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Our Story

Learn more about why we're here.
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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

1619 Students served through Urban Scholars

250 Healthy Lifestyle Classes taught per year

32 College campuses where our students have enrolled

Creating Thriving Communities

103 Gardens Built

1867 Pounds of produce distributed per year

52000 Pounds of produce diverted from landfills per year

Changing Systems

Ending the school-to-prison pipeline

  • Increased Restorative Justice funding in LAUSD

  • Passed Prop 47 to reduce non-violent drug-related felonies to misdemeanors

  • Led a $90 million bond campaign to improve Inglewood schools

 

Promoting healthy food and beverage consumption

  • Advocating for statewide sugar-sweetened beverage fee

  • Led Community Town Halls with Assm. Burke and Sen. Mitchell to bring over 12,000 residents to dialogue around diabetes prevention

 

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

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

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

Chair

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Omai Garner, Ph.D.

Omai Garner, Ph.D.

Chair and Co-Founder

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D’Artagnan Scorza, Ph.D.

D’Artagnan Scorza, Ph.D.

Secretary

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Nancy Greenstein, Ph.D.

Nancy Greenstein, Ph.D.

Treasurer

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Vickie Mays, Ph.D.

Vickie Mays, Ph.D.

Director

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Marcus Pickins

Marcus Pickins

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Board of Advisors

Brian Selmo

Advisor

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Bowe Kurowski

Advisor

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Antoinette Mongelli

Advisor

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Ben Allen

Advisor

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Our Staff

D’Artagnan Scorza, Ph.D.

D’Artagnan Scorza, Ph.D.

Founder, Executive Director, and Board Secretary

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Angela Johnson Peters

Angela Johnson Peters

Associate Director

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Derek Steele

Derek Steele

Health Equity Programs Director

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Linda Reyes

Linda Reyes

Development and Communications Manager

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Natalia Zafferano

Natalia Zafferano

Youth Services Manager

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Nicole Steele

Nicole Steele

Nutrition Education Team Manager

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Sarah Chang, M.S./M.P.H.

Sarah Chang, M.S./M.P.H.

Champions for Change Program Manager

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Adriana Swain

Adriana Swain

Communications Coordinator

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Ashley Loville

Ashley Loville

Health Equity Peer Educator

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Christina Perez

Christina Perez

Food Production Manager

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Garrick Galbreath

Garrick Galbreath

Operations Assistant

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Leslie Guardado

Leslie Guardado

Health Equity Peer Educator

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Na’eem Wilkins

Na’eem Wilkins

Program Instructor

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Olatunde Kosoko

Olatunde Kosoko

Academic & Career Support Coordinator

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Raynice Moreland

Raynice Moreland

Health Equity Peer Educator

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Tyler Vernon

Tyler Vernon

Youth Programs Coordinator

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Valerie Bragg

Valerie Bragg

Health Equity Peer Educator

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Melissa Echeverry

Melissa Echeverry

Youth Services Coordinator

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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.
The California Wellness Foundation
Liberty Hill Foundation
California Community Foundation
The California Endowment
Weingart Foundation
All Ways Up Foundation
JPMorgan Chase
National Science Foundation
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
Compton Unified School District
City of Houston Health Department
Southern California Edison
California State University, Mervyn Dymally African American Political & Economic Institute
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