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By Social Justice Learning Institute, 03/18/2020

Our Response to COVID-19

Our thoughts are with you and your loved ones during these uncertain and challenging times. Now more than ever, we can appreciate the importance of coming together and supporting each other as a community. 

While it is certainly challenging to navigate the unknown, we continue to better understand how to slow the spread of COVID-19 while adapting to provide our much-needed services and resources. Our current situation has challenged us to be more thoughtful and innovative in our approaches to maintaining service continuity to our students,  families, and community members.

While we “shelter in place”, home school our children, and conduct work virtually, SJLI is committed to producing and delivering our high quality of programs and services.  We are continuing to update our website with helpful information and resources so please continue to check this website regularly. Most assuredly we are confident that together we will get through this difficult time.  Below are details of our continuing programming.

How We’re Reaching our Students

In lieu of delivering our Urban Scholars Program at school sites, we have adapted a virtual learning environment through TalentLMS, an online learning management system. This enables us to provide the following services:

  • Online tutorials
  • Live stream discussions on class assignments
  • Scholarship assistance
  • FAFSA assistance
  • College application assistance
  • Career readiness assistance
  • Transcript review for students
  • High school graduation assistance
  • Social-Emotional Support
  • Increased mental health service delivery through telemedicine in partnership with Open Paths

How We’re Supporting Food Access

In an effort to make sure the basic needs of our students and residents are met, we have streamlined food distribution in partnership with Food Forward. SJLI is facilitating the collection and distribution of food to agency providers and families reaching hundreds of families each week. Our mobile distribution includes: 

  • SJLI is providing bags of fresh produce, in conjunction with IUSD providing meals to families every FRIDAY at Hudnall Elementary School from 8:30am to 10:30 am.
  • Hudnall Elementary School will serve as a centralized hub for agency providers to collect produce every FRIDAY and distribute to communities.
  • Developed and shared a toolkit for food distribution best practices and COVID-19 guidelines with multiple agencies

How We Are Amplifying Community Voices 

SJLI is continuing our advocacy at the highest level to ensure equitable solutions statewide. We will continue to diligently catalogue pertinent infor­ma­tion and communicate concerns reported by our community members. 

  • Transitioned from neighborhood canvassing to phone banking
  • CENSUS 2020 telephone assistance
  • Workshop webinars
  • Organizing with statewide advocates on eviction moratorium/mortgage relief
  • Calling residents directly to share info about community resources and updates related to surrounding schools

Moving Forward Together

As the COVID-19 situation changes, our plans may too. In the meantime, staying connected to others is more important than ever, even when we can’t be together in person. We will continue to reach out through our digital channels to try to put a smile on your face or teach you something new while we’re all dealing with this new normal. We will get through this together! This is a very fluid situation and I thank you for your patience and flexibility. 


In Solidarity,

D’Artagnan Scorza

Executive Director

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