Category: Social Justice

January 16, 2019 Ayanna Albertson

Voices of Everyday Leaders

As spring graduation draws near, college seniors are faced with several time-sensitive responsibilities. From securing their grades, to paying graduation fees and all remaining tuition balances, to the grueling process […]

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 […]

A 23rd Birthday Commemorated Without Celebration, as Nevada Ranks Sixth in Police Killings Nationally

Nissa Tzun

Las Vegas, Nev. – Monday, September 25th, 2018, would have been the 23rd birthday of Junior David Lopez. He was a young man with wedding plans set for mid-May and […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Maya Boddie

Last week, Community Change partners from across the country united in Washington, D.C. on the campus of Gallaudet University, to share, learn, and discuss what organizing will look like as […]

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

Ayanna Albertson

Beyond the Ballots – Keeping the Momentum The U.S. midterms was a big deal for many communities and candidates alike. Whether people agreed with the overall decisions made within their […]

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 […]

We All Matter

Ayanna Albertson

I’ve only had the chance to vote in two presidential elections: 2012 and 2016. My first election was monumental. I was a part of making history. I remember the overwhelming […]

Underserved communities find no relief as water rates increase

Jiquanda Johnson

Tia Simpson stood in front of nearly 40 journalists pleading her case for clean and affordable water. The 34-year-old Flint resident endured the aftermath of being exposed to the city’s […]

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 […]

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 […]

Colin Kaepernick, Christine Blasey Ford, and the America’s Bad Conscience

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

In recent weeks, two Americans galvanized media attention for their bravery, taking  stances that inspired gratitude and support for their causes. Neither is a politician or has run for public […]

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 […]

Five decades since people of color were given the right to vote

Topacio Marrero

It’s almost scary to think, but it’s only been 5 decades since people of color in America were effectively given the right to vote. This was accomplished because of how […]

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 […]

Unite the Vote for the Vote!

Laura Munoz

“The basic elements so vital to Negro advancement can only be achieved by seeking redress from government at local, state and federal levels. To do this the vote is essential,” […]

The forced trajectory of Trinita Farmer, mother of police homicide victim, Tashii Brown

Nissa Tzun

“He was very creative,” said Trinita Farmer about her son, Tashii Brown, during an interview in her home on March 4, 2018.  Farmer was eager to exhibit his work, which […]

This Land is Our Land: Redefining “Outdoorsy”

Mikka Macdonald

This Land Is Our Land is a series about diversity in the outdoors. You can read part one here and part two here.  Airfare to mountains: $800. Trekking gear: $900. Local lodging: […]

From zero tolerance to zero harm: steps for mending shattered migrant families

Esther Calzada

By Catherine LaBrenz, John Sullivan and Esther Calzada We’ve all seen the excitement in a child’s eyes when they play with their parents in the park, or the calm that […]

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 […]

Seniors and Children Demand—Hands Off

Maya Boddie

“There’s no reason we should be debating about food,” Curtis Vlalock of Philadelphia said as he approached the Rayburn House Building, along with others who would agree. The Center for […]

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 […]

In the baddest of bad weeks, there is hope – but you gotta work for it

Marisol Bello

I want to believe in the basic goodness of humans. That we love our family. That we choose kindness. That we lead with open minds and brave hearts and stand up to bullies who pick on those smaller or less powerful than them.

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, […]

Hollywood empowerment: From Coco to Black Panther to Crazy Rich Asians

Karl Catarata

This piece was originally published in AndACTION. These past few months, Latinx family pride and Black excellence dominated Hollywood with the blockbuster releases of “Coco” and “Black Panther.” And now, […]

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 […]

What’s Next for the March for Our Lives Movement?

Karl Catarata

Exactly one month ago, the world watched as Americans took to the streets to march for their lives and demand that legislators enact common sense gun reform. Sparked by youth […]

The Starbucks incident highlights the daily indignities that Black people face

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

A good friend of mine commented on his Facebook page about the now viral video of the “Starbucks arrest incident,” which showed two black men being arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks […]

How to live with racism in times like these

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. And it is making me even more reflective of what it means to be black at […]

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 […]

The Resistance is older than the White House

Mikka Macdonald

The Resistance is older than the United States. It is older than hashtags, livestreams, and Facebook invitations. The Resistance began the moment colonizers stepped off their boats and claimed North […]

Militarizing our schools leaves immigrant youth vulnerable

Thomas Kennedy

After 17 children were shot dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, is the answer to preventing gun violence in America arming teachers? Across the country, we have seen rhetoric […]

Jim Crow lives in Nevada’s elections

Cassandra Little

Several weeks ago, a gentleman came to a Progressive Leadership Alliance Nevada (PLAN) meeting and asked for help restoring his right to vote. After 12 years, he was now eligible, […]

