Mission: To improve the education, health, and well-being of youth and communities of color by empowering them to create social change.
About the Organization: Founded in 2008, the Social Justice Learning Institute works to educate and empower youth to identify and address injustice; build the capacity of young people to advocate for themselves; and train and develop tomorrow's leaders. With a focus on communities in South Los Angeles, the organization works to advance academic, food, environmental, and housing justice in three areas: empowering through education, creating thriving communities, and changing systems.
Current Programs: SJLI's education offerings include Urban Scholars, a college-prep program that provides guidance counseling, exposure to college-level courses, opportunities to attend academic and leadership retreats, college tours, and scholarship assistance, and Creative Arts programming that provides youth with the tools and skills needed to critically examine media portrayals of communities of color and tell their own stories. Programs in the community include Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL), a class aimed at increasing physical activity, nutritional awareness, gardening knowledge, and community engagement around nutrition and health; Food for Thought Produce Pickup, a partnership with Food Forward that offers free fruits and vegetables to families in Inglewood; and 100 Seeds of Change, which connects local residents with healthy food through school, community, and home gardens. And in the area of systems change, the organization serves as the anchor organization for Uplift Inglewood, a coalition of youth, community members, and community-based organizations directly impacted by gentrification and displacement. The institute also partners with the Liberty Hill Foundation's Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition, which works to improve outcomes for boys and young men of color by advocating for positive alternatives to school suspension and working to reduce the criminalization of communities of color.
Funding: The Social Justice Learning Institute is supported by foundations, corporations, and government agencies.