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Our Mission

At the Social Justice Learning Institute, we are dedicated to improving the education, health, and well being of youth and communities of color by empowering them to enact social change through research, training, and community mobilization.

Core Values

  • We privilege the ideas, voice, and leadership of our youth and community members.
  • Everyone must be afforded equal opportunity in order to achieve equitable treatment.
  • We do all things in love.
  • No one is hopeless.

Our Vision

We envision communities where education empowers individuals to use their agency for the purpose of improving each other’s lives.

Our Goals

Our goals are simple. We work to:

  • Educate and empower youth and community members to identify and rectify injustice
  • Build capacity for individuals and communities to advocate for their needs.
  • Deliver effective programs, resources and support that help advance our mission
  • Train and build leaders.

Our Impact

Empowering through Education

2876 Students served through Urban Scholars

91 Percent high school graduation rate

40000 Average scholarship dollars raised per year

Creating Thriving Communities

122 Gardens built in
South Los Angeles

1.5 Million pounds of produce distributed since 2020

45 Food justice partners served

Changing Systems

68002 Contacts made with residents about housing rights

100 Million in Measure J funding secured for equity-focused projects in Los Angeles

100 Million secured for Black Student Achievement through student-led initiatives

Where We Serve

With a core focus on South Los Angeles, We’re growing our national impact. Click to view an interactive map of our program locations.

Where We Serve

Our Board

Board of Directors

Omai Garner, Ph.D.

Omai Garner, Ph.D.

Chair

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Linda Baum, M.D., Ph.D.

Linda Baum, M.D., Ph.D.

Director

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Nancy Greenstein, Ed.D

Nancy Greenstein, Ed.D

Director

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Karen Blackwell

Karen Blackwell

Treasurer

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Terri Mosqueda

Terri Mosqueda

Secretary

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Board of Advisors

Antoinette Mongelli

Advisor

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Ben Allen

Advisor

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Bowe Kurowski

Advisor

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Brian Selmo

Advisor

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Our Staff

Derek Steele

Derek Steele

Executive Director

323.952.7363 x700

dsteele@sjli.org

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Kimberly Upchurch

Kimberly Upchurch

Associate Director - Houston

kupchurch@sjli.org

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Angela Johnson Peters

Angela Johnson Peters

Associate Director of Programs and Development

323.952.7363 x701

ajohnsonpeters@sjli.org

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Jarett Fields

Jarett Fields

Director of Educational Equity Programs - Houston

jfields@sjli.org

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Megan Hayward

Megan Hayward

Director of Development

323.952.7363 x501

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Gary Hardie, Jr.

Gary Hardie, Jr.

Policy & Advocacy Director

323.952.7363 x401

Ghardie@sjli.org

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Kevin Lasley

Kevin Lasley

Educational Equity Regional Manager

323.952.7363 x201

klasley@sjli.org

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Jamila McGee

Jamila McGee

Assistant Director of Learning, Training and Curriculum

jmcgee@sjli.org

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Ashley Loville

Ashley Loville

Health Equity Outreach & Engagement Coordinator

aloville@sjli.org

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Gabriel Regalado

Gabriel Regalado

Youth Justice Organizer

323.952.7363 x402

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Nicole Steele

Nicole Steele

Director of Health Equity Programming

323.952.7363 x302

nsteele@sjli.org

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Olatunde Kosoko

Olatunde Kosoko

Educational Equity Regional Manager

323.952.7363 x202

okosoko@sjli.org

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Jevante Davis

Jevante Davis

Data Assistant

323.952.7363 x503

jdavis@sjli.org

Johnston Ford

Johnston Ford

Academic and Career Services Coordinator

323.952.7363 x213

jford@sjli.org

Tykeem Brown

Tykeem Brown

Program and Curriculum Coach

323.952.7363 x203

tbrown@sjli.org

Leiloni De Gruy

Leiloni De Gruy

Communications Coordinator

ldegruy@sjli.org

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Mi'Quael Gray

Mi'Quael Gray

Youth Services Coordinator

mgray@sjli.org

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Ricardo Govea

Ricardo Govea

Program and Curriculum Coach

rgovea@sjli.org

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Marcus Pickens

Marcus Pickens

Program and Curriculum Coach

mpickens@sjli.org

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Trisden Shaw

Trisden Shaw

Programs and Curriculum Coach

tshaw@sjli.org

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Molly Katz

Molly Katz

Regional Programs Manager, Special Projects

mkatz@sjli.org

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Tyrone Cutkelvin

Tyrone Cutkelvin

Director of Special Projects

tcutkelvin@sjli.org

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Julius Young

Julius Young

Instructor and Developer of the Urban Health Fellowship

jyoung@sjli.org

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Lauren Cerda

Lauren Cerda

Program Development and Expansion Associate

lcerda@sjli.org

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Arianna Ngnomire

Arianna Ngnomire

Development Assistant

angnomire@sjli.org

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Carmen E. Himes

Carmen E. Himes

Donor Engagement and Event Manager

chimes@sjli.org

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Champagne White

Champagne White

Academic Career and Service Coordinator

cwhite@sjli.org

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Charles Hall, IV

Charles Hall, IV

Program and Curriculum Coach

chall@sjli.org

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Sean Sweeney

Sean Sweeney

Policy and Advocacy Outreach Coordinator

ssweeney@sjli.org

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Ajia Terry

Ajia Terry

Academic and Career Services Coordinator

aterry@sjli.org

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Rafael Antonio Sanchez

Rafael Antonio Sanchez

Health Equity Programs Assistant

rsanchez@sjli.org

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Raichel Franklin

Raichel Franklin

Program Development & Expansion Associate VISTA - Houston

rfranklin@sjli.org

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Georgina Del Carmen Euan

Georgina Del Carmen Euan

College & Career Persistence Counselor

geuan@sjli.org

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Na’eem Wilkins

Na’eem Wilkins

Program Instructor

nwilkins@sjli.org

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Christian Brooks

Christian Brooks

Outreach and Community Partnership

cbrooks@sjli.org

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Lonvis Naulls

Lonvis Naulls

Program & Curriculum Coach

lnaulls@sjli.org

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Dylan Gray

Dylan Gray

Program Curriculum Coach

dgray@sjli.org

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Shelby Richardson

Shelby Richardson

Academic and Career Services Coordinator

sanderson@sjli.org

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Shawnte Porchia

Shawnte Porchia

Academic and Career Services Coordinator

sporchia@sjli.org

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Mayra Vasquez

Mayra Vasquez

Academic and Career Services Coordinator

mvasquez@sjli.org

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Nygel Anderson

Nygel Anderson

College Persistence and Career Development Manager

nanderson@sjli.org

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Erika Sorondo

Erika Sorondo

Academic & Career Services Coordinator

esorondo@sjli.org

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Karen Akinyele

Karen Akinyele

Operations & Finance Coordinator

323.952.7363 x101

kakinyele@sjli.org

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Cache Thurman

Cache Thurman

Academic and Career Services Coordinator

cthurman@sjli.org

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Financials + Reports

SJLI’s previous audits and 990’s are provided when SJLI was a project of Community Partners. SJLI current financials are posted reflecting our transition to an independent 501 (c)3 non-profit.

Funders + Partners

To meet our goals, we work alongside youth, residents, local schools, school districts, government entities, foundations and corporations. The following partnerships allow us to develop and manage programs that advance academic, food, environmental, and housing justice.
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