A Little Piece of Light

Non-profit focused on ending the criminalization of women and girls

Grantee Cohort Spring 2020, Spring 2021

Location New York City, NY

A Little Piece of Light provides critical services for women formerly involved with the justice system and their families with domestic violence resources and grief and mental health support. Art for Justice is supporting the organization in further strengthening its infrastructure and operations and deepening its engagement with community partners advancing criminal legal reform. For example, building on successful initiatives to promote re-entry, including prioritizing women’s voices in the successful #CloseRikers movement, it will expand the Justice for Women Task Force part of its Covid-19 response inside prisons.

Through its previous partnership with the Fund, in summer 2020, A Little Piece of Light opened a new office in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, to serve as a community resource center for people affected by mass incarceration. In less than a year, more than 500 people have visited this location to access and meet varying social services needs, including transitional housing, health care, and PPE.

A Little Piece of Light also increased capacity and resources for its staff to go further in their efforts to provide critical domestic violence resources and grief and mental health support services to women formerly involved with the justice system and their families.

As COVID-19 continues to disproportionately tear apart families of color, A Little Piece of Light is expanding its work to women who are currently in the justice system and those who are no longer justice involved but whose wellbeing has significantly deteriorated since the virus’ outbreak. In partnership with an artist , A Little Piece of Light will produce and distribute a therapeutic coloring book to enhance women’s lives during this unprecedented difficult time through an Art for Justice Activating Art and Advocacy grant.

To read A Little Piece of Light’s founder Donna Hylton’s life history as told in her recent memoir “A Little Piece of Light: A Memoir of Hope, Prison, and a Life Unbound” is to marvel at what she overcame, including 27 years in prison, with one year in solitary confinement. An ordained Christian minister, Donna earned a bachelor’s degree in behavioral sciences from Mercy College and a master’s degree in women’s studies and English literature from Marymount Manhattan College while incarcerated. Since returning home in 2012, Donna emerged as a formidable criminal justice advocate and tireless spokesperson on behalf of abused women and girls and the need for gender-informed trauma treatment and care.