The Nine Just Neighbors Sessions

Session 1: Who Is My Neighbor?

Meet three families that are struggling to survive on low wages. Begin to understand the obstacles that they face every day. Explore the ways that justice, compassion, and community provide a basis for social action on behalf of these families. Discuss personal motivations for responding to their needs.

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Session 2: Making Ends Meet

Living in poverty means maintaining a constant financial juggling act, a never-ending struggle to make ends meet. In this session, participants watch a video about a family, and then try to balance the family's budget, experiencing the nearly impossible financial decisions that low-income families must make on a daily basis.

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Session 3: What Would You Choose?

Is it better for Annie, a single mother struggling to care for her children, to move to a cheaper, but less safe neighborhood, or to spend more hours working away from her children so they can stay where they are? In this session, participants make the tough decisions Annie faces, and feel the stresses and struggles of life below the poverty line.

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Does Working Work?

Even full-time employment does not guarantee a successful climb out of poverty. In this session, participants consider the lives of three working families who struggle to meet their basic needs, and understand how trends and changes in employment and wages affect the families who make up the "working poor."

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Housing Matters

The word "home" evokes images of safety, warmth, and love. But for millions of Americans, a decent and affordable home is an impossible dream. In this session, participants examine the nation's housing crisis and commonly-held myths. Through a video, they learn about ways that communities are responding to the need for housing.

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Prejudice, Privilege, and Poverty

Race and poverty have been closely linked throughout the history of the U.S. In this session, a thought-provoking video provides the basis for the group's discussion. Participants explore ways that racial discrimination impacts education, employment, and economic opportunities.

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Our Children, Our Future

In the United States, one child out of six lives in poverty. Listen and watch as these most vulnerable children describe their lives and challenges. Use creative activities to identify the essentials for a healthy life, discover the ways that poverty deprives children of these essentials, and understand why a life lived in poverty is not child's play.

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Justice for All?

Over the last several decades, the gulf between the rich and the poor in America has widened. In this session, participants take on the roles of people of different economic status and grapple with the differing ways they are affected by economic trends reflected in the news of the day.

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Stepping Out, Taking Action

Apply the information you've learned about the causes of poverty and the needs of your neighbors to develop a plan for action. Included in this session are ideas for community volunteer activities, new initiatives, and advocacy. Having completed Just Neighbors, you are now ready to take the next step.

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