We Are Doing More
The promises Jeremiah Program made to support our moms during the COVID-19 pandemic weren’t simply promises — they were commitments. Here’s how we’re doing.
These have been trying times for all of us, and I hope this note finds you healthy and capturing moments of joy when possible. The moms, families, and staff of Jeremiah Program are trying to do just that, and we thank you for your support in making it possible.
None of us know exactly what the future holds, but one thing we know for sure is that our JP moms and their families need our partnership and support more than ever.
We’re looking at all of our program resources and making sure that our moms are centered in everything we do, acknowledging the trauma, and systemic and structural inequities, that are woven through their realities as women experiencing poverty. Jeremiah provides the necessary supports for moms to empower themselves on the path out of poverty, but we know that people who experience the challenges are the best architects of the solutions. We’re positioning the JP moms to be those architects for their families and communities, not just recipients of services.
When I last updated you, I promised that Jeremiah Program would do more in the face of the challenges presented by the pandemic. I also promised that JP would rise to the occasion of the nation’s much-needed racial awakening, all while still providing our proven programming to single moms and their children who are striving to disrupt the cycle of poverty they’re experiencing.
And with your help, we are.
JP Moms Are the Architects of Their Future
To that end, our moms are bringing a renewed energy to the reimagining of the JP experience, from first learning of the program to realizing their vision of their futures. This includes participating in a healthy review of our crucial Empowerment and Life Skills classes and having a voice in how JP navigates the restrictions caused by the pandemic.
“We’re strengthening every aspect of our infrastructure to ensure that we’re able to deepen our program resources for all of our moms and children, and those that are yet to come.”Chastity Lord, JP President and CEO
We’re strengthening every aspect of our infrastructure to ensure that we’re able to deepen our program resources for all of our moms and children, and those that are yet to come. We’re conducting a complete upgrade across all the JP campuses to a modern network that will provide a faster and more reliable connection to the Internet, and we’re supplying laptops and tablets to families. This is absolutely critical to ensure that families are able to fully participate in JP programming, pursue their educations, and work remotely where possible.
Mothers Lead Our Future
The majority of JP moms are women of color, and they and their JP sisters were already experiencing the poverty that comes from structural inequities. And now, the country is going through an economic downturn
that has disproportionately seen women lose the low-wage jobs that they absolutely depend on while trying to complete their educations, and being the sole caregivers for their children as they also go to school at home.
As an organization, we’re bringing race into the conversation about how we go about our work disrupting poverty and acknowledging that a woman’s race plays a significant role in the type of education she receives, whether she grows up in poverty and her future economic outlook.
This fall, Jeremiah Program will launch an important new fellowship initiative that will strengthen our advocacy efforts by building a mobilizing movement comprised of JP alumnae who will push the needle on educational access, workforce development, and youth advocacy programs for families headed by single mother students experiencing poverty. This project will give voice to women through powerful storytelling and also support them and their children across their educational and career trajectories.
And we’re developing robust new learning packets for our teachers and moms to use with JP children. We want all of our children to receive culturally competent lessons that celebrate their greatness and embrace the richness and differences of all communities.
As we continue our commitment to do more, we must remember that generational poverty is not an economic issue. It is, and always has been, a social justice issue. And we must remember that the path to economic mobility begins with a degree and a job. With your help, every one of our Jeremiah Program moms will have them.
We’re in this together.
Chastity Lord is Jeremiah Program’s president and CEO.