Ohio State Bar Foundation Awards More Than $445,000 to Ohio Nonprofits This Spring

June 10, 2021


COLUMBUS, OH (June 1, 2021) – The Ohio State Bar Foundation (OSBF) has awarded $447,247 to Ohio nonprofit organizations through its spring grants cycle. Each funded project supports the OSBF’s mission to promote the pursuit of justice and public understanding of the rule of law.

“The Ohio State Bar Foundation is proud to partner with Ohio nonprofits working to educate our citizens about the law and make improvements to our justice system,” said OSBF President Velda Hofacker. “Through our spring and fall grant cycles, our strategic grant promoting adult civics education, and our Racial Justice Initiative, we hope to grant over a million dollars this year to worthy nonprofits for projects aligned with our mission. We are so grateful to our Fellows and other donors who make our grants possible.”

The spring grant recipients are as follows:

  • $9,500 to Disability Rights Ohio to establish Virtual Parent Town Hall events to address challenges families face within the education system, including access to appropriate services, education with peers who do not have a disability, access to behavioral supports and compensatory services to address the effects of the pandemic on educational outcomes. Additionally, blog posts and self-advocacy materials will be developed to reinforce and supplement the information provided to parents through the town hall meetings, resulting in multiple ways of ensuring that families gain a better understanding of the law and its protections.
  • $14,700 to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, who serve impoverished Latino immigrant families in the Greater Columbus community by improving understanding of Ohio laws and by uncovering paths to citizenship for those who are not already citizens. Grant funding provided will help Dominican Sisters of Peace expand current programming by offering citizenship education, preparation, videos and online resources, DACA application support, and translation of legal documents.
  • $15,000 to LegalWorks to expand legal outreach and education services through walk-in office hours at several branches of the Cleveland Public Library. Partnerships with several urban media providers will also be utilized to broadcast informational advertisements on audience-targeted radio and TV stations to publicize these services to disadvantaged communities and those in need.
  • $76,489 to the National Center for State Courts to pilot its Access & Fairness in the Virtual Delivery of Court Services in response to the use of greater technology in court proceedings because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual delivery of court services must ensure principles of due process, procedural fairness, transparency, and equal access, and research is necessary to ensure this is happening. NCSC will partner with the Supreme Court of Ohio and trial court practitioners in four jurisdictions, participating as pilot sites. Collecting data and analyzing that data will help the courts to adjust and ensure fair access to justice of remote court proceedings given the impact of a diverse population in terms of age, socioeconomic status, gender, race, and ethnicity.
  • $116,000 to the Ohio Center for Law Related Education to provide students with access to high-quality civics content and opportunities to practice responsible citizenship through OCLRE programming and the study of the US Constitution, our judicial system, and the community impact of social issues. Educators also learn valuable teaching strategies and create lesson plans and student activities, and share substantive knowledge through OCLRE professional development opportunities. Grant funding will support further development and expansion of student programs, teacher professional development and outreach efforts.
  • $34,300 to Ohio Domestic Violence Network to survey 500 survivors of domestic violence to develop a statewide report on the experiences of marginalized survivors including people of color, LGBTQ, and immigrant survivors. The purpose of collecting data through this survey is to gain a deeper understanding of racism as it manifests in legal systems which survivors of domestic violence may utilize to find safety and to protect their children. ODVN will also conduct 10 brief legal advice clinics for the general population of domestic violence survivors, which will enable survivors to meet individually with clinic attorneys to discuss legal issues.
  • $100,000 to Ohio Legal Help to develop new legal content for its website, including topics on disability, civil rights, employment discrimination, equal credit opportunity, fair housing, immigration, and youth and foster law. In light of increasing legal issues due to COVID-19 and the growing interest in civil rights, Ohio Legal Help offers vetted legal information and a trusted portal to connect Ohioans with lawyer referral services, legal aid, and social services.  Additionally, Ohio Legal Help will implement a Spanish language version of the site, which will also include development of tools to allow for translation of the site into additional languages in the future.  
  • $49,258 to The Ohio State University for its Aligning Algorithmic Risk Assessments with Criminal Justice Values project to study Ohio courts’ use of algorithmic risk assessments (ARA). ARAs are data analytics tools that predict the risk that an individual will engage in future misconduct. Increasingly, Ohio courts employ ARAs to inform bail and sentencing decisions. ARAs can reduce human error and increase consistency in judicial criminal justice decision-making. Through research, discussion with stakeholders, and thoughtful consideration, OSU hopes to develop a plan for how Ohio can best implement ARAs consistent with its values.
  • $20,000 to Pro Seniors’ Safe Ohio Seniors project to address the epidemic of financial abuse and exploitation of older Ohioans. Their approach is to immediately stop the financial loss and put protections in place to prevent any further exploitation by using legal advice and representation, online and in-person public and professional education, and innovative collaboration. Outreach and education efforts are anticipated to reach 400 people, including seniors, family members, the general public, advocates, and professionals.
  • $12,000 to Women Helping Women to create a new DVERT Advocacy resource for survivors of domestic violence/intimate partner violence who are met on-scene by the Domestic Violence Enhancement Response Team. DVERT serves the dual purpose of disrupting violence and supporting the survivor by providing a trained advocate to accompany them through the entire legal process, including assistance with resources or referrals. Advocates will receive 40-hours of expert training through WHW at onboarding, including specific focuses on populations who have been marginalized, face-to-face advocacy, and how to train others in supporting survivors. 

If you’d like to learn more about any of the grantees, be connected with one of the organizations directly, or know more about the OSBF’s grantmaking process, contact OSBF’s Grants Manager Tiffany Patterson at [email protected] or 614-487-4483.

About the Ohio State Bar Foundation
The Ohio State Bar Foundation is a 501(c)(3) grantmaking organization and is the largest bar foundation in the U.S. The OSBF works to advance the law and build a better justice system by awarding hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants annually to nonprofit organizations across Ohio. For more information about the Foundation, or to donate to the organization, please visit OSBF.org.

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