Now Hiring – Voter Engagement Coordinator

March 5th, 2018 by

Spend the 2018 election cycle running Savannah Votes, a grassroots voter engagement and registration drive!  This program will challenge you to grow as an individual, leader and community organizer as you amplify the voices of underrepresented communities throughout Chatham County, Georgia.

Step Up Savannah is seeking a Voter Engagement Coordinator to manage our grassroots voter registration campaign, recruit and train volunteers, and general outreach in Savannah and Chatham County.

Roles & Responsibilities

The Voter Engagement Coordinator will execute Savannah Votes including, but not limited to:

  • Manage organizing efforts with Step Up Savannah’s Neighborhood Leadership Academy Alumni group, Resident Team, and volunteers
  • Oversee the day-to-day management of voter registration volunteers in preparation for the 2018 election cycle
  • Coordinate with local and statewide partners to establish a Savannah Votes schedule of events
  • Work with statewide partner to oversee the implementation of quality control measures

As the Voter Engagement Coordinator, you won’t be tied to a desk for 20 hours a week. You will meet people from diverse backgrounds as you seek to be a change agent at the grassroots level.

Knowledge & Skills

We are seeking a candidate with leadership skills who is excited to help lead a pilot voter registration program in Savannah.

Other skills we are looking for include:

  • Proven & highly effective organizational and written/oral communication skills
  • Strong track record of setting and meeting goals
  • Ability to network and build strategic relationships
  • Efficient in meeting tight deadlines
  • Demonstrated ability in working in diverse and underrepresented communities
  • Willingness to work non-traditional hours and weekends
  • Willingness to work until all tasks are complete

Strong applicants will...

  • Understand and be committed to the mission of Step Up Savannah
  • Highly organized and productive
  • Creative, results-orientated self-starter who can work independently with limited direct day-to-day supervision
  • Experience with grassroots organizing or political or agency campaign experience
  • Prepared to travel county-wide with your own vehicle – mileage will be reimbursed
  • Fluency in Spanish a plus!


Salary commensurate with experience – up to $17.00/hour

This is a temporary, part-time (up to 30 hours a week) role that spans April 1 – October 8, 2018.

Application Process:

Submit a letter of interest, resume, three professional references and a writing sample

Attn: Jen Singeisen, Executive Director


Applications will be reviewed beginning March 7, 2018 and will be accepted until the position is filled.

Step Up Savannah is an equal opportunity employer.  We encourage applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, and disability.

Step Up Savannah engages all sectors of the community to improve the economic mobility and financial stability of families in Savannah and Chatham County.

What We’re Reading

February 9th, 2018 by

Alexandra Nicosias-Kopp, AmeriCorps VISTA

Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age by Kevin Boyle

An electrifying story of the sensational murder trial that divided a city and ignited the civil rights struggle

In 1925, Detroit was a smoky swirl of jazz and speakeasies, assembly lines and fistfights. The advent of automobiles had brought workers from around the globe to compete for manufacturing jobs, and tensions often flared with the KKK in ascendance and violence rising. Ossian Sweet, a proud Negro doctor-grandson of a slave-had made the long climb from the ghetto to a home of his own in a previously all-white neighborhood. Yet just after his arrival, a mob gathered outside his house; suddenly, shots rang out: Sweet, or one of his defenders, had accidentally killed one of the whites threatening their lives and homes.

And so it began-a chain of events that brought America’s greatest attorney, Clarence Darrow, into the fray and transformed Sweet into a controversial symbol of equality. Historian Kevin Boyle weaves the police investigation and courtroom drama of Sweet’s murder trial into an unforgettable tapestry of narrative history that documents the volatile America of the 1920s and movingly re-creates the Sweet family’s journey from slavery through the Great Migration to the middle class. Ossian Sweet’s story, so richly and poignantly captured here, is an epic tale of one man trapped by the battles of his era’s changing times.

