Category: Economic Justice

September 4, 2020 Sharisse Tracey

Families are hungry now, extending SNAP is critical to face food insecurity

While Congress staggers and debates what and when the next stimulus package will be for Americans, people are hungry. With unemployment rates hovering at 8.4% in August 2020 and the […]

the Other Pandemic

Maya Boddie

“If our mental health professionals are now at the main source of the seams, then they should also be getting the funding and resources that can help train them in a way that can best humanize Black and Brown people in the streets,” said Wise. “We’ve always said it’s possible to fund other things.” 

The Other Pandemic

Maya Boddie

I will expose the ways your city is currently spending money, who’s getting more, and who’s getting the short end of the stick. Who gets a fair share of the pie? Does anyone? I’ll also highlight cities that have already implemented divestment strategies within their local police departments, and provide an inside scoop on what this looks like, what it can look like on a broader scale, and how communities are thriving as a result. 

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Ayanna Albertson

Digital Organizing In The Time of COVID In the age of social-distancing, many of our everyday leaders have shifted how they operate. From educators offering instruction from a virtual classroom […]

Pandemic Overtime=Peak America

Maya Boddie

APRIL 10, 11 PM—Just as I was dozing off, my phone rings. It was 14 days into the quarantine and I’d been working remotely. The phone number was a Miami […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Bobbi Dempsey

Our Future West Virginia: New Name, Same Passion for Supporting WV Residents West Virginia residents might not yet recognize the name of an organization dedicated to improving the lives of […]

Why We Should Celebrate National Poetry Month During a Pandemic

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

April is traditionally filled with patronizing one of the oldest forms of literary art — poetry. During National Poetry Month, audiences typically attend readings and discussions and use this time […]

Black Americans story with COVID-19 is no different

Community Change Action

By Ponsella Hardaway, Executive Director for MOSES Action, and Dr. Seft Hunter, Director of Black Led Organizing for Community Change Action Black Americans have historically been disproportionately impacted by chronic […]

As votes continue to get counted, Alameda County voters show strong support to fund resources for children

Bobbi Dempsey

Residents of Alameda County have made a clear statement about the need to support both working parents and early childhood educators by allocating more resources to provide quality affordable child […]

Child Poverty Has Been Ignored at the Debates for Two Decades

Bobbi Dempsey

This critical topic has only been addressed a single time in the past 20 years. Like many other Americans, I have been closely watching the Democratic presidential debates. I’m interested […]

A budget that hurts already hurting Americans

Sharisse Tracey

President Trump recently proposed a $4.8 trillion dollar budget for the 2021 fiscal year.  The proposal is called “Budget for a Better America.” But this budget disguised as a way […]

What to expect when you’re expecting… the worst

Danielle Atkinson

Being asked to be the guest to Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address (SOTU) by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, a representative from my home state of Michigan, is like being […]

Voices of Everday Leaders

Willie Francois

An Accounting Problem: Reimagining Racial Healing in the US Fifty-two years after Martin Luther King’s grueling assassination offered the U.S. its opportunity to pursue a route of cheap justice—a facade […]

We need policies that harness the vital roles of community colleges

Michael Jackson

Our world has an increasing reliance on new, ever-changing technology that requires workers to have near-constant flexibility to upgrade, retrain, and retool their skills. It’s estimated that millions of ‘middle-skill […]

In latest battle in ‘war on the poor’ Las Vegas council takes aim at homeless

Nissa Tzun

On November 6, 2019, the Las Vegas City Council held a meeting to discuss and vote on Ordinance 2019-36, sponsored by Mayor Carolyn Goodman. This ordinance targets anyone camping or […]

Our values must shift if we are to truly provide quality care for every child in our nation

Tanisha Payton

Long before I ever began working in the child care advocacy field, I watched family and friends scramble to find affordable care for their children. From being a middle-schooler operating […]

Voices Of Everyday Leaders

Debbie Weingarten

Meet Colorado Cross Disability Coalition Advocates Dawn and Shannon When Dawn Howard was two years old, her parents were told that she would not likely have “any intelligible speech.” But […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Ayanna Albertson

Look What Florida is Doing to Procure Job Security for Women and People of Color In older generations, it was common to keep the same job for 10, 20 or […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Melissa Chadburn

Power Concedes Nothing Without Demand This evening democratic candidates will gather at Otterbein University in Westerville, a suburb of Columbus, for the presidential primary debates. While they will be discussing […]

Kids See What We Value: We Must Invest In Communities to Uplift Children of Color

Michael Jackson

Anyone who’s ever had a hobby, a child, or been in a relationship knows, we value those things we devote time, energy, and money towards. Those things we don’t, we […]

“What’s not to love about Charleston? Or Santa Fe?”