Black Panther shows us heroism is not perfect

Jeremiah Chapman

It was less than a year ago that I moved to Oakland, California – home of the Black Panther Party. I remember being so excited after years of emulating the […]

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 […]

We need gun control that disarms the public and the police

Thomas Kennedy

“I love this shit.” That’s what White County, Tenn. Sheriff Oddie Shoupe said after ordering one of his deputies to open fire on Michael Dial, a man who was attempting […]

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 […]

Xenophobia is not foreign to America

Mikka Macdonald

After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, advertisements for “Jap Hunting Licenses” hung in store windows. Life Magazine ran the article, “How to tell your friends from the Japs.” […]

Want To Know Why Athletes Chose To #TakeAKnee? Look At Our Broken Justice System

Fred McKissack Jr.

In an alternate universe, the White House is populated with adroit thinkers who consider that the fastest way to revive a conversation about race and class would be to have […]

Policing the Protesters

Micaela Watts

This article originally appeared on MLK50. When the interim director of the Memphis Police Department linked arms with organizers of a protest that shut down traffic on the city’s Interstate […]

A Primer on the Protest Sign

Alison Stine

I have glitter in the floorboards of my house, paint on every item of clothing I own, no matter how “new,” and am secretly happy every time my son has […]

Tundra Episode 1: Cold Journey to Justice

Jeremiah Chapman

TUNDRA: Cold Journey to Justice is a docu-series that captures the cold climate found in marginalized communities across the U.S.

Looking for “Whitelash”

Wendi C. Thomas

Originally published by Neiman Reports.  The signs that someone like Donald Trump was coming were right there, in online comments lousy with creatively spelled racial slurs that slipped past even […]

To the Women Who Are Afraid

Alison Stine

Photo credits to Nshepard via Flickr Creative Commons. Originally published on MomsRising.  There’s a nagging suspicion inside you that something is wrong. He calls you names. He denies your feelings. He […]

Little Girls Are Busting Gender Norms in a Year That Hasn’t Been Super Kind to Women

Fred McKissack Jr.

Photo credit: Aberdeen Proving Ground via Flickr Creative Commons Originally published on The Huffington Post.   In our Fort Wayne neighborhood, Halloween is a serious candy free-for-all. We bought 12 […]

‘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 […]

White Supremacy Kills, No Matter Who Pulls the Trigger

Wendi C. Thomas

Photo credits to Fuseboxradio. Originally published on The Undefeated. I want to watch the video of Terence Crutcher being killed by Tulsa, Oklahoma, police, because I want to see something […]

Lack of Black Children’s Books Are Still a Problem

Fred McKissack Jr.

Photo credits to Pettifoggist.  Originally published on The Undefeated. My mother and my father remember chatting with friends at a nondescript table at the 1989 American Library Association (ALA) annual […]

There Is Reason for Black Women to Fear Traffic Stops

Wendi C. Thomas

Photo credits to Luca Venturi.  Originally published on The Undefeated.  Not long after I arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, last August for a yearlong fellowship, a friend back in Memphis, Tennessee, asked […]

Police Already Have Broad Powers to Detain Us; And the Supreme Court Gave Them Even More

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

Photo credits: Tony Webster. Source: Flickr Creative Commons.  Originally published on Common Dreams.  I don’t want to end up like Alton Sterling. Or Philando Castile. Or Eric Garner. Or Freddie […]

We Need to Rethink the Role of Police in Our Lives

Wendi C. Thomas

Photo credits to B. C. Lorio. Originally posted on The Huffington Post.  It was only a matter of time before actor activist Jesse Williams‘ all-the-way woke speech on BET the last […]

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]

Comic W. Kamau Bell: We Are Living In The ‘Most Racial America’

Wendi C. Thomas

Originally published on the Huffington Post.  PITTSBURGH – Police have one standard for black people and another for white people – and as proof, comic W. Kamau Bell played at […]

Doing The Right Thing Can Still Get You Killed … If You Are Black

Wendi C. Thomas

Photo Credits to Fibonacci Blue.  Originally published on The Undefeated.  I don’t know how other people buy cellphones. Me, I make sure I’m getting all the gigabytes I can. Just in […]

Homeland Security Secretary Johnson: Stop Detaining Our Promising Youth

Center for Community Change

Written by Morgan Whithaus. Originally published on The Huffington Post.  Open Letter to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson I graduated from Riverside High School on June […]

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 […]

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 […]

Sheryl Sandberg Thinks She Finally Gets Single Moms, But She Doesn’t Get Me

Stephanie Land

Originally posted in SheKnows. I read Sheryl Sandberg’s recent Facebook post from the trenches of a horrible Mother’s Day weekend. The youngest had thrown up on Friday night, and we […]

Prince Was The Only Person Who Defined Himself

Fred McKissack Jr.