Carole Fireall, NLA Coordinator & Office Administrator

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Edward Gresham, Chatham Apprentice Program Coordinator

Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of a Race

The Destruction of Black Civilization took Chancellor Williams sixteen years of research and field study to compile. The book, which was to serve as a reinterpretation of the history of the African race, was intended to be “”a general rebellion against the subtle message from even the most ‘liberal’ white authors (and their Negro disciples): ‘You belong to a race of nobodies. You have no worthwhile history to point to with pride.'”” The book was written at a time when many black students, educators, and scholars were starting to piece together the connection between the way their history was taught and the way they were perceived by others and by themselves. They began to question assumptions made about their history and took it upon themselves to create a new body of historical research. The book is premised on the question: “If the Blacks were among the very first builders of civilization and their land the birthplace of civilization, what has happened to them that has left them since then, at the bottom of world society, precisely what happened? The Caucasian answer is simple and well-known: The Blacks have always been at the bottom.” Williams instead contends that many elements—nature, imperialism, and stolen legacies— have aided in the destruction of the black civilization. The Destruction of Black Civilization is revelatory and revolutionary because it offers a new approach to the research, teaching, and study of African history by shifting the main focus from the history of Arabs and Europeans in Africa to the Africans themselves, offering instead “a history of blacks that is a history of blacks. Because only from history can we learn what our strengths were and, especially, in what particular aspect we are weak and vulnerable. Our history can then become at once the foundation and guiding light for united efforts in serious[ly] planning what we should be about now.” It was part of the evolution of the black revolution that took place in the 1970s, as the focus shifted from politics to matters of the mind.

Isaac Felton, Chatham Apprentice Program Manager

If Life Is a Game, These Are the Rules: Ten Rules for Being Human

In If Life Is a Game, These Are the Rules, Chérie shares that there are no mistakes in life, only lessons that are repeated. In thoughtful, inspirational essays illustrated with encouraging personal anecdotes, she includes the lessons that can be learned from each of the Rules and offers insights on self-esteem, respect, acceptance, forgiveness, ethics, compassion, humility, gratitude, and courage. Best of all, Chérie shows that wisdom lies inside each one of us and that by putting the Ten Rules for Being Human into action we can create a more fulfilling life.

Jen Singeisen, Executive Director

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement. The New Jim Crow is such a book. Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as “brave and bold,” this book directly challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.” By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second-class status—even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a “call to action.”

The 10 Lenses: Your Guide to Living and Working in a Multicultural World

In this ground-breaking new book, acclaimed diversity expert Mark Williams offers ten “eye-opening” lenses to help you, your organization, and everyone in it, understand how cultural diversity affects the way we live and work. There’s the Assimilationist who believes that everyone should act like a true blue American, and the Culturalcentrist who believes that a person’s race or ethnicity is central to their personal and public identity; the Meritrocratist who is sure that if you have the abilities and work hard enough you can make your dreams come true regardless of race or culture, and the Victim/Caregiver who believes that because of bias they will never succeed. Learn more about these lenses, as well as six other lenses that Mark Williams has developed to respond to cultural diversity.

Kate Blair, Director of Development & Communications

Systems Change: A Guide To What It Is and How To Do It

Systems change: A guide to what it is and how to do it

Systems change has been attracting the attention of those in the social sector who want to deal with the root causes of problems, but, despite the buzz, much of what is written is abstract in tone. With the support of LankellyChase Foundation, we have produced this guide to plug a gap in the systems change literature—providing accessible material and recommendations for action.

Robyn Wainner, Director of Asset Building & Financial Empowerment

Salvage the Bones: A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

A hurricane is building over the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the coastal town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, and Esch’s father is growing concerned. A hard drinker, largely absent, he doesn’t show concern for much else. Esch and her three brothers are stocking food, but there isn’t much to save. Lately, Esch can’t keep down what food she gets; she’s fourteen and pregnant. Her brother Skeetah is sneaking scraps for his prized pitbull’s new litter, dying one by one in the dirt. While brothers Randall and Junior try to stake their claim in a family long on child’s play and short on parenting. As the twelve days that comprise the novel’s framework yield to the final day and Hurricane Katrina, the unforgettable family at the novel’s heart–motherless children sacrificing for each other as they can, protecting and nurturing where love is scarce–pulls itself up to struggle for another day. A wrenching look at the lonesome, brutal, and restrictive realities of rural poverty, Salvage the Bone is muscled with poetry, revelatory, and real.

