Category: Social Justice

January 21, 2020 Willie Francois

Voices of Everday Leaders

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 cannot tolerate innocent children dying on our watch. No matter where they are born

Sharisse Tracey

I recently heard U.S. Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney on local News12 reference the inhuman treatment of undocumented immigrants being detained in our overcrowded border patrol facilities. Every time I hear […]

The Cards We’re Dealt

Jamal Meneide

UNO is, at its core, an individualist game. I mean, it’s in the name after all: one. One person alone can win. To do so, you have to actively worsen […]

We need Presidential candidates to detail their commitment to achieving quality, affordable and culturally relevant child care for all families

Danielle Atkinson

Trending with the hashtag #WhatMamasWant, hundreds of mothers in Michigan organized a forum on issues that impact their lives and then gathered to watch the two-day Democratic presidential debates in […]


Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

A bad dream is a bad experience. But a truly terrible experience occurs when a bad dream feels like a premonition. Judging by media stories, online commentary and conversations with […]

2020 – the 100th anniversary of the first vote for gender equality – will be the year of women.

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

The old saw, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times” may apply to the status of  women in America — their gains, their travails, their […]

“When They See Us” Through the Eyes of a 13-year-old Girl

Sharisse Tracey

“I don’t want to watch this, Mommy, it is making me mad and I already know how it will end,” said my recently turned 13 year-old daughter with folded arms. […]

We are Wired for Change

Cristina Rayas

Community Change’s Communications Fellows Program is a visionary approach to building power and leaders among our communities – the power to be the ones to tell their truths and be […]

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 […]

Mothers just set the table for our powerful movement towards justice

Catherine Bugayong

Growing up, I was often asked to set the table for dinner. In our busy household, dinner was just about the only time we could have both parents and all […]

On Motherhood and Movement Work: Women leaders approach both with ferocity and love

Nicole Melaku

As I sat on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico for a retreat with fellow immigrant rights leaders from the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), I couldn’t help but be […]

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.

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 […]

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 […]

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

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]


Deirdra Reed

This blog was originally published on  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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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