February 11, 2021

Justice Accelerator Fund Names Aly Tamboura As First Strategic Advisor

Tamboura has dedicated his career to advancing criminal justice reforms and advocating for people directly impacted by mass incarceration

February 11, 2021 — Today, the Justice Accelerator Fund announced that Aly Tamboura will join the organization as its first Strategic Advisor. A tireless advocate for communities impacted by the criminal legal system and the incarceration experience, Tamboura spent the last several years as a Criminal Justice Reform Program Manager at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. There he helped build coalitions and fund efforts to advance reforms across the country. At the Justice Accelerator Fund, Tamboura will work alongside Founder and Executive Director Ana Zamora to operationalize the Fund and launch its first grantmaking strategy later this year.

“Aly has handled a weighty responsibility with tremendous compassion for others, self-awareness, and generosity of spirit.” Vivian D. Nixon, Executive Director of the College & Community Fellowship

Having spent over a decade of his life incarcerated, Tamboura brings his firsthand experience with the criminal justice system, as well as deep expertise with the hardships facing incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals and their families. Much of Tamboura’s career after his incarceration has been dedicated to partnering with a rapidly growing national coalition of impacted leaders—like the Formerly Incarcerated Convicted People and Families Movement—to accelerate change. Some key efforts by this coalition include Louisiana’s Amendment 2, which overturned a Jim Crow-era law allowing non-unanimous juries in felony cases; and the reinstatement of federal Pell grants which provide financial aid to incarcerated students.

“Breaking down the deep-seated cultural and legal barriers that can keep so many people with criminal convictions and their families from reaching their full potential is something that’s close to my heart—and an area that’s ripe for deep investment and support,” said Aly Tamboura, Strategic Advisor at the Justice Accelerator Fund. “I’m thrilled to join this new venture and continue working alongside directly impacted leaders, like myself, and organizations that are at the forefront of the reform movement—who’ve been doing this work for a long time.”

The Justice Accelerator Fund is a grantmaking organization that launched in early 2021 with a historic $350 million dollar grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, with hopes to bring on new philanthropic partners over time. It is led by Ana Zamora and will be dedicated to shrinking the overall footprint of America’s criminal legal system, which disproportionately harms those living in poverty and communities of color.

“The Justice Accelerator Fund is founded on an important principle: those closest to the problems have the best solutions. Asking my colleague Aly to join me in forming this new organization and stewarding our grantmaking efforts was a natural decision,” said Ana Zamora, the founder and Executive Director of the Justice Accelerator Fund. “I’ve worked closely with and learned from Aly over the past several years, and his passion for transforming the criminal legal system and supporting the people, families and communities impacted by it is unparalleled.”

In his new role, Aly will continue to support advocacy organizations, especially those led by directly impacted leaders working to challenge the harsh laws that have fueled America’s inequitable justice system.

“Since joining philanthropy and the movement to end racial injustice and mass incarceration, Aly has embodied the principle of servant-leadership,” said Daryl V. Atkinson, Co-Director of Forward Justice. “Throughout his career, Aly has made it his top priority to support and uplift people and communities that have been harmed by systemic injustice. I am confident and excited that Aly and Ana will continue to be servant-leaders at the Justice Accelerator Fund—because it’s in their DNA.”

To learn more about the Justice Accelerator Fund, please visit www.justiceaccelerator.org.

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Thoughts from the Field

Desmond Meade, Executive Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition: “We’ve often said those that are closest to the pain are often those that are closest to the solution. As Aly transitions into this new role, it is heartening to see a system-impacted person involved, especially someone like Aly, who has displayed great leadership, understanding, and compassion over the years. We have a voice to be proud of in the Justice Accelerator Fund.”

Vivian D. Nixon, Executive Director of the College & Community Fellowship: “Aly has handled a weighty responsibility with tremendous compassion for others, self-awareness, and generosity of spirit. He always does his best to speak up for people directly affected by systems of injustice—and those who are working to dismantle those systems. Undoubtedly, he will be a valuable asset to the Justice Accelerator Fund. It has been a joy to get to know Aly. I hope to continue the work and the camaraderie for years to come. I wish him nothing but the best.”