KATAL CENTER FOR EQUITY HEALTH AND JUSTICE

Brooklyn, NY   |  www.katalcenter.org

Mission

Katal is a community organization that works in Connecticut and New York to strengthen the people, policies, institutions, and movements that advance equity, health, and justice for everyone. We envision a world where all communities have the resources and power to exercise self-determination and participate meaningfully in the democratic process. We launched in 2016 with three big, interrelated goals: -building leadership and organizing capacity of neighborhood residents, as well as organizers, advocates, and community groups, to effectively drive and shape systemic change -ending mass criminalization, mass incarceration, and the war on drugs; and -advancing evidence-based solutions to promote and secure equity, health, and justice

Ruling year info

2016

Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director

Lorenzo Jones

Co-executive director

gabriel sayegh

Main address

147 Prince Street

Brooklyn, NY 11201 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-1323278

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (R01)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (I01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Mass incarceration, unquestionably, is the most acute systematic perpetuation of the racial and economic disparity that plagues the United States. These alarming disparities exist even after years of progressive reforms in Connecticut and New York. As COVID-19 began to sweep the nation this past March, we galvanized our members to warn of the looming danger that the virus posed to people in prisons and jails and demand the release of people in Connecticut and New York. The pandemic laid bare the systemic racism and structural inequalities inherent in our criminal justice system. The killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor then made policing part of this national reckoning. Through our coalition building and organizing work we are raising the energy and momentum around this moment to win reforms at the state level.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Our State Level Work: Decarceration and Movement Building in Connecticut and New York

Over the last 20 years, advocates (including Katal founders and staff) have advanced impressive criminal justice and drug policy reforms in in Connecticut and New York. In both states, crime rates and prison populations are down, and both states have closed prisons and are frequently cited as models for reform. Yet mass incarceration and the drug war still continue, jail and prison populations remain stubbornly high and more far reaching reforms are still needed. To truly end mass incarceration and the drug war, Katal works on systemic change, building a decarceration agenda in CT and NY to secure health, equity, and justice for everyone.

This past year, we launched two additional campaigns—#FreeThemNowCT and #FreeThemNowNY—to demand the release of people from jails and prisons in the face of COVID-19. We organized thousands of people to take action with us online and in person (socially distanced!); testified before state legislatures; pushed the issue into the forefront of mainstream Connecticut news coverage and spurred the Lamont administration to release hundreds of people from prisons; and with our partners statewide helped secure the release of nearly 1,000 people from jails in New York. We also convened two national Zoom calls to discuss the impact of COVID-19 at the intersections of housing, health care, the drug war, mass incarceration, and more.

We also continue to convene our popular statewide criminal justice reform calls, which bring together hundreds of people every month—including directly impacted people, community leaders, and advocates—to share information and build momentum for state-based campaigns to end mass incarceration.

Population(s) Served
Incarcerated people
Economically disadvantaged people

There are approximately 731,000 individuals held daily in local jails across the country. Local jails have 19 times the annual admissions compared to state and federal prisons. Local cities and counties are where the gears of mass incarceration grind on -- over 11 million people go to jail each year in the United States, referred to as a “churn rate.” Most people in jails are individuals who are detained pretrial and are therefore legally presumed innocent. Katal is working in Connecticut and New York to reduce the number of people churning through jails every year, and to achieve systemic reform to end the drug war and mass incarceration at the local level.

This past year in Connecticut, where racial disparities in mass incarceration are particularly stark, we organized to demand justice for incarcerated people and their families. In New York, we built momentum for our #LessIsMoreNY Act, a bill that would impact nearly 40,000 people on parole statewide—mostly Black and Latinx people—and could lead to the release of more than 5,000 people from prisons and jails (that’s more than 15% of the overall state prison population).

Population(s) Served
Incarcerated people
Ethnic and racial groups

The right to a speedy trial is enshrined in the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In New York State, it is implemented through Criminal Procedure Law 30.30. However, CPL 30.30 contains loopholes that, when compounded by severe court backlogs, lead to unreasonable delays for people who have been charged but not convicted of a crime. In New York City alone, nearly 80% of the people in jail are detained pre-trial, forced to spend extra months, or even years, in pre-trial detention as they await their day in court.

In 2019 we passed groundbreaking pretrial reform legislation in New York. Those reforms took effect in January this year, cutting jail populations statewide, including a 40 percent reduction in New York City, a critical step to closing the Rikers Island jail complex. Then we defended the new bail laws against well-funded efforts to repeal them. And we addressed and joined the national reckoning about racism through our writings, our organizing, and our direct actions.

Population(s) Served
Incarcerated people

In the wake of the opioid overdose and addiction crisis, communities are demanding new approaches to drug addiction, overdose prevention, and access to treatment. Katal is working with local communities in Connecticut and New York to develop harm reduction oriented interventions to improve safety and health. This includes training police and public health departments in harm reduction, developing Community Leadership Teams, and supporting access to healthcare.

Population(s) Served
Incarcerated people
Economically disadvantaged people

Our Building Leadership and Organizing Capacity (BLOC) model is our flagship training and leadership development program. BLOC equips participants with the important community organizing tools and tactics for base building with people for power.

Through BLOC, we train people in models of social change; the how-to’s of community organizing and advocacy, leadership development, strategic planning, issue cuts, and more. We coach and mentor new and veteran organizers and advocacy organizations. We hold BLOC organizing roundtables in both Connecticut and New York, and hold BLOC trainings across the country.

