Over the past three years, SCSJ has stood tall for children all across our region. They have advocated for fair school board election and have helped ensure that all children in Wake County or our region, regardless of income, race, ethnicity, or residence, receive the highest quality education possible.
They are knowledgeable, compassionate and brilliant lawyers who care about the community. Many in our community cannot afford to advocate for their rights, but SCSJ provides that service. This is a cricitally vital need in our community.
Before working with SCSJ, I did not have a lot of faith in nonprofits as agents of social change. But a friend asked me to do a graphic design project for the group, and I became impressed with their commitment to community-driven change. This group does not simply come in to a distressed neighborhood and tell them "this is how your fix your problems." Instead, they listen, ask questions, give a variety of options, and ultimately take whatever action the client community thinks is best. By leaving the power in the hands of the clients, SCSJ is a group truly working FOR their clients, not for their own agenda. Needless to say, after a single volunteer experience I have come back again and again to help this group.
I have volunteered with The Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) since its founding in 2008. Over that time I have watched it grow from a small civil rights group into a fully functioning office of lawyers, community organizers, social scientists, and interns all working together to empower communities. The group assists with a variety of issues, from environmental justice (placing a landfill in a minority neighborhood), to voting rights, to immigration issues.
Regardless of the issue being addressed, the group is set apart by its dedication to truly listening to each community's story and helping that community choose how best to address its issues. This is an important change from the philosophy of most civil rights advocacy groups, where the head lawyer tells the community what steps to take. By allowing communities to help formulate solutions to their own problems, SCSJ truly empowers clients.