Mission & Values
Life Comes From It is a grantmaking and movement-building circle where decisions over funding and other support are made by leading practitioners in restorative justice, transformative justice, indigenous peacemaking and land-based projects. These four distinct fields are cross-pollinating each other in impacting how our society responds to harm. We have come together around a shared vision of addressing harm through community solutions, without reliance on incarceration and punitive systems. We give grants and other support solely to projects and organizations led by people of color.
Life Comes From It is a grantmaking and movement-building circle. We support grassroots work, led by people of color, working in restorative justice, transformative justice, indigenous peacemaking and land-based projects.
The Four Fields
Restorative Justice | Transformative Justice | Indigenous Peacemaking | Land Based Projects
We can recommend various definitions of restorative justice (e.g. this one from RJOY in Oakland and this video by sujatha baliga) and transformative justice (e.g. this video). An article, co-written by sonya shah, describes why both are needed. On indigenous peacemaking, see this 4-minute video by Justice Yazzie as well as this video from the Native American Rights Fund.
The field that people may be least familiar with is what we are calling "land-based projects." We haven’t found a definition elsewhere so, here's our current take on it: First, land is critical to justice in this country. African Americans, despite making up 13 percent of the population, own less than 1% of privately owned rural land, and people of color as a whole own less than 2%. Second, food injustice is connected to land ownership. The two issues come together in Soul Fire Farm, one of our grantees, “an Afro-Indigenous centered community farm committed to uprooting racism and seeding sovereignty in the food system.” Third, working the land in such a project, and having access to beautiful land for retreats, can be healing to body and soul. That is true for everyone, but especially for people of color who have not had access to our own rural spaces. Finally, regenerative farming heals the land and the planet: healthy soil captures carbon at a rate that mitigates climate change at least as well as any other means. Justice and healing can grow together on the land. A few examples of initiatives we have supported in this area include Freedom Farm Azul, Menīkānaehkem, Soul Fire Farm, ALMA Backyard Farms, and Nibezun.
Funding Values & Criteria
We aim to support projects, organizations and collaborations that embody these values:
Commitment to working towards replacing criminalization and incarceration with alternative approaches to address violence and repair harm rooted in community solutions
Prioritizing peacemaking development and indigenous initiatives led by Native people
Rooting the work in the community’s own culture(s), language(s), place(s), faith(s), and belief system(s) so it reflects the people that engage in it
Guided by the wisdom of people, families and communities of color
Commitment to anti-oppression practices
Supporting the creation of new thinking and language that is holistic, intersectional, interdependent, and liberatory
Promoting and sustaining collective leadership, collaboration and partnership
Living the values of the work internally and externally to build community and heal harm within and against communities
Intergenerational inclusivity - people of all generations: youth, adults, elders are encouraged to apply
What We Believe
1. We believe that human relations can replace the work of institutions.
2. We are invested in shifting power.
3. We believe in doing no harm – not further victimizing people who have been victimized in the search for funding. We seek to keep an open door relationship with those who look for funding.
4. We believe in interdependence and creating a culture where we do not pit one against another.
5. We strive to build connections between restorative justice, transformative justice, indigenous peacemaking, and "justice, healing and soil."
6. We hold an intersectional lens
7. We emphasize the underlying spirit and values of the work rather than the categories we use to define our work.
8. Our vision is rooted in lived experience – as community activists, formerly incarcerated people, crime survivors, indigenous persons, and people of color— and has led us to 115 years of experience in restorative justice, transformative justice and indigenous peacebuilding.