Advocate for Social Justice
The Lesniak Institute advocates for social justice, training the next generation of American Leaders to protect our social rights.
Help us continue to advance social justice as The Lesniak Institute For American Leadership advocates for legislation and promotes social justice across America and in every nation.
Help us continue to advance social justice by donating to our cause.
We are advocating to end bigotry and hate speech in every form by creating a “Stand up For the Other” movement.
Hate crimes in New Jersey have been on a rise, targeting people because of differences in religious and racial backgrounds and sexual orientations. Hate crimes can be prevented or deescalated by a bystander speaking up. In response to the rise of discriminatory violence, the Stand up For the Other pledge calls on everyone to speak out and challenge bigotry. The pledge is a commitment to batteling discrimination by leading by example and promoting dignity, respect, and equality.
Stand up For the Other is a movement. Discrimaintion and bigotry should not be the norm. The way to end them is by standing up, raising awareness, and calling on our friends, neighbors, colleagues to take part in the fight. We are responsible for our community and it’s time to use our voice and actions to stand up. By taking the pledge we are inspiring others to become allies, and take responsibility for making NJ bigotry free. Together we will end dicrimination, and make NJ a welcoming home for all!
Join The Movement
Take the pledge and become a Stand Up For The Other Pledge liaison.
The Equality Act would provide protection against discrimination for LGBTQ+ people nationwide across key areas, including: employment, housing, public spaces, services and education.
Currently our nation’s federal civil rights laws do not provide explicit non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
There will always be differences among people: religious views, opinions, languages, races, heritage, etc. It is these differences that make America so diverse and powerful. These differences allow the U.S. to lead in new ideas, advances, and progress. Diversity and acceptance is a strength and by extending acceptance to all, we are creating a safer and kinder world. By amending the Civil Rights Act, these important amendments would strengthen existing protections for everyone.
Join The Movement
The Equality Act has passed the House of Representatives and is currently in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Bill sponsor and US Senator Cory Booker (NJ) currently sits on this committee. Write to Senator Booker to thank him for his public support and urge him to keep fighting.
We are advocating for the establishment of a Recovery High School in every NJ county, that will provide peer support rather than peer pressure for students recovering from substance use disorders.
Most students with substance use disorder drop out of school, wind up in prison, and/or die young. Recovery High Schools (RHS) provide students with substance abuse disorders with a healthy and safe environment for recovery. To specifically target relapse rates, Recovery High Schools provide in-school recovery support programs such as peer support groups, 12 Steps programs, and individual and/or family counseling. RHS also recognize that the road to recovery starts at home. This is why Recovery High Schools provide family support centers to strengthen parent involvement, provide parent education and leadership development, and provide crisis assistance, child care and housing assistance, as well as job training programs. Recovery High Schools offer a holistic approach to recovery, and give students in recovery the support, education, and resources to graduate, go on to higher education, and lead a productive life filled with opportunity and abundance.
Students who take time off from school for addiction related treatments are not recommended to return to the environment which led them to acquire and use drugs and alcohol. Recovery High Schools serve as an effective alternative. RHS reduce the rate of relapse by providing students with a drug free environment with resources and social support needed to focus on recovery, all while getting a quality education. Adding Recovery HIgh Schools to every NJ county would help combat the substance abuse crisis, giving many students and families the chance at a better future.
Join The Movement
Help solve the NJ substance crisis by contacting Gov. Phil Murphy and urge him to support adding a Recovery HS to every NJ county.
We are advocating for the establishment of Wrap Around Community Schools to close the gap of educational equity and infant and maternal health.
Establishing Wrap Around Community Schools, S1857/A1055, will greatly improve equity in our communities and lift up low performing schools. Pending legislation will create partnerships among the public schools, nonprofit organizations, and local governments to “provide an integrated focus on academics, health, and social services, youth and community development, expanded learning time and opportunities, actively engage families, and foster collaborative practices based on an individual community’s identified need.” The schools support infant and maternal wellbeing by offering primary medical and pediatric care, prenatal care referrals, transportation and child care services, and linkages to housing assistance and recovery management services, as well as community education on nutrition and general childcare.
Wrap Around Community Schools will effectively erase many underlying issues of systemic racism that plague our communities today, specifically with gaps within education and health disparities. In all districts, every one in ten babies are born before their due dates, however, black babies in New Jersey are 3x more likely to die before their first birthday in comparison to white babies. Furthermore, New Jersey boasts having some of the best performing schools in America, while also having some of the worst performing schools, specifically in neighborhoods of low socioeconomic status. Government assistance is needed to close the gap by placing Wrap Around Community Schools in minority school districts to give ALL babies the best chance of survival.
Join The Movement
Please contact sponsors of the bill, and education committee chairs, Pamela Lampitt and Teresa Ruiz and ask them to post the legislation on the agenda for their next committee meeting.