Social justice is the belief that everyone deserves equal economic, political and social rights and opportunities. While healthcare, racial injustice, climate justice, voting rights, income gap, gun violence, refugee crisis, equality and hunger, and food insecurity were the biggest social justice issues of 2020, healthcare, voting rights, climate change and the refugee crisis and immigration were the biggest social justice issues we faced in 2021.
As we approach the end of another year, most of us are reflecting on what we have or haven’t accomplished in 2021 and are resolving what we’d like to accomplish in the New Year. Were we advocates for social justice in 2021? What social justice impacts have we organized? Have we mobilized and empowered our communities to act upon social justice issues? The late Congressman John Lewis notoriously said, “Get in good trouble, necessary trouble, and help redeem the soul of America.”
If you have transformative ideas about social justice and would like to act upon social justice issues, consider the following five main principles of social justice.
Five Main Principles of Social Justice:
1) Access to Resources – is a fundamental principle of social justice. Communities have had different levels of access based on factors such as socioeconomic status, education, employment, and environment.
2) Equity – It’s easy to confuse the terms ‘equity’ and ‘equality, but we must remember that things that are equitable are not always equal. To achieve social justice and ensure equal opportunities for success, it is important to provide equitable resources that focus on the specific needs of communities and the people within them.
3) Diversity – by understanding diversity and embracing cultural differences, we expand opportunities and access. Public administrators will be better equipped to make policies that address everyone’s needs when they acknowledge the differences that exist between individuals and groups. To be effective, policy-makers must recognize and accept all factors that create barriers, then work on ways to overcome them. By understanding diversity and embracing cultural differences, we expand opportunities and access.
4) Participation – Social justice requires that people have the opportunity and platform necessary to participate in making policies that affect their well-being. When public administrators create exclusionary policies, they fail to bring diversity to the table.
5) Human Rights – Perhaps the most important social justice principle is human rights. Human rights are inherent to everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status. Human rights and social justice are inevitably intertwined, making it impossible to have one without the other.
Does your developing or existing non-profit have a social justice mission? If Yes, let’s work together to reach your organization’s goals.
Class Begins January 19, 2022
The Cleveland Life Institute now offers an online educational program designed for busy adults. The 12-week course, “Organizational Management for Social Entrepreneurs” is tailored to the needs of participating social entrepreneurs and nonprofits with a social justice mission. Using an innovative approach combining an interactive, and model-based learning experiences, it empowers students to carry out a plan to sustain well-managed social enterprises.