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

What was I watching? A bright, chipper afternoon edition of The Today Show on NBC. For this segment, the TV hosts invited an editor from Travel and Leisure magazine to […]

We’re Making Significant Steps Toward a New Federal Minimum Wage

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

In my years participating in progressive movements, fighting “the good fight” alongside other visionary activists and progressives with very different personalities, different strategies, and different campaigning styles, I have noticed […]

Voices Of Everyday Leaders

Maya Boddie

Grassroots Partners Come Together to Celebrate Big Wins There have been major wins amongst the partners over the past year, such as SPACEs in Action’s $15.8 million win for Birth […]

How The Gig Economy is Changing Work As We Know It

Catherine Bugayong

As the gig economy continues to grow, how has it changed the way we think of work, the economy, and laborers? In this episode of “A Living Wage,” Catherine Bugayong […]

Out on the Town: Paying Our Restaurant Workers (A Living Wage: Episode 3)

Catherine Bugayong

Going out is such a special treat, and it’s a whole team of people that make this experience so enjoyable. In this episode of “A Living Wage,” I hit the […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Ayanna Albertson

#safetyis reproductive freedom! When my friend told me she was having an abortion It wasn’t for me to give approval To grant permission To give my blessing or the opposite […]

Growing Up Poor in America Was My Political Education

Michael Jackson

I remember, as a ten-year-old, tearfully watching former New York Governor Mario Cuomo and presidential candidate Jesse Jackson give impassioned speeches at the 1984 Democratic National Convention on my family’s […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Melissa Chadburn

De Colores: Bright Colors of Love  This is where I begin. I come from poverty and group homes throughout Los Angeles. There are stories along the 405 N that I will […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Willie Francois

Why Does America Celebrate Mother’s Day Given Its Treatment of Poor Mothers? Another Mother’s Day has come and gone! School-age children with sharp grins delivered to their mothers their hand-made […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Willie Francois

The lives of children should not be stymied by social indifference and condemned to the carnivorous margins of society because their parents simply cannot afford quality childcare. For too many […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Melissa Chadburn

Today, the James Beard Foundation announced its 2019 slate of finalists. This “short list” of nominees honors the year’s outstanding restaurants, chefs, and food-centric journalism, books, and broadcast media. Community […]

Bold ideas rooted in the lives, experiences of real people

Center for Community Change

Now you can check out some of the discussions from the event and hear for yourself how power and agency are at the root of economic justice for our communities.

The Power of the Green New Deal

Mikka Macdonald

When Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez first released her plan to combat climate change and build the economy, I was sitting at the edge of my bed, exhausted. I had been waiting […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Willie Francois

New Attacks on Healthcare from the Right are Wrong No one should have to choose between paying medical costs and exhibiting grandparental love when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has […]

Proposed Work Requirements Rule for SNAP Could Harm Those Already Facing Hunger

Bobbi Dempsey

Implementing strict work requirements for safety net programs—particularly the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—has been a recurring goal for many GOP leaders and the Trump administration. Concerned observers breathed a […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Wandra Green

What Kansas City Is Doing About The Readiness Gap “Approximately 65 percent of our children are not receiving the proper education that would close the readiness gap and eliminate any […]

Here’s why America is talking about Universal Child Care

Marisol Bello

This week, Senator Elizabeth Warren unveiled her plan for Universal Child Care, signaling its place atop the national political agenda. In it, she details the difficulties of finding affordable and […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Jody Ellis

Where to go When There’s Nowhere to Go: How Covenant House is Fighting to Solve the Youth Homeless Crisis, One Kid at a time Dash was a first year college […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Bonnie Page

My Story I grew up in the southeast area of Washington, DC and I attended Eastern Senior High School. The year was 1971, I was 15 years old and in […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Jody Ellis

My longtime boyfriend, always the carnivore, asked me the other day why I hardly ever make meatloaf. I shrugged and said “You know I don’t really eat meat.” “But your […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Willie Francois

And the Young Shall Save Us So many economic protections are at stake with this new Congress. The most consequential midterm elections of our lifetime awaited our robust participation last […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Tomicka Robinson

Roquesha Oneal is an everyday leader, a woman of fortitude and generosity. She resides in Detroit with her 15-year-old child with a disability and enjoys visits with her two adult […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Willie Francois

