The State of Working Mississippi 2020 report released today by the Jesuit Social Research Institute (JSRI) of Loyola University New Orleans paints a rather bleak picture of the social and economic conditions experienced by the men, women and children of Mississippi.
The 2019 JustSouth Index report provides policymakers, businesses, nonprofits, and residents a better understanding of how the people of the Gulf South are faring with regard to basic human rights and needs. Click the links below for pertinent information related to the report.
The Privilege of Plenty: Educational Inequity in Mississippi analyzes the connections between economic and social factors, educational performance, and educational attainment in Mississippi. It is divided into four periods of life: birth to age four, elementary and secondary education, post-secondary education, and the long-term impacts of educational attainment. This report shows that poverty in Mississippi is the greatest detriment to educational performance. This hinders educational attainment and economic security. Moreover, increasing adult educational attainment improves the overall standard of living. Furthermore, this report also shows that communities of color suffer from a level of poverty that harms educational performance and produces lower adult educational attainment rates. This in turn creates more poverty for the next generation of children starting their own educational journey. It concludes that improving adult education attainment requires providing the necessary resources to educate children and alleviate the effects of poverty upon them.
The JustSouth Index is one of our flagship publications and this is our third annual report. In it, we measure and compare all 50 states and Washington, D.C., on nine social justice-related indicators: average household income of poor households, health insurance coverage for the poor, housing affordability, public school integration, white-minority wage equity, white- minority employment equity, immigrant youth outcomes, immigrant English proficiency, and health insurance coverage for immigrants.
Rich School, Poor School: Education [In]Equity in Louisiana analyzes the connections between economic and social factors, educational performance, and educational attainment in Louisiana. It is divided into four periods of life: birth to age four, elementary and secondary education, post- secondary education, and the long-term impacts of educational attainment.
Louisiana on Lockdown
The report, LOUISIANA ON LOCKDOWN: A Report on the Use of Solitary Confinement in Louisiana State Prisons, With Testimony From the People Who Live It, is published by Solitary Watch, the ACLU of Louisiana, and the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University New Orleans. More than two years in the making, it is based primarily on a survey completed by 709 people in solitary in all nine of Louisiana’s prisons, the largest ever survey of people living in solitary
A Composition of Place
During the academic year 2018-2019, at the request of the Jesuit Central and Southern Province, JSRI produced social analysis reports on major apostolic areas of the province in nine city reports entitled A Composition of Place: Dallas, Denver, El Paso, Houston, Kansas City, Mobile, New Orleans, St. Louis, and Tampa. The indicators applied to the city and metro areas were reflective of the three dimensions of the mission of the Society of Jesus highlighted in the work of the 35th and 36th Jesuit General Congregations in 2008 and 2016: reconciliation with God; reconciliation with one another; and reconciliation with creation. This included overall demographics as well as statistics for religious affiliation, attendance at parochial schools, income, race, educational achievement, unemployment, voter registration and voting, health, infant mortality, abortion, and environmental challenges. Discussion questions also were proposed for local conversations among Jesuits and their apostolic colleagues about the implications of these reports for their ministries.
The social analysis reports are available as pdfs by clinking on the links below:
Authored by Kathleen J. Fitzgerald, Ph.D., the report helps us to understand the scope of food insecurity, its causes and its cures, the realities of food deserts, and the nature of food justice. In his introduction to the report, JSRI Executive Director the Rev. Fred Kammer, S.J., J.D., emphasizes: “Dr. Fitzgerald presents strategies for addressing food insecurity as part of the demands upon all of us — citizens and policymakers — to end the scourge of hunger in the midst of plenty in Louisiana.”
Research of Issues Contributing to Rural Poverty and Poverty Reduction Strategies: Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi
This report, commissioned by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), consists of research and analysis of rural poverty in four southern states (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia). Included are demographic and economic estimates of populations in poverty, poverty trends, issues contributing to poverty, and poverty reduction resources such as church and civil society organizations and economic development and asset-building agencies.
JustSouth Index 2017
In 2016, we published our first JustSouth Index to provide a means for citizens and policy-makers in the Gulf South and across the nation to take stock of important social justice-related indicators and to take action to create a more socially just society. The use of indicators follows a methodology pioneered by the United Nations, which we employed to construct a measure of social justice for stateby-state comparisons within our own country. Now, with the publication of the JustSouth Index 2017, we continue this examination of three key dimensions of social justice: poverty, racial disparity, and immigrant exclusion.
State of Working Florida
The State of Working Florida 2017 analyzes the period from 2005 through 2016 and finds that while Florida’s economic and employment levels have recovered from the Great Recession levels of economic security have not improved. This report shows that increases in the share of low-wage employment and the persistence of wage disparities for women and people of color afterthe Great Recession enabled an uneven economic recovery and fueled greaterincome inequality. It concludes that by making strategic public investments and policy changes, Florida’s leaders have an opportunity to improve the economic reality of all workers and their families.
Low-Wage Work in Mississippi: Enhancing Opportunities for Families
On behalf of JSRI, Dr. Kathleen Fitzergald studied the needs of low-wage workers in Mississippi, what the state is doing to address these needs, and what additional policies and programs can be implemented to address the myriad unmet needs of this vulnerable population. This report was prepare for OxFam America.
SNAP Keeps Louisiana Strong and Healthy During Difficult Times
The Over a six month period, Sakeenah Shabazz (Emerson Congressional Hunger Fellow at JSRI), Jeanie Donovan (JSRI Economic Policy Specialist), and Colleen Dulle (Loyola University New Orleans Senior), travelled around Louisiana and spoke with 47 SNAP recipients and coordinators. These experiences were compiled in an interactive story bank and captured through a short film. This project was further supported by a report examining SNAP in Louisiana.
Recovering the Human Face of Immigration in the U.S. South
The Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida, Jesuit Social Research Institute (JSRI), and Program for Immigration Religion & Social Change came together to produce Recovering the Human Face of Immigration in the U.S. South in October of 2016. The effort was made possible by a grant from the Carnegie Foundation and with religious leaders throughout the country giving insight into inclusive immigrant practices (namely, Ann Cass Williams; PJ Edwards; Michael Mata; Alexia Salvatierra; Msgr. Dan Stack).
The State of Working Mississippi
The Jesuit Social Research Institute (JSRI) released the State of Working Mississippi 2016 report to coincide with the recent Labor Day holiday. The report examines current and historical data related to wages, labor force participation, job market, education, assets and poverty in Mississippi. It also includes proposed policy solutions related to the findings.
JustSouth Index 2016
By measuring and comparing all 50 states and Washington, D.C. on nine social justice-related indicators, the JustSouth Index provides a strong starting point for determining not only where inequity is most problematic but also what systemic factors contribute to the inequity. The JustSouth Index also provides guidance regarding how citizens and leaders in the Gulf South can change this picture.
Too Much for Too Many: What does it cost families to live in Louisiana?
This report provides an account of how tens of thousands of Louisiana families—of various sizes, compositions, and locations—lack adequate income sources to sustain family economic security and human dignity.