Issues

Program Areas of SJL Community Development

Social justice is a pillar of St. Jude League Community Development programming. Education, housing, food security, migrant & refugee issues, and violence prevention are ultimately issues of social justice.

 

Addressing the needs of specific communities that lack access due to systemic barriers is at the heart of all St. Jude League Community Development programs. These programs enable communities to strive for success by helping them gain access to resources that have been historically and systemically difficult for them to obtain.

 

Education is often revered as a great equalizer for young people coming from different backgrounds, and although access to education is a marker of future success, schools serving low-income students often receive fewer resources, have a harder time attracting qualified teachers, receive less support from parents, and face more challenges in addressing students’ needs.

 

Inequality in education begins even before entering the classroom, as socioeconomically disadvantaged children often come into kindergarten with lower cognitive skills than their more privileged peers. Youth living in areas with access to high-quality education, safe and engaging out-of-school activities, and those that consistently have their physiological needs for nutrition, shelter, and safety met have higher life chances.

 

Extended learning time opportunities, community involvement, long-term sustainable support, and scholarships are strategies proven to improve student achievement across all backgrounds and socioeconomic status. St. Jude League Community Development programs utilize all of these strategies in mentoring, arts and athletics programs, schools, and more.

 

Wealth inequality is also an important piece of social justice that St. Jude League Community Development programs attempt to address. Americans living in middle-class households have decreased by 10% between 1971 and 2019. Lower income families experienced shrinking wealth by 45% between 2001 and 2016 alone.

 

Wealth inequality becomes even more drastic when race is accounted for. The average white family has 41x more wealth than the average Black family, and 22x more wealth than the average Hispanic family. Inequities in wealth are central to perpetuating intergenerational economic immobility – meaning, the less money a family has to begin with, the less likely they are to climb the ladder into a higher social class.

 

Addressing inequality is about access and St. Jude League Community Development strives to provide access to fundamental needs to assist communities with getting the resources they need to thrive.

 

Nutritional programs that provide people with enough food to sustain themselves, transportation programs that help refugees get around, and housing developments that make adequate housing affordable are only some of the ways which St. Jude League Community Development programs address inequality.

 

Your donation will support these programs that are providing access to crucial resources and addressing inequalities in communities across the country.

 

To learn more about the work that St. Jude League Community Development is doing, please visit our Programs page or lend your support and help to address these inequalities by providing accessible resources to all.

Read more about SJL Community Development’s influence through Social Justice programs on our What’s New page.