WILMINGTON, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, the grassroots advocacy group Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware (CPBD) launched a $100,000 fund to incubate and support local activists, advocacy groups, and nonprofits fighting for transparency, diversity, and accountability at the highest levels of Delaware’s state government and court system. The fund will deploy resources and expertise to support activists and groups that are on the ground fighting for racial and economic equity in the state, where the median household income for Black and Latino households is half that of white households.
CPBD has pledged $100,000 to the fund, and will disburse grants in a rolling manner through the end of the year. Interested organizations are encouraged to apply at the Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware website.
In addition to funding, CPBD will provide administrative and strategic support to grant winners to amplify their grassroots and media efforts. The first grant will be distributed to Justice for Prisoners, a Wilmington-based advocacy group that fights for the dignity and human rights of inmates in Delaware’s carceral system, which is disproportionately filled with Black and Brown Delawareans who have been systematically denied access to high-paying jobs and equitable educational opportunities.
The grant will go towards Justice for Prisoners’ official incorporation as a nonprofit advocacy group, personnel, and continued support and supplies for the group’s advocacy efforts, including its series of protests denouncing Governor Carney’s bungled response to COVID-19 outbreaks in Delaware’s prisons.
Said Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware Campaign Manager Chris Coffey, “For too long, we’ve seen how Delaware’s ruling class of elite lawyers, politicians, judges, and executives callously ignore the voices and needs of working-class and minority Delawareans. From top to bottom, Delaware’s elites have rigged the system against communities of color in Delaware, leading to a society where Black citizens are incarcerated at a rate of nearly 5:1 compared to their white counterparts and systematically denied access to quality education and jobs. This fund is a small step towards restoring balance in Delaware; we’re putting money in the hands of those who have the most at stake in the future of the First State. This funding and strategic support will go a long way towards taking on the entrenched interests that have made Delaware a bastion of inequality and corruption. We’re thrilled to disburse our first grant to Justice for Prisoners so they can continue pushing Governor Carney to treat inmates with the respect and human dignity they deserve.”
Said Heather Morris, lead organizer for Justice for Prisoners, “We are so grateful for this grant from Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware, which will enable us to continue fighting for the most vulnerable members of our society: incarcerated individuals. Governor Carney’s mishandling of the COVID-19 outbreak in Delaware’s prisons has led to double-digit deaths from this horrible virus, along with hundreds of sick inmates who will likely suffer from adverse effects for years to come. Thanks to CPBD’s generosity, we will be able to continue putting pressure on Governor Carney to treat our loved ones as dignified human beings in the weeks and months to come.”
Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware is a group made up of more than 5,000 members including employees of the global translation services company TransPerfect, as well as concerned Delaware residents, business executives and others. They formed in April of 2016 to focus on raising awareness with Delaware residents, elected officials, and other stakeholders about the unprecedented forced sale of TransPerfect. While their primary goal of saving the company has been accomplished, they continue their efforts to fight for more transparency in the Delaware Chancery Court. For more information on Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware or to join the cause, visit DelawareForBusiness.org.