Dealflow | February 1, 2021

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative spins off criminal justice reform activities

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, February 1 – Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the mission-focused company launched by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, is allocating $350 million to the Justice Accelerator Fund, a new organization that will take over CZI’s work in criminal justice reform and expand support for community health and racial and economic equity efforts. 

The allocation is in addition to a $500 million, five-year racial equity commitment.

“We are committed to ensuring that racial equity is reflected across our grantmaking,” and ensuring that “Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color have a stake in CZI’s initiatives and a voice in guiding them,” Chan and Zuckerberg wrote in their annual letter.

CZI is also making a $100 million grant to, the immigration and criminal justice reform advocacy group launched by Zuckerberg and Chan in 2013. Its work includes advocating for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, policy that protects undocumented individuals brought to the U.S. as children.

CZI says it has distributed $2 billion in grants and invested $150 million in 17 ventures, mostly in workforce development and education. Venture investments include Africa’s tech outsourcing company Andela, India’s online education giant BYJU, and U.S.-based “micro-scholarship” provider RaiseMe, which was acquired by CampusLogic last year.

Much of its work in the past year has focused on pandemic-driven scientific development and online learning.