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh


Client Success Story – Donald Gates

November 27th, 2017 by

Donald Gates struggled to find a job because of his criminal background. As a husband and father, the weight of providing for his family grew heavier by the day. When he heard that the Chatham Apprentice Program was offering their E3 (Education, Empower, Employ) class coupled with a forklift safety certification, he jumped at the chance to participate. Donald thought a certification would make him more appealing to employers, so he filled out an application and attended the first class of 2016.

At CAP, Donald learned new skills such as resume writing and interview techniques. He found the record restriction portion of the class, provided by Georgia Legal Services Program, to be especially beneficial. Now he better understands his criminal record and can confidently explain his past to potential employers.

“And confidence,” says Donald, “is the best thing I gained from the program. Honestly, before CAP I struggled to present myself as a responsible and respectable person. Now I feel proud of who I am.”

After graduation, Donald secured a job at a local warehouse at $10.00 an hour. However, he felt he could do more. So he started his own business, Gates Lawn Care. It wasn’t long before he could focus on his business full-time and Donald credits this success to CAP.

“With the help of CAP, I became aware of how a potential employer sees me. I learned how to answer questions and approach people with confidence.  Now I use those skills when I’m handing out my business cards or flyers. I can knock on a door and sell myself.”

Today, Donald proudly says, “I feel like I’m setting a good example for my kids. Now they see that I’m able to make my own way and that I will turn around and give others the opportunities that I didn’t have.”

And when he is ready to hire more employees, he knows the first place he will look – the Chatham Apprentice Program.

Learn more about the Chatham Apprentice Program at



Client Story – Keya Jest

November 17th, 2017 by

“Forget it, this is never going to work, I’m a convicted felon and nobody wants me!” 

This feeling of hopelessness haunted Keya Jest for years.  Substance abuse and addiction resulted in an extensive criminal background.  For many, this would have been the end of the road, but Keya overcame her addiction, and she looked forward to a new beginning. Regardless of being substance-free for two years, Keya’s criminal background was a barrier to finding a good paying job. Keya’s outgoing and sunny disposition helped get her many job offers, but once the employer completed a background check the offers were rescinded.

In 2016, she learned about Step Up’s Chatham Apprentice Program (CAP). At the time, she was working two part-time, low-paying hospitality jobs and barely making ends meet while pursuing a degree in business management at Savannah Tech. Despite her busy life, she made the time to attend the CAP classes, and now says it was one of the best decisions that she ever made.

CAP’s curriculum includes soft skill training, mock interviews, financial education, and legal assistance.  The mock interviews introduced Keya to the details that make a big difference when meeting a potential employer, such as poise and professionalism.

“During class, I was tired of doing all the interviews but once I walked into a real job interview, I was so thankful for the practice,” says Keya. “I carried myself with confidence.”

Keya also learned vital financial skills such as building credit, saving for the future, and choosing a bank account from the financial education provided by Consumer Credit Counseling Services. Keya started to dream again, envisioning a wedding and owning a home. But for Keya, meeting Nancy DeVetter of the Georgia Legal Services Program in CAP was a game changer. Nancy worked with Keya to identify eligible records on her background check that could be restricted from public view and explained how Keya could communicate these records with potential employers.

When Keya next applied for a higher wage job it was a different story. Keya explained her history to the employer and provided a character reference from CAP staff.  The employer decided to act outside of their regular course of action and brought Keya onboard.

Keya’s new normal includes being substance-free for three years, a good paying job with benefits that she loves, and being able to take care of her rescue dogs.  Step Up introduced Keya to a pathway to prosperity and she has never looked back.

On October 12, Keya hosted Step Up Savannah’s 12th Annual Meeting. She was spectacular! We are so proud to have her as both a CAP graduate and friend.