Cutting “Food Stamps” is Child Abuse Every Sunday Jose “Frankie” Benjamin-Nay, an 18-year old Puerto Rican-American, darkens the doors of Mount Zion Baptist Church to provide technical support for the […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Wandra Green

SNAP Benefits Guarantees Family’s Food Thirty-seven-year-old LeAnn is married with five children and five stepchildren (who live with their grandmother). She has a Master’s degree in business administration but can […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Bobbi Dempsey

PA Group Strives to Bust Myths About SNAP—and People Who Use It Lisa Raditz cringes when she overhears some of the comments people make about SNAP recipients based on common […]

Supporting Food Entrepreneurs for Equity and Stronger Communities

Christen Hill

We can strengthen our communities by creating food systems that create new jobs and businesses through the people living here. DREAM (Dreaming Out Loud’s Ready for Entrepreneurship Accelerator Modules) is […]

Column: Voices of Everyday Leaders

Wandra Green

I, like so many Americans of my era, believed… After 12 and a half years in an often stress-filled role as an associate director in public relations at a local […]

Column: Voices of Everyday Leaders

Tomicka Robinson

Why we vote I’ve been asked a lot lately “why I knock on doors” to encourage people to vote. Mainly because of my background in social justice work. I’ve used […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Melissa Chadburn

The work of community organizers is daunting. Late nights. Endless knocking on doors. Rallies and protests to protect our healthcare, ensure we all have enough food to eat and keep […]

Women Arrested for Kavanaugh-Related Protest at Manchin’s Office

Bobbi Dempsey

  Despite being led into the street in the middle of the night in handcuffs, a West Virginia woman says speaking up on behalf of sexual assault survivors like herself […]

This housing experiment brought struggling seniors and young families together. Did it work?

Bonnie Page

Genesis, means the beginning and the first. The community of Genesis was the brainchild of the nonprofit organization, MiCasa. It was planned as a purpose driven, intergenerational, affordable housing program, […]

Young voters in Florida state why they are voting this November

Elizabeth Fernandez

I’m speaking to voters at a candidate forum for young voters in Miami on why the November 2018 elections matter to them. Check them out. Be inspired. Let’s unite the […]

What Apple’s $1 trillion value means for working people

Elizabeth Poulos

Last Thursday, it was reported that the wealth of tech-giant Apple had surpassed every other publically traded American firm, setting the record at $1 trillion in value. Many applauded the […]

Returning to Life Outside Prison—Without Food on the Table

Willie Francois

This piece was co-published with Civil Eats Calvin* anticipates walking out of a New Jersey prison next month, hopefully for the last time, eager to live out his responsibilities as […]

In Alaska, Changes To Snap Could Spell Disaster

Jody Ellis

This piece was Co-published with Civil Eats Sarah was born in the Alaskan village of Utqiagvik (formerly known as Barrow) and she spent a good portion of her youth there. […]

Justice for marginalized communities not a factor in filling SCOTUS seat; it’s up to us to vote, voice our concerns now

Alaina Beverly

Whether you care about voting rights, affirmative action, LGBTQ rights, immigrant rights and especially a woman’s right to control her own body, filling retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s […]

Bobby and the Center for Community Change

Jeff Parcher

I still recall the moment that I truly entered the world. It was not the instant when the bullets were fired. It was a few minutes later when I was […]

Unarmed & Black: Keith Childress, Jr. remembered, and the growing list of loved ones left behind after police violence

Nissa Tzun

Family, friends and supporters of police violence victim Keith Childress, Jr. demand justice for his murder. His mother, Jacqueline Lawrence, lives in Phoenix, Arizona, which makes advocating for her son difficult, but she has started to meet other families impacted by police violence.

SNAP works and so should Congress

Marcia Dinkins

WASHINGTON D.C.—  The Center for Community Change hosted a partners and leaders convening to discuss strategies and to develop collective actions opposing the harmful cuts proposed in the Farm Bill, […]

With payday loan , Trump again shows he’s not out to help the working class. He’s out to get them.

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

During his campaign, and again and again since becoming president, the Tweeter-in-Chief has brashly portrayed himself as “a populist,” a protector of the working class. His style, his rhetoric, and […]

No more #EmptyPlatesEmptyPromises

Marisol Bello

More than 60 mom, dads, seniors and people with disabilities delivered empty plates to the Washington, D.C. office of Texas House Rep. Mike Conaway, author of the Farm Bill, to […]

We need people of color to vote: Here’s how.

