FIRST ON FOX: Georgia gubernatorial Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams co-chaired a racial justice organization that awarded tens of thousands of dollars to activists who want to defund and abolish the police.

Abrams was first announced co-chair of the Black Voices for Black Justice Fund (BVBJ) in April 2021. She said in a press release at the time that she was "excited" and "honored" to join the organization because it "puts Black leaders in the driver’s seat – with Black activists on the ground who understand how racism plays out in their community defining both the problem and the solutions."

The BVBJ has handed out $20,000 awards to dozens of Black activists across the country to "use in whatever way they believe, based on their lived experience, will do the most good advancing racial justice in their communities at this pivotal time," the organization said. In May 2021, BVBJ awarded $20,000 to Sharhonda Bossier, the CEO of Education Leaders of Color (EdLoC), who called for defunding the police during the Floyd protests.

"It means nothing that these elected officials are expressing support for ‘peaceful protests,’" Bossier tweeted on May 30, 2020. "Their support doesn’t protect you. The police DGAF. The only support that matters is when they stand up to police unions, refuse to agree to contracts that provide more protections for police than the public they’re supposed to serve & defund the police/reallocate those resources. Demand action. Demand change."


Stacey Abrams in Reynolds, Georgia

Stacey Abrams, Democratic gubernatorial candidate, speaks during a campaign event in Reynolds, Georgia, June 4, 2022. (Dustin Chambers/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

"We can live in a country where the police do not kill people - especially children," Bossier tweeted in April 2021. "We spend SO MUCH money on officer training, etc. If we cannot expect that police can respond to incidents without killing people we should... DEFUND & ABOLISH THE POLICE."

In May of this year, the BVBJ announced its fourth round of awardees, which included Kei Williams and William Jackson, among others.

Williams, a founding member of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, repeatedly posted in favor of defunding and abolishing the police and prisons during the George Floyd unrest of 2020.


On June 7, 2020, Williams posted an image on Instagram outlining eight steps needed to achieve "a world without prisons or police," starting with the first step of defunding the police.

"#8toabolition because 72% fewer police murders is not enough, nor will reformist reforms get us there," Williams wrote.

Jackson, a 2022 BVBJ awardee who founded the North Carolina-based nonprofit Village of Wisdom, which is aimed at helping Black students "navigate systemic racism," has also described himself as an abolitionist. 

"I'm for abolishing police," Jackson tweeted in November 2020.

"You can have the cops or the country fam. You can't have both. #RashardBrooks #BreonnaTaylor #wewillnotrest," he tweeted on June 13, 2020, after the fatal police shooting of Rayshard Brooks.

BVBJ describes itself as a "pooled philanthropic fund" with 18 partners, including Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Delaware Community Foundation & Rodel Foundation, Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation, Kenan Charitable Trust, Red Crane Foundation and The Moriah Fund.

Stacey Abrams in Clayton, Georgia

Stacey Abrams speaks to supporters and members of the Rabun County Democrats group on July 28, 2022, in Clayton, Georgia.  (Megan Varner/Getty Images)

According to internet archives on Wayback, Abrams was listed as co-chair on the fund’s website as recently as November 2021. Abrams is currently listed on the fund's website with her picture as "co-chair emeriti," a honorary title, which she assumed sometime between November 2021 and late March 2022, according to Wayback.

"Stacey Abrams does not and never has supported defunding the police," Abrams campaign spokesman Michael Holloman said in a statement Monday to Fox News Digital. "Stacey is a longtime supporter of investing in law enforcement, building community trust, and fostering law enforcement accountability."

"Unlike Brian Kemp, who has called base pay for law enforcement officers ‘bad policy,’ Stacey firmly believes that we must invest in law enforcement to ensure that no one is working in public safety without fair compensation," he added. "Stacey’s criminal justice plan will also work to improve accountability and build trust within our communities."

Fox News Digital followed up with the Abrams campaign after they provided the quote to inquire whether Abrams has had any communication with the current co-chairs or played a role in the selection process of the 2022 awardees, but the campaign did not respond. The campaign also did not say whether Abrams disavowed the group for giving thousands to defund the police activists.

Abrams has sought to paint herself as a pro-police candidate ahead of the November election against Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. She notably tried to rebrand the "defund" aspect of the defund the police movement as being one in favor of the "reformation and transformation" of law enforcement, instead of the outright abolishment of policing. But Abrams also currently serves as a board member of the Seattle-based Marguerite Casey Foundation, which tweeted #DefundThePolice as recently as March of this year and #AbolishThePolice as recently as February. Abrams has received at least $52,500 in income from the foundation, according to her financial disclosures. 

Stacey Abrams and Gov. Brian Kemp

Stacey Abrams and Gov. Brian Kemp (Drew Angerer/Getty Images | Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The Marguerite Casey Foundation awards millions of dollars to professors and scholars who advocate anti-capitalist and prison abolitionist views.


Carmen Rojas, the foundation’s president and CEO, is a donor to Abrams’ campaign and has repeatedly voiced support for abolishing the police and prison systems. 

Abrams’ campaign has said she disagrees with the foundation’s position on defunding the police, though Fox News Digital revealed earlier this year that she supported the group’s expanded anti-police efforts through its "Answer the Uprising" initiative in late May 2021.