In 2020, we expanded BLOC, including our Connecticut Organizer Roundtable. In that setting, nearly two dozen community organizers—mostly women of color—met monthly through the year, via Zoom, for peer-to-peer learning, coaching, and mentoring. Three more young people completed our Organizer Apprenticeship this year. And we conducted more than 100 coaching sessions with organizers and advocates around the country.

Population(s) Served
Young adults

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Great Nonprofits - TopRated 2020

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of advocacy contacts with government leaders

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups

Related Program

Our State Level Work: Decarceration and Movement Building in Connecticut and New York

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of members from priority population attending training

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Our State Level Work: Decarceration and Movement Building in Connecticut and New York

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of new champions or stakeholders recruited

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Our State Level Work: Decarceration and Movement Building in Connecticut and New York

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of media articles reflecting preferred issue framing

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Our State Level Work: Decarceration and Movement Building in Connecticut and New York

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We launched in 2016 with three big, interrelated goals:

· building leadership and organizing capacity of neighborhood residents, as well as organizers, advocates, and community groups, to effectively drive and shape systemic change;

· ending mass criminalization, mass incarceration, and the war on drugs; and

· advancing solutions to promote and secure health, equity, and justice

Katal is mission driven, process oriented, and outcome focused. Our work is informed by community organizing practices and philosophies, draws on public health practices and tools, and is grounded in a racial equity framework. We believe that the strategic utilization of multiple methodologies can be enormously effective.

Building leadership and developing the capacity of neighborhood residents and local groups – especially among people most impacted by policies we want to change – is at the core of our mission and vision, informing every aspect of what we do. By developing more leaders and more effective organizers, we seek to strengthen communities and sustain the impact of our work together.

Here's how we approach our work with our talented staff:

· Develop and execute high-impact organizing and advocacy reform campaigns at the state and municipal level, frequently through collaborations with partner organizations who share our values.

· Build leadership and organizing capacity of directly impacted people and local groups –especially among people most impacted by policies we want to change

· Leverage work at the municipal and county level to advance state-based reforms.

· Utilize public health research, tools, and methodologies.

· Provide training and technical assistance for organizing, campaign development, advocacy, communications, and more.

· Measure and evaluate the impact of our work and its transactional and transformational outcomes.

· Practice facilitative leadership, a co-creative model centered on deep collaboration.

· Provide capacity for increased civic engagement and opportunities to learn and exercise political education

During this extraordinary year, Katal has remained focused on organizing for equity, health, and justice. Here are some of the year’s highlights:

-Tackling the COVID-19 crisis in jails and prisons: We launched two campaigns—#FreeThemNowCT and #FreeThemNowNY—to demand the release of people from jails and prisons in the face of COVID-19. We organized thousands of people to take action with us online and in person (socially distanced!); testified before state legislatures; pushed the issue into the forefront of mainstream Connecticut news coverage and spurred the Lamont administration to release hundreds of people from prisons; and with our partners statewide helped secure the release of nearly 1,000 people from jails in New York.

-Fighting to end policies that criminalize poverty and disproportionately harm Black people: In 2019 we passed groundbreaking pretrial reform legislation in New York. Those reforms took effect in January this year, cutting jail populations statewide, including a 40 percent reduction in New York City, a critical step to closing the Rikers Island jail complex. Then we defended the new bail laws against well-funded efforts to repeal them. And we addressed and joined the national reckoning about racism through our writings, our organizing, and our direct actions.

-Organizing for racial justice and decarceration: In Connecticut, where racial disparities in mass incarceration are particularly stark, we organized to demand justice for incarcerated people and their families. In New York, we built momentum for our #LessIsMoreNY Act, a bill that would impact nearly 40,000 people on parole statewide—mostly Black and Latinx people—and could lead to the release of more than 5,000 people from prisons and jails (that’s more than 15% of the overall state prison population).

-Training, coaching, and mentoring organizers and advocates: This year we expanded our flagship training program, Building Leadership and Organizing Capacity (BLOC), including our Connecticut Organizer Roundtable. In that setting, nearly two dozen community organizers—mostly women of color—met monthly through the year, via Zoom, for peer-to-peer learning, coaching, and mentoring. Three more young people completed our Organizer Apprenticeship this year. And we conducted more than 100 coaching sessions with organizers and advocates around the country.

-Building movement infrastructure in Connecticut and New York: We continued convening our popular statewide criminal justice reform calls, which bring together hundreds of people every month—including directly impacted people, community leaders, and advocates—to share information and build momentum for state-based campaigns to end mass incarceration.

We’re heading into 2021 with momentum and big plans—including fighting to decarcerate and close prisons in Connecticut, passing parole reform and closing the Rikers Island jail complex in New York, and expanding our BLOC training program.

Financials

KATAL CENTER FOR EQUITY HEALTH AND JUSTICE
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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KATAL CENTER FOR EQUITY HEALTH AND JUSTICE

Board of directors
as of 07/07/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

DeAngelo Bester

Workers Center for Racial Justice

Chiedza Rodriguez

Our Piece of the Pie Inc.

Lorenzo Jones

Katal Center for Health, Equity and Justice

gabriel sayegh

Katal Center for Health, Equity and Justice

Marie-France Laport

Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association

G. Rosaline Preudhomme

Institute for the Black World 21st Century

DeAngelo Bester

Workers Center for Racial Justice

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/7/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Decline to state

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/06/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.