Every issue we tackle is community-driven

Each DART affiliated organization is completely made of and run by local community members. Every decision — including which community problems to tackle — is determined by those who live in the community and who are directly impacted by these issues. Examples of issues our organizations have taken on include:

Affordable Housing

We’ve collectively leveraged over $450 million to make sure people aren’t priced out of their communities.

School to Prison Pipeline

We’ve ensured that more than 650 schools have fair discipline policies, creating a break in the school to prison pipeline.

Criminal Justice

Thanks to DART’s Florida Criminal Justice Collaborative, 60,000 fewer children have been arrested in the state of Florida since 2014.

Public Transportation

We’ve leveraged nearly $950 million for public transportation, making sure that people can get to work, home, or wherever they need to go.


We get results

Our local work is changing systems.


Our work is changing racist systems

It is apparent, due to centuries of intentional policy decisions by those in power, that Black people and other people of color in this country are treated unjustly on a systemic level. Whether our local affiliates are holding systems accountable to fair policing, equitable public transit, or access to mental healthcare, systemic racism is at the heart of every issue campaign we tackle.

Caring for Creation

The fight for environmental justice is happening on a local level

Poor and marginalized communities are disproportionately being hurt by pollution, rising sea levels, increased flooding, higher energy costs, and more frequent and vicious hurricanes and storms related to changes in the environment. 17 DART affiliates across the country are working together to lay the groundwork on addressing issues of climate and environmental justice through our network-wide Caring for Creation initiative that was launched in January of 2021.

What are the goals of Caring for Creation?

  • To engage local organizations in campaigns to identify and address the local impact of environmental changes on our community.
  • To empower community members to overcome the impacts and address the root causes of climate change.
  • To raise the profile of how these environmental changes hurt poor and marginalized communities the most.

What local communities are involved?

  • Charleston, SC
  • Charlottesville, VA
  • Columbia, SC
  • Columbus, OH
  • Evansville, IN
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Fort Myers, FL
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Miami, FL
  • Palm Beach County, FL
  • Pinellas County, FL
  • Polk County, FL
  • Richmond, VA
  • Sarasota, FL
  • Tampa, FL
  • Volusia County, FL

What are the latest updates from the campaign?

In Fall 2021 and 2022, thousands of people shared stories about their personal experiences by answering the question: “How has your health, your family or community been impacted by floods, heat, pollution, mold, hunger, utility bills or effects of storms or hurricanes?”

Since those listening sessions, our organizations have won major victories for their communities to address the climate crisis and increase resiliency. These victories include:

  • $25 million that PACT in Miami, FL got the County to put towards planting trees in low income neighborhoods to lower heat and flooding
  • The Flood Vulnerability Study that ICARE got Jacksonville, FL to complete in order to qualify for millions of state infrastructure dollars
  • $300,000 that RISC in Richmond, VA leveraged in the City of Richmond budget for the repair and replacement of mobile homes due to issues with extreme heat and cold

The Caring for Creation coalition continues to build power and take action to implement local solutions for their communities’ environmental crises.

How do I get involved?

Contact Megan O’Brien, Caring for Creation Coordinator at megan@thedartcenter.org

Criminal Justice Collaborative

We are changing the criminal justice system

The criminal justice system in the United States disproportionately targets people of color as well as poor people, ruining lives and separating families. While many of our local affiliates work for criminal justice reform on a local level, our network of organizations across Florida has worked together since 2014 to reduce excessive arrests across the state.

Florida’s incarceration rate is 23% higher than the national average — and if Florida were its own country, they would be arresting more people than any other country in the world. Even worse, FBI data from 2013 showed that Florida was arresting more children than any other state.

What are the goals of DART's Criminal Justice Collaborative?

In 2014, DART organizations based in Florida started working together to cut the number of kids being arrested and charged with crimes for silly childhood mistakes. The way we sought to do this was by expanding access the state’s civil citation program. This programs allows children who commit first time, misdemeanor offenses to face consequences for their misbehavior without being branded for life with a criminal record. Our goal is to ensure that all children in Florida get access to this successful program.

What impact has the Collaborative had?

Together our organizations have helped tens of thousands of children avoid being branded for life with criminal records.
  • Since 2014, 60,000 fewer children were arrested in the state of Florida because of our work.
  • In 2014 only 38% of children in Florida received access to civil citations in place of an arrest record. Now, close to 60% receive access.
  • In locations where DART organizations are most active — like Pinellas, Miami-Dade, Polk, and Duval counties — more than 90% of children get access to civil citations.

What is the Collaborative currently working on?

We continue pushing to ensure that all children in Florida receive access to civil citations.
In 2020, we decided to expand our campaign to also address unnecessary arrests of adults — and particularly the criminalization of poverty that occurs when people end up arrested because they could not pay a fine or fee.
This year DART organizations throughout Florida are challenging local officials to create civil citations programs for adults so that we can also keep adults from being branded for life with criminal records for non-serious, misdemeanor offenses.

What local Florida communities are involved?

  • Broward County
  • Brevard County
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Fort Myers
  • Jacksonville
  • Miami
  • Palm Beach County
  • Pensacola
  • Pinellas County
  • Polk County
  • Sarasota
  • Tallahassee
  • Tampa
  • Volusia County

Does DART only work on criminal justice issues in Florida?

While Florida is the only state where DART has a coordinated state-wide effort to create criminal justice reform, many other local affiliates across the country are working for local and criminal justice reform and police accountability. You can read the latest on their efforts below.

Join the fight

Fighting for justice could be your career