(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Assemblymember Tina McKinnor (D - Inglewood) has named the Inglewood based The Social Justice Learning Institute (SJLI) as the 2023 Nonprofit of the Year for their work to address food insecurity, develop youth leadership opportunities and address the state’s continued housing crisis.
The Social Justice Learning Institute (SJLI) is dedicated to improving the overall education, health and wellbeing of youth and communities of color by empowering them to enact social change through research, training and community mobilization. Beginning fifteen years ago with a focus on transforming the life trajectories of youth of color in Inglewood and South Los Angeles, SJLI’s growth as an organization lies in the responsiveness to community and their focus on equity -- in education, in health and in policies leading to systemic change.
SJLI empowers through education with programs that provide culturally relevant teaching with academic support through a social justice and youth development lens. The Urban Scholars program now partners with five school districts at 25 school sites in both California and Texas teaching youth to advocate for themselves and their communities. They also work to transform neighborhoods into thriving communities by improving access to health in the built environment. SJLI’s Health Equity programs make affordable, healthy food accessible to residents while also providing knowledge to create the changes they want to see in their communities.
SJLI also builds capacity for community members to identify and rectify injustice and advocate for their needs on a local, regional and statewide level. Their students and community members have testified before legislative bodies, presented at national conferences and helped pass statewide policies.
“The Inglewood renaissance is underway in large part because of incredible community partners and nonprofits like the Social Justice Learning Institute who work selflessly to meet the immediate needs of neighbors, while helping to build a new generation of young leaders,” said Assemblymember McKinnor. “For over fifteen years, SJLI has done the essential work necessary to build a vibrant community and I am proud to recognize them as the 2023 Nonprofit of the Year.”
Assemblymember McKinnor interviewed Derek Steele of SJLI to discuss their work to uplift residents in Inglewood and across the South Bay. The interview can be viewed here: youtu.be/mwyg1MiP2Go
Assemblymember Tina McKinnor represents the cities and communities of Gardena, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lenox, Los Angeles, Marina del Rey, Venice, West Athens, Westchester and Westmont in Los Angeles County.
Connect with Assemblymember McKinnor on social media: @AsmTinaMcKinnor