Designing Justice + Designing Spaces (DJDS)

Architecture and Real Estate Development Nonprofit

Grantee Cohort Spring 2020

Location National

Designing Justice + Designing Spaces is an architecture and real estate development nonprofit working to end mass incarceration by building infrastructure that addresses its root causes: poverty, racism, unequal access to resources and the criminal justice system itself.

Designing Justice + Designing Spaces employs a trauma-informed approach to developing restorative spaces that center both the expertise and the wellness and healing of systems-impacted individuals. Women’s Mobile Refuge Trailer is one example. The Trailer addresses some of the challenges women face when returning home by providing a mobile space of refuge for women during the night as they transition from disparaging environments, ongoing support as a drop-in space as they integrate back into their communities, and space for other nonprofit programs that provide services to our most vulnerable women and girls.

Through an unrestricted grant from Art For Justice Fund, Designing Justice + Designing Spaces is able to take on more projects, serve more organizations, hire additional staff and elevate the people who are directly impacted by mass incarceration as expert voices in infrastructure development. DJDS hires and collaborates with formerly incarcerated people in most of its projects.

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Julie Mehretu’s “Dissident Score” sells for $6.5 million, proceeds benefit the Art for Justice Fund