August 13, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact:
Elizabeth Jones Valderrama, OAR
OAR ANNOUNCES RECEIPT OF CAFRITZ FOUNDATION GRANT
OAR of Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church is pleased to announce that the organization has been awarded a $50,000 grant from The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation.
The grant provides general operating support for OAR for FY 2021 (July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021) and will help sustain OAR programs that provide reentry services for those coming home from incarceration, offer community service opportunities for adults and youth who have engaged with the legal system, and promote racial justice.
“The Cafritz Foundation has been a long-time supporter of OAR,” said OAR Executive Director Elizabeth Jones Valderrama. “We are especially grateful for this new and increased funding since many of the people we work with after incarceration will be experiencing greater hardships due to the COVID-19 economic recession. Coming home and enjoying a safe reentry will be even more challenging.”
The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation is the largest private, independent, local Foundation focused exclusively on the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The Foundation is the legacy of Morris Cafritz, one of Washington’s leading commercial and residential builders from the early 1920s to the mid-’60s. An outstanding civic leader known for his generosity, Morris Cafritz established the Foundation in 1948. His wife, Gwendolyn, was one of Washington’s leading hostesses in the post World War II years. The Cafritz Foundation is committed to building a stronger community for residents of the Washington, DC area through support of programs in arts and humanities, community services, education, health, and the environment.
Founded in 1974, OAR journeys with individuals of all genders who are returning to the community after incarceration manages an alternative sentencing program for the Arlington County and City of Falls Church courts that allows others to avoid that life-altering experience, and works to achieve racial justice and equity in the criminal legal system and society at large. The organization addresses incarceration, the legal system, and all systems “upstream” (calling out the racism that permeates these systems and seeking social justice) and “downstream” (providing services to specific individuals).
In fiscal year 2020, OAR worked 766 individuals of all genders who were experiencing incarceration or who had recently come home to the community and their families as well as 1,285 adults and youth who performed community service under its supervision. Since last fall, OAR has hosted four intensive two-day anti-racism workshops for some 180 members of the community, including law enforcement partners, and has presented its racial justice work to over 700 people.
OAR is the only nonprofit in the DC metropolitan area that works with specific individuals of all genders impacted by the criminal legal system and also challenges the systemic racism responsible for mass incarceration and other structural inequities in our society.
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OAR of Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church is a community-based nonprofit that journeys with individuals of all genders who seek a safe reentry as they return to the community from incarceration. We also offer alternative sentencing options through community service to youth and adults, reducing incarceration and helping individuals avoid the life-altering trauma of that experience. We promote justice in the legal system and across all systems by addressing the systemic racism responsible for mass incarceration and other structural inequities in our society. We envision a safe and thriving community where all people – including those impacted by the criminal legal system – enjoy equal civil and human rights.
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