Thomas Kennedy

Voting is the most basic and important right an individual has in a democracy. As voters, we elect people to represent our communities and if a majority of voters do […]

Ideas of MLK, RFK still needed today

Dorian Warren

This piece originally published in the Memphis Commercial Appeal. When President Lyndon B. Johnson launched the War on Poverty in 1964, his audacious goal was to end poverty in the […]

7 Lessons I learned from the Rust Belt and Appalachia

Stephen Smith

I  am a community organizer in West Virginia. At the end of 2017,  I traveled for a week with friends and colleagues through Appalachia and the Rust Belt, seeking lessons […]

Trump’s budget will take food away from the struggling families, children and the elderly who need it most

Holly Straut-Eppsteiner

Since the release of the 2019 Trump budget, a great deal of attention has focused on its proposal to eliminate half of families’ food assistance benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition […]

Florida gets a second chance to make amends for its racist past

Thomas Kennedy

Back in late 2016, a grassroots coalition of volunteers accomplished a remarkable feat. More than 68,314 petition signatures were collected in Florida, triggering a Supreme Court review on a ballot […]

The GOP #TaxScamBill Is Another Way To Make The Rich Richer On The Backs Of The Poor

Thomas Kennedy

Back in September, Senator John McCain announced in a statement that he could not “in good conscience” vote for the GOP’s healthcare bill, effectively ending Republican efforts to repeal and […]

Thistle and Bee offers dignity, livable wage to women leaving local sex economy

Melonee Gaines

Vulnerable women get a second chance to build a life on their terms creating healthy, healing products

How One Late Paycheck Messed Up My Life

Sharisse Tracey

I know at a deep level that my family lived paycheck to paycheck. A check comes in. We pay our bills. We have no savings to speak of. But it […]

Save SNAP

Christen Hill

In two underserved DC communities, there are only three groceries stores to serve 148,000 people.

Investor deposits lessons in financial literacy, freedom for a new generation

Wendi C. Thomas

Despite persistent barriers to black wealth building, Memphis-based fund manager Floyd Tyler says it can be done—and it is

For Code Crew founders, paying a living wage is the right thing to do

Melonee Gaines

The nonprofit trains youth of color to be the next generation of techies and practices the economic justice MLK preached

“SMILF,” Showtime’s New Series, Doesn’t Sugarcoat Single Motherhood

Stephanie Land

Stephanie Land reviews SMILF from the perspective of a single mom who’s been there

A Hurricane Is Never An Excuse To Mock The Poor

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

I remember. I remember because I will always love New Orleans. All the residents of the Gulf Coast, or anyone who loved New Orleans – and who was old enough to remember August 29th, 2005 – has mourned the day ever since.

How Tennessee laws keep ex-offenders from getting good jobs

Wendi C. Thomas

Employees with criminal records don’t make workplaces less safe, yet licensing restrictions bar them from dozens of careers

CHOICES chooses a $15/hour living wage

Wendi C. Thomas

Raising base pay of all employees is ‘just a matter of priorities’ at Memphis reproductive health care organization

EDGE Board signs off on Overton Square Hotel incentives

Wendi C. Thomas

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County EDGE board signed off on tax incentives for a boutique hotel in Overton Square. The Economic Development Growth Engine signed off on $6.1 million […]

Americans Pay The Price When Our Political Institutions Erode

Thomas Kennedy

This article first appeared on the Huffington Post. It is said that compromise is the cornerstone of democracy. If that is indeed the case, American democracy is seriously faltering. The […]

Poverty Is Rampant In The U.S., But We Pretend It’s Not

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

When my older brother and I were in elementary school, the teacher assigned the class to bring a bug into class that was familiar in our neighborhood. My brother, who […]

Why Trump’s Supporters Haven’t Abandoned Him

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

Just 100 days into his presidency, Americans no longer expect President Donald Trump to keep the promises that got him elected. He walked back his promises on China, delivered nothing […]

Trump’s Tax Plan Is A Reverse Robin Hood Ploy

Marcella Vitulli

Here’s how Trump’s plan pads the pockets of the rich at the expense of everyday families and seniors.

May Day, May Day! Immigrant workers and low-wage workers unite

Micaela Watts

Struggle to survive on poverty wages builds solidarity among workers

Immigrant Rights Are Workers Rights

Thomas Kennedy

Bad policies that harm working Americans continue to chip away at our aspirations to strive.

Military Families Serve Our Country. Now It’s Time For Our Country To Serve Military Families.

