Education

Certification in Social Justice and Community Organizing

The Greenspon Center is committed to strengthening social justice movements by training and educating community members to become impactful organizers and sustaining changemakers in the many and diverse personal and professional contexts in which they work and live.

Check out our Certification Program

Educational Offerings

Our SJCO Certification program trains participants with political education and practical skills to effectively organize for social change. Participants are equipped with the knowledge and skills to bring together their communities around areas of common concern, build power, influence community decisions and create just outcomes in the various personal and professional contexts in which they work and live.

Cohort Dates:

  • IN PERSON Opening Retreat, Saturday January 20th 9 am - 5 pm
  • Meets ONLINE Tuesday nights 6:30 - 8:30 pm (No Class Tuesday March 5th)
  • Culminating IN PERSON Retreat and Community event, Saturday April 27th 12 pm - 8 pm

The Cost: The full cost of this certification is $2500 but thanks to foundation funding we are able to offer this certification at a deeply discounted sliding scale of $0 to $2500 with a $100 registration fee (that can also be waived based on need.)

Our fourteen-week program includes:

  • An Opening In-Person Retreat focused on theories and roles in social change.
  • Locally and Nationally Recognized Speakers - Each week, participants learn online from experienced BIPOC speakers who are leaders within the social justice & community organizing space.
  • Praxis Organizing Project - Participants engage in a self-directed organizing projects of their choosing.
  • Praxis Micro-Internship - Participants connect with local organizations to work with them on an aspect of their organizing
  • Microgrants - Overseen by a BIPOC decision making body, this microgrant fund serves as an equity measure hardwired to the SJCO Certification program to shift financial resources to local, grassroots, neighborhood and BIPOC led organizing for social justice in Charlotte. Awardees applied for community groups to stimulate community action, lead community organizing and short-term projects. These are bottom-up efforts that support great grassroots ideas!
  • Mentorship - Participants are matched with experienced mentors who, through group and one-to-one meetings, support participants in discerning how to integrate the praxis project or micro-internship into their learning and connect them with additional opportunities in organizing.
  • Culminating Event - A culminating in-person seminar and final event. As part of our praxis, participants organize a public event to apply and demonstrate the skills learned in this course.

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Celebrating Our First Cohort

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Our first cohort of fifteen participants in our Certification in Social Justice and Community Organizing Program graduated in late Spring 2023. Congratulations to our inaugural cohort: Connie Bonebrake, Judith Brown, Linda Carr, Cate De Mallie, Padydeh Doroodchi, Morgan Hinton, Tamara Holit Gray, Shakieta Maloye, Janet McCullough, Diane Means, Camellia Nixon, Seth William Pilz, Kenny Robinson, Pamela Terry, and Jesca Yiska-El.

Our second cohort graduated in late Spring 2024. Congratulations to Kawana C. Davis, Melanie Dunston, Donna Fair, D’Asia Feaster, Jessica Foster, Nicole Fulwood, Jessica Gibson, Rozelle K. Gipson, Tyshameka Hollins, Shaguana Hunt, Kendra Hunter, Maritza Ortiz, Blanche Penn, Addie Russell, Sylvia A Smith, Jessica Summers, and Alicia Torres.

Our SJCO alumni network continues to support them as they create positive change in the realms of affordable housing, transitional housing, healthcare, disability rights, re-entry, food insecurity and more.

Click here to see some of their final presentations: Kenny Robinson, Jesca Yiskah-El, and Linda Carr.

To inquire about enrolling in our next cohort or to learn about upcoming community education programs, contact Holly Roach, Roachh2@queens.edu. 

Our SJCO Certification program cannot happen without community support, please consider sponsoring a community changemaker or sponsoring an entire cohort. Click here to donate. To learn more about our program or sponsorship opportunities, contact Rabbi Judy Schindler, schindlerj@queens.edu.

Images sourced from unsplash.com by Naassom Azevedo and Joel Munez