FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Meghan Higgins, Our Restorative Justice, 724-987-3063, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Julie DeSilva, Cummings Foundation, 781-932-7093, email@example.com
Our Restorative Justice awarded $100,000
Lowell nonprofit receives Cummings Foundation grant
Lowell, June 16, 2017 - Our Restorative Justice is one of 100 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s “$100K for 100” program. The Lowell-based organization was chosen from a total of 549 applications, during a competitive review process.
Our Restorative Justice (OurRJ) provides marginalized youth and young adults with an alternative approach to justice that disrupts the school to prison pipeline. By giving young people a voice, and coalescing systems of support around them, we create institutions in which all young people thrive.
Representing OurRJ, Susan Maze-Rothstein, Board President and Acting Executive Director, as well as Eli Plenk, Program Manager, joined approximately 300 other guests at a reception at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn to celebrate the $10 million infusion into Greater Boston’s nonprofit sector. With the conclusion of this grant cycle, Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $170 million to local nonprofits alone.
“We are deeply appreciative of Cummings Foundation for their incredible commitment to Massachusetts communities and cannot wait to use this award to bring the transformative power of restorative justice to more youth, families, and communities in the Commonwealth,” said Plenk.
According to Maze-Rothstein, “This award will allow us to strengthen our Middlesex County case-based models and divert more young people out of the juvenile justice system, providing them with an opportunity to avoid a lifelong criminal record. It will also support us as we increasingly work alongside schools, helping them to adopt restorative school discipline practices that seek to foster empathy and build strong school communities, rather than excluding and shunning students when mistakes are made. Stemming the school to prison pipeline requires a multi-tiered, systemically-oriented approach, and support from Cummings Foundation will be critical in working towards our goals.”
The $100K for 100 program supports nonprofits that are not only based in but also primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. This year, the program is benefiting 35 different cities and towns within the Commonwealth.
“Nonprofit organizations like Our Restorative Justice are vital to the local communities where our colleagues and clients live and work,” said Joel Swets, Commings Foundation’s executive director. “We are delighted to invest in their efforts.”
This year’s diverse group of grant recipients represents a wide variety of causes, including homelessness prevention and affordable housing, social justice and justice reform, education, violence prevention, and food insecurity. Most of the grants will be paid over two to five years.
The complete list of 100 grant winners is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.
About Our Restorative Justice
Our Restorative Justice (OurRJ) provides marginalized youth and young adults with an alternative approach to justice that disrupts the school to prison pipeline. Since 2012, OurRJ has used restorative justice as an alternative to juvenile court that strengthens families, helps build resilient communities, and empowers young people to continue their education and move towards the workforce. By giving young people a voice, and coalescing systems of support around them, we create institutions in which all young people thrive. OurRJ has successfully diverted over 80 youth out of the courts and into our comprehensive, developmentally- responsive, restorative justice program, while serving as a leader in promoting restorative justice in schools and communities throughout the Commonwealth. To learn more, visit www.ourrj.org.
About Cummings Foundation
Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings of Winchester. With assets exceeding $1.4 billion, it is one of the largest foundations in New England. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including two New Horizons retirement communities, in Marlborough and Woburn. Its largest single commitment to date was $50 million to Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Additional information is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.
PHOTO: OurRJ’s Board President/Acting Executive Director Susan Maze-Rothstein (center) and Program Manager Eli Plenk (right) at the Grant Winner Celebration.