Originally published on the Huffington Post.  Last night, my 12-year-old son was in his room reading and listening to music. His musical tastes run from modern pop and hip-hop to […]

Black Lives Matter Movement and Opportunities Deprived Go Hand In Hand

Fred McKissack Jr.

Originally published on Equal Voice.  What does it say about the value of Black lives when too many of those lives are in crumbling schools, drinking poisoned water, finding themselves […]

America Needs More ‘Porch Talk’ – And Not Just Every Four Years

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

Every four years, America has a “porch talk” in South Carolina as attention shifts to the first in the south presidential primary. This year, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton […]

Native Voices Once Silenced, Now Heard

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

Autumn Harry enjoys her beloved Pyramid Lake. Photo courtesy of Autumn Harry. Autumn Harry has spent her twenty three years living on the Paiute reservation in northern Nevada. She will […]

The Flint Lesson: When the Poor Talk, We Must Listen

Wendi C. Thomas

Photo courtesy of Steve Neavling/Motor City Muckraker Imagine the harm that could have been avoided in Flint if only government officials believed the residents. As far back as May 2014, […]

Reinvesting In Poor Communities Must Be A Priority

Joseph Pate

Written by Anthony Newby, executive director for Neighborhoods Organizing for Change in Minneapolis and Dorian Warren, Center for Community Change board chairman. Originally posted on the Al Jazeera America. The […]

Missouri Athletes Bust Through Intolerance

Fred McKissack Jr.

Originally published by The Progressive.  With the walk-out that led to the resignation of a university president and chancellor, the University of Missouri’s black football players showed their power to […]

It Is Easier to Have a ‘Spirited’ Child When You Are a White Parent

Stephanie Land

Originally published on The Guardian.  I have what’s known as a “spirited” child. Mia has run me ragged since she knew how to walk. She’d run across soccer fields as […]

What working families in Memphis want to GOP candidates to address on Thursday

Wendi C. Thomas

Pictured to the right: Ella Collins at a Home Care Fight for $15 rally Ten Republican presidential candidates will take the stage in Cleveland Thursday for the GOP’s first televised primary […]

Supporting Community Organizing to Build a More Inclusive Society

Center for Community Change

By Connie Heller Pictured to the left: A portion of a quilt created by Connie Heller in honor of Trayvon Martin. A better world is possible. A world in which […]

Netroots, #BlackLivesMatter and the Putting Families First campaign

Olivia Chow

This week we have seen a phenomenal shift in the conversation around race and poverty.  We are beginning to see a movement’s narrative take hold in the public debate and […]

Building Coalitions at the 2015 White House AAPI Youth Forum

Angela Zhao

Last Thursday, July 9th, over 150 Asian American and Pacific Islander college students from across the nation convened at the White House for the 2015 White House Initiative on Asian […]

PUSH!

Deirdra Reed

This blog was originally published on MomsRising.org.  When my sister-in-law was pregnant with her first child, she drove me crazy, calling me at all hours to tell me about every little […]

The Fight for Quality, Accessible Child Care is a Fight for Women’s Equality

Wendi C. Thomas

This piece was originally posted in the Montgomery Advertiser. Women’s History Month is about more than celebrating phenomenal women in history; it’s also about honoring the women who have dedicated […]

Detroit’s Walking Man: Beyond Click-Through Generosity

Wendi C. Thomas

It’s fitting that James Robertson’s good luck falls during Black History Month. Robertson, 56, started riding four buses and walking 21 miles round-trip to get from his Detroit home to […]

“I believe that we will win!”

Tamika Middleton

At 7:30 am, about 100 airport people marched into the atrium of the world’s busiest airport chanting, “We can’t survive on $7.25.” The crowd got bigger as they rallied, with […]

In commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Center for Community Change

Earlier this week leaders in the movement to end mass incarceration gathered in Atlanta to share lessons learned and organize. Partners from across the country were graciously hosted by the […]

Kwanzaa is the perfect holiday for activism

Wendi C. Thomas

When I think of the holidays, I think of mistletoe and tinsel, Nativity scenes and presents under the tree. But this year, visions of sugarplums have been replaced by the […]

Using Our Dollars as Voting Ballots

Mark Ortiz

While the country ramps up for another festive holiday season, people who work in retail jobs across the nation tend to cringe at the approaching days. The holidays can be […]

