The term “social justice” can be vague and misunderstood in various ways as the term has evolved over the years. Today, it has shifted towards protecting and promoting everyone’s human rights, regardless of race, sex, religion, ethnicity, language, nationality, social status, and other identity categories. Social justice aims to improve the lives of systemically disadvantaged and marginalized groups who have historically faced discrimination in society. In short, it means to create fairness for everyone. Let’s explore some main principles of social justice which are access to resources, equity, participation, diversity, and human rights.
Access to Resources
Access to resources such as food, shelter, healthcare, education, and clean water are important principals of social justice. However, access to such services are unequal and communities have different levels of access based on factors such as socioeconomic status, employment, education, and their environment. This lack of access creates a cycle of disadvantage individuals as well as future generations due to a lack of intergenerational wealth.
Equity and equality are different. Equity refers to how individuals are given tools & resources that are specific to their needs and socioeconomic status, in order for them to move towards outcomes that are similar to folks who don’t have these same needs. Equality refers to offering the same tools & resources to everyone regardless of their individual circumstances. By providing equitable resources that focus on the specific needs of the individual and community, a more equitable system can be created.
Social justice requires individuals to have an opportunity to voice their concerns in democratic processes, especially those tied to policy making. Social injustice can occur when decisions are made that do not adequately represent the needs of all constituents.
Being able to understand the importance of diversity and appreciation of cultural differences are especially important. Policymakers that take diversity into consideration will be able to construct better policies among different societal groups. It’s important to recognize that some communities face more barriers than others in the United States.
Human rights are the most important principal in social justice. It is essential that governments and organizations are held accountable when people’s basic human rights are being violated.
Hopefully by reviewing these core principles of social justice, you have a better understanding of what it means. In order to be engage in social justice work, you need to be willing and able to identify sources of inequality and actively work towards equitable reform.
Upcoming Holidays & Observances
- March 22—April 21 (sundown to sundown) Ramadan, an Islamic holiday marked by fasting, praise, prayer, and devotion to Islam.
- March 22–31 Chaitra Navaratri, a nine-day festival which starts on the first day of Hindu LuniSolar calendar.
- March 30 Ram Navami, a Hindu day of worship and celebration of the seventh avatar of Vishnu (Lord Rama). Devotees typically wear red and place extravagant flowers on the shrine of the god.
- March 31 International Transgender Day of Visibility, celebrated to bring awareness to transgender people and their identities as well as recognize those who helped fight for rights for transgender people.
- April 2 World Autism Awareness Day, created to raise awareness around the globe.
- April 2 Palm Sunday, a Christian holiday commemorating the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. It takes place on the last Sunday of Lent, at the beginning of the Holy Week.