Partner With Us

The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights is invested in building a people-powered movement to end mass criminalization and incarceration and to ensure dignity and opportunity for low-income people and people of color.

We want to partner with organizations that share our vision and approach to movement building work so that we are able to strengthen each other and our collective strategy.

Our goal for developing this sisterhood is to create opportunities for the Ella Baker Center to move national campaigns in partnership with organizations that share our values and to raise the visibility of the work that our partners do on a national level.

Ella’s Squad members are local, grassroots base-building organizations that work with communities that are directly affected by criminalization and mass incarceration and share our Principles of Unity.

Together we develop and lead campaigns to end criminalization and mass incarceration and redirect resources away from punitive policies and towards building strong communities.

Principles of Unity:

  • People Powered Movement: We believe in the power of ordinary people to create change and community-driven solutions to build the movement to end criminalization, mass incarceration, and state violence
  • Commitment to Leadership: We share a commitment to building the power, leadership, and capacity of people of color, low-income people, young people, LGBTQ people, incarcerated people, formerly incarcerated people, and victims and survivors of law enforcement abuse. 
  • Racial Justice: We work to expose, disrupt, and change the societal, cultural, and institutional beliefs and practices that subordinate and oppress people of color. 
  • Economic Justice: We change policies and practices to ensure that resources and opportunities are distributed in an equitable way and that everyone has the access to make a living wage and to live with dignity and self-determination. 
  • Gender Justice: We do our work in a way that addresses the causes and consequences of gender inequality for people of all gender expressions and identities.
  • Transformative Justice: We seek to transform the individual, cultural, and institutional conditions that support violence, and to transform society. We do this by building the capacity of communities to respond to violence and harm with restorative and transformative practices that do not rely on policing and imprisonment. 
  • Truth and Reinvestment: Truth and Reinvestment highlights the need to acknowledge a long history of racial discrimination and its present day manifestations in the criminal justice system, and the need for reinvestment of resources away from criminal justice reform into low-income communities and communities of color that have been hardest hit by mass incarceration. 


What we can win together:

  • Flip your local budget by moving resources away from police and jails and towards resources for communities.
    • Example: We worked with allies to win a Jobs Not Jails campaign in Alameda County (home to Oakland and Berkeley) to shift nearly $10 million away from the local jail and toward re-entry services for formerly incarcerated people. 
  • Intervene in state justice reinvestment efforts to ensure that sentencing reform is tied to investments back into communities.
    • Example: In California, we supported the passage of Proposition 47, which redirected state funds from incarceration to education. We are now working on implementation of this proposition. 
  • Create a new vision of community safety by building infrastructure on the ground.
    • ā€‹Example: Ella Baker Center and Restaurant Opportunities Centers United are building Restore Oakland a multipurpose center featuring a worker and community owned restaurant, restorative justice programs, and space for community organizing.
    • Example: We are working with grassroots organizations throughout California to launch Justice Teams, a rapid response network that will mobilize communities to respond radically to law enforcement violence. 
    • Example: Every year, the Ella Baker Center helps organize an alternative to the police-centric National Night Out called Night Out for Safety and LiberationThrough this event we are starting a different conversation about public safety that is focused on building power, opportunity, and prosperity in our communities. We provide art work, talking points, a social media guide, and other support to help your organization engage.  

Is your organization interested in joining Ella's Squad? Contact Ella Baker Center National Campaigner Azadeh Zohrabi for more information: azadeh@ellabakercenter.org.

Learn more about our work.