Sharisse Tracey

As a military spouse, I see firsthand how civilians might think our families are a protected class because our job description is basically to protect America. But we face the […]

Frances Bean Cobain and the Graffiti of Privilege

Alison Stine

A friend saw it, driving in Los Angeles. A billboard for tony fashion line Marc Jacobs, featuring Frances Bean Cobain as the model, had been defaced with graffiti. And then […]

Trickle Down Devastation: A Single Mom Responds to Trump’s Tax Plan

Alison Stine

ATHENS, Ohio – You’re not a single mother. You have a spouse or a partner. You don’t have kids, or if you do, you’re raising them in a two-parent, two-income […]

The case for justice through journalism

Wendi C. Thomas

Reporting has a role to play in economic justice. We’re here to play that role. Economic justice. That’s what brought Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Memphis in April 1968. […]

Affordable Health Care Repeal: Or How To Steal From The Poor And Give To The Rich

Thomas Kennedy

I know what lack of health care can do to a family in need. About two years ago, my undocumented father was suffering from a form of degenerative arthritis which […]

I Went from Being Homeless to a Full-Time Writer. Trump Wants to End the Programs That Got Me Here.

Stephanie Land

Six years ago, I lived with my then 3-year-old daughter, Mia, in a studio apartment. During the day I worked full-time as a maid, cleaning the houses of wealthy people. […]

Potential Deferred

Fred McKissack Jr.

Like the rest of the country, Gary, Indiana, is wrestling with what was, what is, and what may come

Trump Voters and I Have One Thing in Common: We’re Scared of Losing Medicaid

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

I recently read about a county in Kentucky that is typical of the kinds of depressed white communities that have dominated the news since Trump’s election. Owsley County is 83 […]

Welcome to A Prairie Homeboy Companion

Fred McKissack Jr.

Welcome to A Prairie Homeboy Companion, a weekly blog exploring progressive activism in the Midwest, as well as an occasional platform for my own thoughts on pop culture, politics, and […]

Report: Increasing Minimum Wage Saves Lives

Fred McKissack Jr.

Tuesday’s “Day of Disruption” walkout by thousands of low-income workers underscores that the Fight for $15 movement is undeterred by the change of administration. Earlier this month, voters approved minimum-wage […]

‘Saturday Night Live’ Skit Has People Talking About Who and What Really is Dividing Us

Wendi C. Thomas

Originally published by The Undefeated. Did a Saturday Night Live sketch last week hint at a future hard to envision in today’s bitter political climate — a future in which […]

What Living in a High-Poverty Neighborhood Taught Me About Protests

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

Photo credits to Dorret.  Originally published in TalkPoverty.  About 13 years ago, I lived in Charleston, South Carolina, where I was trying to make ends meet as a freelance writer.  […]

Home Alone: A Single Mother Tries to Navigate Missoula’s Child Care Crisis

Stephanie Land

Photo Credits to Brian Hart. Originally published by the Missoula Independent. My life as a single mother has often meant looking up, helpless, waving goodbye like Wile E. Coyote, after […]

Let’s Guarantee Every High School Student a Summer Job

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

Photo credits to Flazingo Photos.  Originally posted on the Huffington Post.  In New York City, where the summer job program for high school students is run on a neighborhood lotto […]

And #StillIRise: #PeoplesConvention takes over Pittsburgh

Wendi C. Thomas

Wendi C. Thomas is a writing fellow for the Center for Community Change. [View the story “And #StillIRise: #PeoplesConvention takes over Pittsburgh” on Storify]

Why Good Jobs Are Needed in the Food Stamp Debate

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

Originally published on Equal Voice.  It’s already begun happening. In 2016, 500,000 to 1 million recipients will be officially cut from the “food stamp” rolls. Some reports say it could […]

‘Unlocking Opportunities’ Policy Brief

Joseph Pate

By: Dorian T. Warren, Chirag Mehta, Steve Savner Imagine a 21st-century jobs program that puts families first, makes extensive investments in America’s most impoverished places and creates millions of good […]

What Happens When You Can’t Afford Self-care

Stephanie Land

Originally published on Talk Poverty. For the last year, I have been keenly aware of my dire need for two things: therapy and exercise. But for those who struggle to […]

The Answer is Muhammad Ali: Who else?

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

Originally published in the Huffington Post. For most of my life, I haven’t idolized sports heroes. I may be the exception to the great American male rule-of-thumb. There have been […]

With $55,000 Debt, You Learn to Appreciate the Little Things

Stephanie Land

Originally posted on The Guardian as a kick-off to their series on debt. I expected college to feel like a major accomplishment. I walked across the stage, eight months pregnant with […]

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