Do you want to see more people find their pathways to prosperity? Step Up needs your help to continue this important work. Please take a moment to donate today. 



Step Up is Looking for an Intern

July 28th, 2017 by

Position: Fundraising and Communications Intern

Description: Step Up Savannah seeks a dynamic, self-starter to assist with fundraising and communications efforts. This internship is an excellent opportunity to experience various aspects of marketing while working for well-known community based nonprofit organization.


  • Assist with Step Up’s social media presence, including scheduling updates
  • Draft, distribute and pitch news releases, media alerts, and other stories
  • Collaborating with staff on new ideas, directions, and venues for marketing and communications
  • Updating Step Up’s Working Families Network directory
  • Interview social service agencies that participate in Step Up’s Working Families Network
  • Interview past graduates of the Neighborhood Leadership Academy
  • Write client stories for marketing efforts
  • Supporting creation and dissemination of Step Up’s annual appeal
  • Maintaining donor and grant databases and files, including calendaring deadlines, logging donations, generating and sending donor acknowledgments, logging donor appreciation efforts
  • Assisting staff with grant application writing and tracking
  • Supporting staff with logistics associated with special events, including assisting with creation of invitation list, all logistics, soliciting sponsors, communicating with venue and vendors


  • Firm grasp of available tools and platforms in the social media space
  • Completed or working toward a college degree, preferably in a related field (e.g., English, Marketing/Communications, Public Administration, or Public Relations)
  • Previous internship or related experience in marketing or communications is a plus
  • Must be computer literate (working knowledge of word processing, PowerPoint, Excel).
  • Proficiency in Adobe InDesign and Photoshop a plus
  • An effective communicator, both written and oral
  • Ability to communicate in a professional manner with press and community contacts
  • Self-motivated, good organizational skills, detail-oriented, ability to prioritize, multi-task and meet deadlines
  • Possess an interest in a nonprofit career ‐ particularly development and fundraising
  • Enthusiasm for the mission of Step Up Savannah

Start Date: Position open until filled, requires 3 – 6 month commitment. Hours: 8 – 12 hours/week, preferably twice a week in the office. Up to 4 hours can be completed at home.

Compensation:  This is an unpaid position.  There is opportunity for school credit if allowed by the college/university of applicant.  Position offers an excellent opportunity to work on substantive projects and can result in a great reference.

To apply: E‐mail cover letter, resume, and writing sample to Director of Development & Communications – Kate Blair with a Re: line of “Application for Development Intern”

Step Up Savannah is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, age, national

Step Up Savannah, Inc. engages all sectors of the community to improve the economic mobility and financial stability of families in Savannah, Chatham County. To learn more, visit the website or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @stepupsavannah

Step Up Is Hiring!

July 27th, 2017 by

Chatham Apprentice Program Coordinator

Location: Step Up Savannah, 428 Bull Street Savannah, GA 31401

Posting Start Date: 07/27/2017

Posting End Date: 08/02/2017

Salary: $16.34-$26.97

Job Summary: Under direction of the Program Manager, the Coordinator is responsible for recruitment of participants from the high poverty census tracts with special attention to low income, under employed, unemployed and high-risk populations. Maintains full and accurate records and reports on participants, training sessions and distributes as required and directed. Enters data/ participant records into the database system, reviews and analyzes reports. Interfaces and builds business relationships for participants as directed. Provides follow-up tracking on all participants at regularly defined intervals. Participates in program planning/ assessment/ progress meetings with Manager, training team members and others as requested. Interfaces with Savannah Technical College, local community centers and partners, etc. for CAP participants. Provides some administrative duties and supportive tasks as needed for a participant to successfully complete CAP, including special events as they occur. Performs other work as requested by Program Manager.

Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in human resources, management, business administration or related field, supplemented by at least three (3) to five (5) years’ experience in working and proving record of placement with “high-risk adults.” Case management and coaching concept is a plus. Possess good communication skills and must have excellent computer skills: Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. Must be able to perform in stressful situations and exercise good judgment. Must be able to enter the local detention center for recruitment.

