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June 24, 2020Stand Up For Change Scholarship Fund
A new scholarship fund at the Pinellas Community Foundation will help survivors of domestic violence and people of color residing in the Tampa Bay Area pursue a career in Criminal Justice.
The goal of CASA’s Stand Up For Change Scholarship Fund is to improve the experience of domestic violence survivors and people of color in the criminal justice system and create a system more reflective of the individuals it serves. CASA has found that domestic violence survivors often experience re-victimization in the criminal justice system due to a lack of understanding of the complex cases by police officers, judges, and attorneys. People of color encounter both systemic and unconscious biases that leave them with longer sentences and five times the incarceration rate of white Americans.
“Over the past month, we have seen the world respond to systemic violence and oppression following the murder of George Floyd,” said CASA CEO, Lariana Forsythe. “At CASA, we believe all forms of violence and oppression are connected, and like so many organizations, we questioned what else we could do to create a more just and equitable community. The Stand Up For Change Scholarship Fund aims to do just that.”
The fund, held at Pinellas Community Foundation, will be initiated with a $12,500 match by CASA Board Member Nicholas McDevitt, and another $12,500 from Duggan Cooley and David Martinez-Cooley.
“Initiating the Stand Up For Change Scholarship Fund allows me to continue my support of domestic violence survivors while creating lasting change by acknowledging both the importance of those working in criminal justice and the need for continuous improvement to the system” said Nicholas McDevitt.
Mr. McDevitt hopes that the community will join him in creating this systemic change by contributing to the fund at https://pinellascf.org/standupforchange
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