Open Society

Foundations Announce 2018 Soros Justice Fellows

By Mount Tamalpais College | July 26, 2018

We are thrilled to announce that Prison University Project alumni, Troy Williams and Tung Nguyen, were selected as 2018 Soros Justice Fellows, emerging leaders who are pushing for meaningful criminal justice reform in the U.S. Open Society Foundation’s press release is excerpted below:

The Open Society Foundations today announced an award of $1.4 million to its 2018 class of Soros Justice Fellows, an exciting group of community organizers, journalists, lawyers, policy advocates, and artists who seek to advance reform and spur debate on a range of issues facing the U.S. criminal justice system.

“Open society values face countless threats in this country, and those threats seem to be coming at a truly head-spinning pace,” said Lenny Noisette, who oversees the Soros Justice Fellowships for the Open Society Foundations’ U.S. Programs. “We’re fortunate to be able to support a group of people who will work to ensure that criminal justice reform remains front and center in debates about fairness and justice in this country—debates that have more urgency now than ever.”

Working in 10 states across the country, the 16 fellows in this year’s cohort include: a lawyer who will fight to make the effects of America’s harsh “three strikes” drug laws more transparent; two formerly incarcerated advocates who will provide legal support to their incarcerated peers; a transgender rights activist who will work to help transgender and gender nonconforming people tell their own stories of how the criminal justice system impacts their communities; and a former probation and parole officer who will now advocate for more humane probation and parole policies.


Tung Nguyen will establish a model Vietnamese deportation support system in Orange County, California, that can be implemented nationwide.

Troy Williams will create a nationwide multimedia platform and community engagement program that helps formerly incarcerated people document their experiences and engage the public.

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Please note that the Prison University Project became Mount Tamalpais College in September 2020.