Step Up is Hiring!

February 24th, 2017 by

PT Graphic Design and Grant Coordination Associate

Step Up Savannah seeks a self-motivated individual with graphic design and project management skills to assist in achieving program goals and communicate impact.

The ideal candidate has experience in the production of print advertising, websites, web banners, and landing pages as well as posters, banners, and signage. This is an 8-16 hour/week position; days flexible.

Responsibilities will include meeting with program leads to determine the scope of a project, develop graphics and creating designs to accurately portray the desired message, presenting to the department, and working with vendors. We are looking for an individual with strong conceptual skills and the ability to look at projects from various perspectives to design innovating approaches and solutions.

In addition, this position will assist with grant reporting and project assessment through tracking expenses and progress toward grant goals as well as assisting Step Up staff in preparing grant reports.

Skills Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design or related field or 2+ years of relevant experience
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Microsoft Office with exceptional Microsoft PowerPoint skills
  • WordPress
  • Experience with branding
  • Ability to see project through from beginning to end with minimal supervision
  • Strong attention to detail

To apply, send a resume and cover letter to Carole Fireall at

We Need to Protect Consumers from Prepaid Card Fraud, Fees

February 14th, 2017 by

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                 Contact:  Kate Blair
February 14, 2017                                                          

U.S. Senators Perdue, Isakson Aim to Block Common-Sense Measures to Protect Consumers from Prepaid Card Fraud, Fees

Bill introduced would repeal consumer protection rules through fast-track law, impacting more 440,000 Georgia households

Savannah, Ga. – February 13, 2017 – Today, Step Up Savannah called on Georgia’s U.S. Senators David Perdue and Johnny Isakson to side with Georgians by refusing to use an obscure law to block the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) prepaid card rule. The move—made public through a resolution filed in the U.S. Senate last week—would block basic visa-prepaid-1600x900protections against fraud, unauthorized charges and errors from being extend to all prepaid card users.

Just as concerning, the legislative tool Senators Perdue and Isakson have chosen for this effort, the Congressional Review Act (CRA), is arcane law that gives Congress a window to fast-track the repeal of regulations from being implemented without the threat of a filibuster. Once an approved CRA resolution is signed by the President, the targeted rule is blocked and the agency can never propose another substantially similar rule without prior approval from Congress.

By attempting to permanently shelter prepaid cards from the same consumer protections that apply to debit cards, Senators Perdue and Isakson would allow prepaid card provider NetSpend—whose parent company is based in Georgia—to continue taking $80 million annually from consumers in overdraft fees. NetSpend is the only major provider to charge overdraft fees on prepaid cards, which the company primarily sells at payday loan and check-cashing stores and through payroll cards used by employers of low-wage workers.


Jen Singeisen, Executive Director of Step Up Savannah

“It is alarming that in our own home state, our Senators would want to block common-sense consumer protections, such as
basic fraud protection and fee transparency, from applying to all prepaid card users, including the hundreds of thousands of Georgia households that use these products each year,” said Jennifer Singeisen, Executive Director of Step Up Savannah. “We call on Senators Perdue and Isakson to side with these Georgians, as well as countless others across the country, and not with companies like NetSpend who use overdraft fees to strip hard-earned dollars from the pockets of our most vulnerable consumers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s important work, including the return of nearly $12 billion to 29 million consumers, has been incredibly important to residents of Chatham County, Georgia and to our nation.”

For consumers locked out of the financial mainstream and for those seeking to avoid costly overdraft fees, prepaid cards represent an opportunity for families to have safe, affordable access to their hard-earned money. In Georgia alone, more than 440,000 underbanked households used prepaid cards in 2015, according to the FDIC. Assessing unscrupulous fees on these products diminishes the power of prepaid cards to help consumers get ahead, rather than falling farther behind.

NetSpend’s payday-lender-sold prepaid cards have unusual features that allow payday lenders to repay themselves by extracting money from the card, thus triggering overdraft fees for consumers who are largely unaware of how much money is being extracted and when. NetSpend’s cards offer an opt-in overdraft “protection” that allows the card to be used when it is empty, with the overdraft and a $15 to $25 fee taken out of the next deposit to the card.

