For more than 20 years the Jordan Institute for Families has focused on strengthening families, communities and the workforce who serves them. Thousands of people in every county across North Carolina have benefited from the Institute’s consultation, training, technical assistance, programs, and capacity to build partnerships and coalitions. Whether shining a light on human trafficking, health inequity, poverty, incarceration, and infant mortality or advancing mental wellness, child welfare, and healthy aging, the Jordan Institute focuses on strengthening families across generations.
Founded in 1996 by Michael Jordan and his family, the mission of the Jordan Institute for Families at the UNC School of Social Work is to strengthen families by applying interdisciplinary knowledge to the design and operation of social and health programs in North Carolina and across the nation.
To accomplish this mission, the Jordan Institute is charged with the following goals:
- Translating research knowledge into public policies and practice technologies that support and strengthen families.
- Providing technical assistance, education, and training to policy makers, program managers, service providers, and consumers to ensure that research findings (from social work and other disciplines) are reflected in policy recommendations, in professional practice, and in the ways families interact with human service systems in their communities.
- Encouraging collaboration among the areas of aging, child welfare, criminal justice, disabilities, health, juvenile justice, mental health, public education, and other agencies and organizations that serve families.
- Promoting interdisciplinary family studies and information sharing across health and other professions.
- Promoting intergenerational approaches to support and strengthen families across the life course.
- Fostering an atmosphere of respect for racial and cultural diversity in public policy, research, education, and community service.
The Jordan Institute for Families and its affiliated programs—all of which secure extramural funding to support their activities—serve as a focal point for public engagement and service, advancing the mission of the larger University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Michael Jordan has said, “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” The Jordan Institute for Families is living that legacy and making change happen.