St. Jude League Community Development is a non-profit, non-religious organization of the St. Jude League dedicated to funding, grant making, and awarding to a network of community development programs in economically disadvantaged urban neighborhoods across North America.
We invest in and fund community-based programs in education, health & wellness, migrant & refugee support, uplifting media, and community development. Our goal is to end the generational cycle of poverty and violence in at-risk communities through programs that provide academic support; teach job and life skills; foster local leadership development; expand young people’s horizons; and address poverty and hunger at the neighborhood level; all of which are administered and operated by the very people who live in the communities.
Our programs address multiple issues simultaneously because they are designed and run by the people who live in the communities and are well aware of the complexity of intersectional challenges within their neighborhoods. This unique approach to building stronger communities means that St. Jude League Community Development programs have the flexibility to meet the complex and changing needs of the people they serve.
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 to basic needs 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.
For example, 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 avenues, long-term sustainable support, and scholarships are strategies proven to improve student achievement across all backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses. St. Jude League Community Development programs utilize all of these strategies in safe after-school programs and schools that offer supportive academic experiences.
Wealth inequality is also an important piece of social justice that St. Jude League Community Development programs attempt to address. With the pandemic and our current economic crisis, many families are living paycheck to paycheck. Wealth inequality becomes even more drastic when race is accounted for. 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.
The Claretians, a congregation of Catholic priests and brothers committed to social justice work, established the St. Jude League in 1929 to be a nonprofit organization of professionals committed to expanding and supporting Claretian programs. The League has a long history of effective, audited financial management of donated funds, and manages it all donations to ensure that 100% of each donation reaches the donor’s designation. The League also ensures that every donation to St. Jude League Community Development goes directly to the programs in the neighborhoods.
Together with generous supporters like you, St. Jude League Community Development creates HOPE in ACTION!