Education, housing, food security, migrant & refugee issues, and violence prevention are ultimately issues of social justice and 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. Our 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.
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.
Here are some of the programs that are funded in part by St. Jude League Community Development across the United States and Canada:
- The Quinn Center of St. Eulalia is a social outreach ministry that addresses social justice concerns and outreach in the diverse community of Proviso near Chicago.. The Quinn Center collaborates with local organizations to provide the community with programs aimed to promote educational advancement, community development, social justice, and improvement of the overall well-being of the life of youth, adults, and seniors.
- The Office of Human Dignity & Solidarity of the Archdiocese of Chicago recognizes the dignity of all life and stands in solidarity with people who are marginalized through various outreach efforts. The Office coordinates opportunities for service, worship, leadership development, and social justice actions addressing domestic violence, immigration, poverty, and other community development efforts.
- The Coalition for Spiritual & Public Leadership is a not-for-profit, multi-racial, multi-ethnic grassroots led coalition that includes parishes, institutions and communities to address racial, social, economic, and environmental injustice by building power that is rooted in the vision of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Coalition provides trainings to faith leaders and their congregations with the intentions of cultivating a new generation of faith leaders who will go on to become inclusive and spiritually grounded public leaders.
- Centro de Trabajadores Unidos, or United Workers’ Center is a grass-roots community organizing group and worker’s center founded by low-income workers in the south side and southeast suburbs of Chicago. CTU strives to build worker power, especially for immigrant workers, through advancing systemic change that promotes social justice and stabilizes low-income immigrant communities and communities of color.
Learn more about the work that St. Jude League Community Development is doing by visiting our Programs page or lend your support and help to address these inequalities by providing accessible resources to all.