Social justice has been around forever but has recently found a strong foothold in our culture over the past few years. In basic terms, social justice involves the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.
The term “social justice” means different things to different people, but the basic tenets of social justice are: equal rights, equal pay, and equal treatment. The main word to focus on is “equal,” and everyone deserves equal economic, political, and social rights and opportunities. Social workers try to create access and opportunity for everyone, particularly those in dire need.
Social justice also encourages a personal responsibility to work with others, establishing the tools needed for personal and social development.
Social justice is fairness as it manifests in society. That includes fairness in healthcare, employment, housing, and more. Now, social justice applies to all aspects of society, including race and gender, and it is closely tied to human rights.
Social justice depends on four essential principles: human rights, access, participation, and equity.
Social Justice is always moving forward, and the goal is a more equal society. The connection between social justice and human rights is becoming more and more intertwined, focusing on the protection of everyone’s human rights. Human rights won’t solve all of our problems, but ensuring even the basic human rights is a step closer to alleviating unnecessary suffering.
It takes a village. Social justice can be difficult if there are only a few voices speaking out. The wheels of social justice can be slow but will start turning when people get involved in speaking out against discrimination and racism. Many times, we need to be the voice of the marginalized and vulnerable because most feel that they don’t have a voice due to past experiences. Participation must be encouraged so that everyone – especially those who haven’t had a chance before – can speak.
When everyone has access to essentials like shelter, food, and education, it can mean a productive society. When that access is restricted or denied due to an individual’s gender, race, or class, it leads to a breakdown in society. The main goal of social justice activists is to increase and restore access, giving everyone equal opportunities for a good life.
For years, the word “equality” has been synonymous with social justice and human rights, but over time that word has been replaced with “equity.” What’s the difference? Equity takes into account the effects of discrimination and aims for an equal outcome. “Equality” gives everyone the same thing whether they need it or not. “Equity” doesn’t give privileged people anything that they don’t need. Instead, when practicing equity, everyone ends at the same place rather than starting at the same place.
BECOME AN ALLY
An ally is someone who is more than a non-racist person, an ally is a person who takes part in activities actively working to demolish racism. An ally is not a spectator, an ally knows they’re not a savior but a supporter taking direction from the directly effected. An ally takes proactive steps to challenge racism in their sphere of influence and beyond.
REMEMBER: IT TAKES US ALL
Together, we will change the world.
Contact us today to find out how you can get involved with #racismstinks.