Black Experience

Nkechi Taifa to Leave Open Society Foundations, Start Own Firm

Nkechi Taifa, the advocacy director for criminal justice for the Open Society Foundations and Open Society Policy Center, will leave the George Soros-funded conglomerate at the end of the month to launch The Taifa Group, LLC, a social enterprise firm aiming to advance justice.

Taifa launched the Justice Roundtable, a coalition of more than 100 groups, shortly after joining Open Society. The Justice Roundtable works to advance federal criminal justice reform collectively. The group’s list of achievements includes:

· The Reentry Working Group successfully engineered The Second Chance Reentry bill signed into law by President Bush in 2002.

· The Fair Sentencing Act, signed by President Obama in 2010, reduced the vast disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentences. The compromise measure won bipartisan support after the Sentencing Reform Working Group brought the “human face” of incarceration to Capitol Hill.

· The Law Enforcement Reform Working Group exposed drug task force abuses by shining a light on corruption and abuses in Tulia and Hearne, Texas.

· Helped usher in the Obama clemencies, resulting in the release of over 1,700 people, many serving life without parole sentences for low-level drug offenses.

Taifa will continue to lead the Justice Roundtable, which will break from Open Society Policy Center to become an independent coalition.

As founder and principal of The Taifa Group, she aims to use her 40 years of experience as an activist, organizer, litigator, policy analyst, advocate, strategist, academician and convener to continue the fight against injustices.

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