A CFPB survey found that 98% of prepaid cards do not have overdraft fees. This includes the nation’s largest prepaid card company, Green Dot, which does not charge overdraft fees and supports the CFPB prepaid rule.

The CFPB rule currently under attack in the U.S. Senate was issued last fall and is scheduled to go into effect on October 1. It extends strong protections to prepaid card users, including some of the same basic fraud and fee protections that debit card users already enjoy. In addition, the rule includes new disclosure standards that would help consumers better understand key information about prepaid cards in order to comparison shop and make informed decisions. While the rule does not prohibit overdraft fees, it does require hybrid prepaid-credit cards that can overdraft to comply with established consumer protections for credit cards, including consideration of a consumer’s ability to make payments on credit extended to them.


Georgia Work Credit can help working families step up

January 27th, 2017 by

By Jen Singeisen

Too many in our community struggle to step up into the middle class, even as they strive to do all the right things to work their way up the economic ladder. More than a quarter of Savannah’s residents live in poverty. Many neighborhoods have seen jobs vanish and incomes fall over the past three decades. When hardworking people can’t get ahead, it weighs down the economy as a whole and undermines our community’s ability to thrive. At Step Up Savannah, we engage all sectors of the community to improve the economic mobility and financial stability of families. Helping people step up benefits us all; studies show a strong link between broad-based opportunity and economic growth. Low economic mobility and financial stability are community-wide issues that diminish our overall economic potential.

While there is no silver bullet for the complex challenges facing families today, but state leaders do have some proven tools at their disposal. This legislative session, our state lawmakers can enact a time-tested policy with strong bipartisan support to give an economic boost to working families.

Today is EITC Awareness Day, a chance to recognize the enormous impact the national Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) has on our community. Created in 1975, the EITC is a federal policy that cuts taxes for low-wage workers like cashiers and nurses, providing a wage boost for families moving toward the middle class. In 2017, about 32,000 Chatham County families will claim the national EITC, bringing in nearly $100 million to our economy.

Georgia can build on this success by enacting a Georgia Work Credit, a state version of the EITC. To be eligible for the credit, Social-Media-Templates-EITC-Day (1)_Page_3recipients must work; making this a great incentive to keep folks in the workforce.  Many are seeing this as a viable alternative to raising the minimum wage. A Georgia Work Credit would provide a tax break up to help working families make ends meet. Evidence from the EITC and other states shows that a Georgia Work Credit would help families in Chatham County work their way to the middle class by making key investments, saving for a rainy day and making sure bills get paid. A Georgia Work Credit would also help children as research has shown that the EITC is linked to healthier babies, better school performance and higher earnings later in life. More than helping individual families, the Georgia Work Credit would also pump over $8.7 million into our local businesses.

The General Assembly should take a page from our Chatham County Legislative Delegation and take a serious look at the potential of a Georgia Work Credit as a vehicle to provide a bottom-up tax cut to working families. A Georgia Work Credit would help build the middle class, impart lifelong benefits for children and provide a pivotal step up the economic ladder for thousands of families in our community.

Staff Recommended Holiday Shopping List

December 20th, 2016 by

Have you started your holiday shopping yet? The staff at Step Up wanted to help you  with this really great list of books that have helped to shape the way we do our work. Each staff member submitted one or two of their favorite books that helped to shape the way they do their work. To make it even easier, I added some hyperlinks and pictures. All you have to do is click!

Why not buy a copy for yourself and start a book club as one of your new year’s resolutions. There is no better time than the present to expand your mind and positively impact your community.

Kate Blair, Director of Development & Communication

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement. The New Jim Crow is such a book. Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as “brave and bold,” this book directly challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.” By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second-class status—even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a “call to action.”

