Jeremiah Kagin

Alexandra Kalita

Michael Kamins

Cornelia Kane

Jennifer Keating

Will Keffer

Eileen & Gerard Kelly 

Catherine Kerr

Lenka Keston

Emily Kim

Kony Kim & Jeff Pang

Emily Kitchen

Tarah Knaresboro

Iris Korovesi

Kalima Kwong

Nicole Labbee

Anne Lackey

Katherine Larner

Benjamin Larson

Joseph Lawlor

Nicole Le Blanc

Alison Leff

Nancy Lemon

Let’s Eat, Grandma

Ari Leventhal

Loren Lewallen

Donna Lewen

Jody Lewen

Kenneth Lewis

Nathanael Ligon 

Amy Libit & Richard Lavenstein 

Katie Limle 

Andrea Lin

Christine Lin

Jason Lo

Michael Lowe

Network for Good 

Daniel Norton Luna

Belinda Lyons-Newman & Daniel Newman

Nora Madrigal

Morganne Maher

Simone Malkovich

Will Manchas

Lindsay Mann

Eden Marsh & Jay Phillips 

Lanese Martin

Gudrun Mason

Susannah May

Marie Mazzucco

Charles Mccormack

Tish McCutchen

Bree McDaniel

Elizabeth Mcnab

Kellan Mcnulty

Taryn McPherson

Dylan Medlock

Ronald Merchant & Cherlynn Merchant 

Lia Mezzio

Chelsea Mitchell

Cynthia Mitchell

Jason Mitchell 

Brooke Miyasato

Eli Moreh

Timothy Moreton

Matthew Morrison

Bakty Motiram

Miravel Navarro

Wayne & Lynn Newman

Steve Ngo

Melinda Noack

Skye Nunke

Elise Nycz 

Chijundu Okonmah

Sibyl Omalley

Steven Ormsbee & Kelli Sholer 

Joel Oubre 

Samantha Panken

Sherry Pablo 

Claire Passaro

Fhatima Paulino

Coco Pearce

Debra Peerenboom

Nicholas Peteson

David & Sonjha Phillips

Jerina Pillert

Zach Pine

Jody Pollock

Sherry Popper 

Melissa Porter

Patricia Potter

Rosemary Prem

Julia Price

Joan Prompongsatorn

Ronald Pruit

Veronica Ramos

Meera Rao

Karen Reitzel

Jenn Riek

Erika Riepe

Janely Rivera 

Brodie Roberts 

Damali Robertson

Janice Robinson

Diana Rodin

Pamela Rogers

Susan Rosenfeld & Fred Stielow 

Michelle Ross

Lukas Roth

Mustapha Sankofa

Christine Schirmer

Jill Schlichtmann

Danielle Schumacher

Amanda McDougald Scott

Caroline Scudder 

Amber Senter

Steven Shatz & Nina Rivkind

Connie Shieh

Amber Shimpa

Tamar Shine 

Anna Shneiderman 

Kelli Sholer

Cole Siegel

Emily Siegel

Victoria Weinberg Singer

Lydia Sinkus

Wendy Slevin

Taylor Smalls 

Sheila Smith

Tanya Smith

Joan Snyder

Susan & David Sobin 

Adam Sobolew & Susan G Kiseloff

Marc Soo

Shay & Sarah Sonnenberg

Kryss Speegle

Mi Spencer

Iva Spight

Annie Stafford

Jaqueline Stamboltsian

Lindsay Stone

Karen Strain

Charles Stuart 

Mary Katherine & Taylor Stukes 

Elijah Sutton 

Neill Sullivan

Jessica Sweeney

Anne Symens-Bucher

Kiki Takigawa

Anne Marie & Tom Taylor

Nicole Teixeira

Sam Teller

Iain Thatcher

Larry Thompson

Oliver Thompson 

Sonja Tonnesen-Casalegno

Alejandra Torres

Shawna Tran

Michael & Shirley Traynor

Alan Tu

Nancy Tuchman

Shruthi Tupler

Kevin Turner

Gene & Kurt Tweraser 

Myra Vallianos

Sruthi Veeragandham

Bertha Vega

Antionette Velasquez

Ronja Ver

Mary Veral

Elyse Villanueva

Kim Vinh

Tyler Wakstein

Qudre Walker

Leah Ward-Lee

Heather Warnken

Marshal Washington

Rick Watson

Megan Webster

Christopher Wendt

Jenny & Dan Weidenbenner

Debra Weinberg

Kat Whipple 

Deciembre White

Rebecca Wightman

Dawnleia Williams 

Derek Wong

Laura Woods

Xi Chapter of Monterey Bay

Marissa Young

Eddy Zheng

Yasimine Zoubeidato

 

Root & Rebound’s Team

 

Thomas Alexander

Development Associate

 

Mika Aoyama

Paralegal/Legal Programs Assistant

 

Briana Barnes

Operations & Programs Coordinator

 

Rebecca Berry

Hotline & Direct Services Attorney

 

Jessica Chen 

AmeriCorps VISTA Development & Communications Coordinator

 

Zac de Lusignan

AmeriCorps VISTA Data & Evaluation Coordinator

 

Eva DeLair

Associate Director, Northern CA Programs & Policy Reform

 

Sydney Delaney 

AmeriCorps VISTA Client Liaison

 

Ashleigh Dennis 

UC Irvine Law Public Service Fellow

 

Allison Elder

South Carolina Equal Justice Works Fellow, Sponsored by the Leonard & 

Robert Weintraub Family Foundation

 

Samantha Epstein

Head of People, Culture & Operations

 

Felicia Espinosa

Fresno Site Director & Senior Staff Attorney

 

Carmen Garcia 

Deputy Director of Operations

 

Lupita Garcia

Strategic Partnerships Associate 

 

Zach Gautier-Klos

Contract Attorney

 

Claudia Gonzalez

Policy Advocacy & Economic Security Coach

 

Eliana Green

Equal Justice Works Fellow, Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

 

Veena Gursahani

Interim California Legal Director; San Bernardino Site Director & Senior Staff Attorney

 

Rashida Harmon

Senior Staff Attorney, Bay Area

 

Nicole Jeong

Los Angeles Site Director & Senior Staff Attorney

 

Sandra Johnson

In-Prison Programs Coordinator

 

Katherine Katcher 

Founder & Executive Director

 

Julia Lucey-Arneberg

AmeriCorps VISTA Community Outreach & Partnerships Coordinator 

 

Chloe Noonan

Associate Director, Legal Education

 

Zachariah Oquenda

Berkeley Law Public Interest Legal-Policy Fellow

 

Faride Perez-Aucar

Senior Legal Fellow

 

Jamie Popper

In-Prison Programs Attorney

 

Damali Robertson

Deputy Director of Strategic Partnerships

 

Rolyn Rollins

South Carolina Master of Social Work Intern

 

Bailey Strelow

Equal Justice Works Fellow,Sponsored by the Clorox Company

 

K.C. Taylor

California Legal Director

 

Sonja Tonnesen-Casalegno

Deputy Director of Programs

 

Ana Walker

South Carolina Staff Attorney

 

De’Jone Watts

Women’s Support and Social Services Manager

 

Kate Weaver Patterson

Second Chance Justice Collaborative Site Director & Managing Attorney

 

R&R’s Board of Directors

 

Abby Abinanti, Chair

Carolina de Armas

Andreya Garcia-Ponce De Leon

Tamaron D. Greene

Katherine Katcher

Loren Lewallen

Anne Osmun

Watani Stiner

Martha Todd, Secretary