Solidarity in Memphis against police brutality

Center for Community Change

By: Wendi C. Thomas Wendi C. Thomas is an award-winning Memphis-based journalist, a visiting scholar at the University of Memphis, the founder of the grassroots racial justice organization Common Ground […]

A Mother’s Love, An Activist’s Mind

Allie Carter

Below is a post from Tammy Thomas Miles, Field Organizer with CCC — Each year at Thanksgiving I often take the time to reflect on all the things which I […]

Reflection on Ferguson, Missouri

Tammy Thomas-Miles

Field Organizer Tammy Thomas-Miles went to Ferguson, Missouri over the Labor Day weekend as part of a strategy session with other organizers. Here is Tammy’s first person account of the […]

When Enough Gets to Be Enough

Tamika Middleton

This blog was originally posted on the Voices for Human Needs blog.  On Monday night, thousands of people marched through downtown Atlanta in the pouring rain.  Most of them I […]

Jobs Not Jails

Olivia Chow

Last week, through the cold and the rain, the Jobs Not Jails coalition sent a strong message to their state of Massachusetts—redirect $2 billion for new prison beds to a […]

The Life-Long Stigma of Being an Ex-Prisoner

Abby Marco

We like to think that in the United States, all people have rights and equality; all people have a voice. However, there are 65 million Americans and 60,000 D.C. natives […]

Overcoming the Frustration of Injustice

Jordann Lee

While reading a recent Salon article, “The real story of the shutdown: 50 years of GOP race-baiting,” I cannot honestly say that I was too shocked. The institution of racism is […]

What’s the Matter with Food Stamp Recipients?

Amanda Sands

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably already aware that the House of Representatives voted to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by $39 billion. The bill didn’t decrease […]

50th Anniversary March on Washington

Center for Community Change

When I arrived at the 50th Anniversary March on Washington this Saturday morning, the first thing that struck me was the array of messages. People marched past me holding signs […]

Is the RNC Ready for an Immigration Makeover?

Center for Community Change

By Alesia Lucas & Sarah English The Republican National Committee (RNC) has wrapped up their meeting and may be ready for a party makeover. Instead of playing the blame game, […]

Tell your Representatives that you want immigration reform, now!

Alesia Lucas

Tomorrow is the final day of National Call-in week for immigration reform.  We need everyone to call their representatives and urge them to support immigration reform that keeps families together […]

Honoring Deepak Bhargava’s Commitment to Social Justice

Alesia Lucas

On Sunday, April 21, 2013, The Committee for Effective Leadership will honor four individuals for their exemplary leadership and service. Among the honorees is Deepak Bhargava the Executive Director of […]

A Student’s Voice in The Cost of Education

Center for Community Change

Guest Post By Leighton Watson, Sophomore at Howard University The quest for higher education can be a huge investment made by young adults and their families. Due to the recession, […]

Building the Economic Strength of Women

Alesia Lucas

March 8th is International Women’s Day, and although it’s 2013, American women still lag behind men in paycheck fairness. Women still make a mere 64 cents for every dollar their […]

A Great Day as VAWA is Reauthorized

Center for Community Change

Today, President Obama reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), expanding protection to immigrants, LGBT individuals and Native Americans.  At the bill signing, President Obama spoke of when the bill […]

A Bus Tour, Full of Stories and Strength

Emily Gelbaum

Last week, the National Keeping Families Together Bus Tour launched from Chicago, IL carrying families and individuals directly impacted by the current immigration system. The bus riders are calling on […]

The Immigrant Community Comes Together

Jingru Huang

Leaders of the Asian Pacific American community are supporting the Keeping Families Together mission. Comprehensive immigration reform is essential because families should never be separated. When mentioning the “undocumented immigrants”, […]

Immigrants to Yale, “We aren’t Guinea pigs!”

Alesia Lucas

Yale recently suspended plans to create a center in conjunction with the Department of Defense that would train U.S. soldiers in the art of interrogation by using immigrants as their […]

Alone on Valentine’s Day Because Of Deportation

Alesia Lucas

In December the Fair Immigration Reform Movement launched the Keeping Families Together campaign, the campaign collects the countless stories of families split because of our broken immigration system. Yesterday was […]

Making Minimum Wage a Living Wage

Alesia Lucas

Overall, 77% of those who watched The State of the Union Address were pleased with what the President had to say.  It was a passionate plea and directive to the […]

Immigration and LGBT Advocates

Alesia Lucas

When two Portland women renewed their vows in Oregon, living as a mixed-status couple, the moment was impactful for more than one reason.  The couple renewed their vows to illustrate […]

Dishonesty is Not the Best Policy

Jingru Huang

When police ask for your help, most people are inclined to help them. Amber’s husband falls into that category. But Amber and her family were shocked at what happened after […]

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