Talisha Crooks, Chatham Apprentice Program Coordinator

The Working Poor

As David K. Shipler makes clear in this powerful, humane study, the invisible poor are engaged in the activity most respected in American ideology—hard, honest work. But their version of the American Dream is a nightmare: low-paying, dead-end jobs; the profound failure of government to improve upon decaying housing, health care, and education; the failure of families to break the patterns of child abuse and substance abuse. Shipler exposes the interlocking problems by taking us into the sorrowful, infuriating, courageous lives of the poor—white and black, Asian and Latino, citizens and immigrants. We encounter them every day, for they do jobs essential to the American economy.

Rebecca Elias, AmeriCorps VISTA

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Matthew Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced  into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality—and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship.

Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

Isaac Felton, Chatham Apprentice Program Manager

How the Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class

John Hope Bryant, successful self-made businessman and founder of the nonprofit Operation HOPE, says business and political leaders are ignoring the one force that could truly re-energize the stalled American economy: the poor. If we give poor communities the right tools, policies, and inspiration, he argues, they will be able to lift themselves up into the middle class and become a new generation of customers and entrepreneurs.

Bryant radically redefines the meaning of poverty and wealth. (It’s not just a question of finances; it’s values too.) He exposes why attempts to aid the poor so far have fallen short and offers a way forward: the HOPE Plan, a series of straightforward, actionable steps to build financial literacy and expand opportunity so that the poor can join the middle class.

Carole Fireall, Office Administrator & NLA Coordinator

The Essence of Leadership

The Essence of Leadership is book three in this image driven, inspirational, motivational series. In Mac’s first two books, the focus was on what it takes to obtain true success in life and how to achieve the right kind of attitude. Both previous books used inspirational stories and described the importance of how to achieve personal progress through character traits and godly living-all of this reinforced by the power of inspiring and striking imagery. In The Essence of Leadership, Mac takes a similar approach to direct readers to achieve personal success through integrity, ethics, loyalty, persistence, faith matters, and many more character traits that form the leader within a person.

Nate Saraceno, Graphic Designer

Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America

Here is the kaleidoscopic story of the quintessential, but mostly ignored, American murder—a “ghettoside” killing, one young black man slaying another—and a brilliant and driven cadre of detectives whose creed is to pursue justice for forgotten victims at all costs. Ghettoside is a fast-paced narrative of a devastating crime, an intimate portrait of detectives and a community bonded in tragedy, and a surprising new lens into the great subject of why murder happens in our cities—and how the epidemic of killings might yet be stopped.

Jen Singeisen, Executive Director

Teaching With Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It

In Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It, veteran educator and brain expert Eric Jensen takes an unflinching look at how poverty hurts children, families, and communities across the United States and demonstrates how schools can improve the academic achievement and life readiness of economically disadvantaged students.

Jensen argues that although chronic exposure to poverty can result in detrimental changes to the brain, the brain’s very ability to adapt from experience means that poor children can also experience emotional, social, and academic success. A brain that is susceptible to adverse environmental effects is equally susceptible to the positive effects of rich, balanced learning environments and caring relationships that build students’ resilience, self-esteem, and character.

Robyn Wainner, Director of Wealth Building

Scarcity: The New Science of Having Less and How It Defines Our Lives 

In this provocative book based on cutting-edge research, Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir show that scarcity creates a distinct psychology for everyone struggling to manage with less than they need. Busy people fail to manage their time efficiently for the same reasons the poor and those maxed out on credit cards fail to manage their money.

Once we start thinking in terms of scarcity, the problems of modern life come into sharper focus, and Scarcity reveals not only how it leads us astray but also how individuals and organizations can better manage scarcity for greater satisfaction and success.

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

Nudge is about choices—how we make them and how we can make better ones. Drawing on decades of research in the fields of behavioral science and economics, authors Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein offer a new perspective on preventing the countless mistakes we make—ill-advised personal investments, consumption of unhealthy foods, neglect of our natural resources—and show us how sensible “choice architecture” can successfully nudge people toward the best decisions. In the tradition of The Tipping Point and Freakonomics, Nudge is straightforward, informative, and entertaining—a must-read for anyone interested in our individual and collective well-being.