Launched by the Rosenberg Foundation in partnership with the Hellman Foundation, the Leading Edge Fund will award $225,000 in general support over three years to each of eight fellows who are tackling deep barriers to opportunity for communities of color and low-income communities. In addition, the fellows will receive technical assistance on strategy, program design, fundraising and communications.

The 2016 Leading Edge fellows are taking on pervasive inequity and injustice in the areas of criminal justice, immigrant rights and racial justice through policy change and movement building. From ending racialized police violence, to shining a light on disproportionate incarceration rates for Native Americans, to expanding the role of the public defender to ensure representation for immigrants, the fellows’ cutting-edge ideas have the potential to transform the state. The Leading Edge Fund is supporting these innovative leaders in their efforts to fundamentally change the odds for, and with, the most disenfranchised Californians.

Meet the 2016 Leading Edge Fellows:

Patrisse Cullors, Founder of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, is building a rapid response network to eliminate state violence against people of color.

Meredith Desautels, a youth attorney, is working to end the incarceration of California youth.

Morning Star Gali, a leader in the Native American community and a member of the Ajumawi band of the Pit River Tribe in Northeastern California, is organizing the Native community to reduce the imprisonment of Native Americans.

Michael Gomez Daly, a data strategist, is using data and tech to increase civic participation among immigrants and other people of color statewide.

Raj Jayadev, founder of Silicon Valley De-Bug, is fighting to end mass Incarceration by democratizing jury processes and courtrooms through organizing and activism.

Raha Jorjani, an immigration defense attorney, is working to expand the role of the public defender in California to ensure representation for immigrants impacted by the criminal justice system.

Nicole Pittman, Director of the Center on Youth Registration Reform, is fighting to eliminate the practice of placing children on sex offender registries.

Samuel Sinyangwe, co-founder of WeTheProtesters, is advocating against police violence by using tech to ensure police reform and accountability.

For more information about the Leading Edge Fund, please email: