Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
What is Social Justice?
"Preservation of one's own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures"
Often Social Justice is about exposing the bindings and power structures which pollute our day to day life. The leaders who are competent in grappling with these issues use their time to engage in various opportunities to learn about power. Often it refers to the social power through race, sex, gender, sexuality, class, age, and other demographics which control how people view each other.
As a leader it is your responsibility to strive to reduce economic, political, and social inequality. Also, continue to think critically from all perspectives to examine how your actions as a leader and a community will affect all of the members of society, no matter their status level.
"Change the World, Join a Movement" a TEDx Talk by Adria Goodson
Videos on Social Justice
What is Social Justice?
Social justice is the fair and just relation between the individual and society. This is measured by the explicit and tacit terms for the distribution of wealth, opportunities for personal activity and social privileges. In Western as well as in older Asian cultures, the concept of social justice has often referred to the process of ensuring that individuals fulfill their societal roles and receive what was their due from society. In the current global grassroots movements for social justice, the emphasis has been on the breaking of barriers for social mobility, the creation of safety nets and economic justice.
Kimberle Crenshaw: The Urgency of Intersectionality
Now more than ever, it's important to look boldly at the reality of race and gender bias -- and understand how the two can combine to create even more harm. Kimberlé Crenshaw uses the term "intersectionality" to describe this phenomenon; as she says, if you're standing in the path of multiple forms of exclusion, you're likely to get hit by both. In this moving talk, she calls on us to bear witness to this reality and speak up for victims of prejudice.
Halla Tómasdóttir: It's Time for Women to Run for Office
With warmth and wit, Halla Tómasdóttir shares how she overcame media bias, changed the tone of the political debate and surprised her entire nation when she ran for president of Iceland -- inspiring the next generation of leaders along the way. "What we see, we can be," she says. "It matters that women run."
Sanford Biggers: An Artists Unflinching Look at Racial Violence
Conceptual artist and TED Fellow Sanford Biggers uses painting, sculpture, video and performance to spark challenging conversations about the history and trauma of black America. Join him as he details two compelling works and shares the motivation behind his art. "Only through more thoughtful dialogue about history and race can we evolve as individuals and society," Biggers says.
Articles on Social Justice
Michel Foucault's "Panopticism" from Discipline and Punish
The panopticon was destined to spread throughout society. It makes power more economic and effective. It does this to develop the economy, spread education and improve public morality, not to save society. The panopticon represents the subordination of bodies that increases the utility of power while dispensing with the need for a prince.
Judith Butler's "Performative Acts and Gender Constitution"
In this essay, Judith Butler proposes her theory of gender performativity, which would be later taken up in 1990 throughout her work, Gender Trouble. She begins by basing her theory of gender performativity on a feminist phenomenological point of view. She suggests that both phenomenology and feminism ground their theories in "lived experience". Further, in comparing phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty and feminist Simone de Beauvoir, Butler argues that both theories view the sexual body as a historical idea or situation; she accepts this notion of a "distinction between sex, as biological facticity, and gender, as the cultural interpretation or signification of that facticity". This combination of theories is essential for founding Butler's view of "theatrical" or performative genders in society.
The Yellowman Tapes
This article considers the final disposal of field-recorded tapes that are believed by the informant's family to embody certain dangers to researchers, to the natural world, and to themselves. Motives for keeping or destroying the tapes are discussed in the light of modern concerns such as the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, Navajo worldview, scholarly interests, fieldwork ethics, and personal responsibilities of the fieldworker. I espouse the view that folklorists stand to learn more and do better work when scholarly decisions are guided by the culture we study, even when taking this course causes disruption in our academic assumptions.
Fiction and Films on Social Justice
The Underground Railroad by
From prize-winning, bestselling author Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood--where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned--Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. In Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor--engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar's first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom. Like the protagonist of Gulliver's Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey--hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.
Publication Date: 2016-08-02
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by
This brilliant epic novel set in New York and Prague introduces us to two misfit young men who make it big by creating comic-book superheroes. Joe Kavalier, a young artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdiniesque escape, has just smuggled himself out of Nazi-invaded Prague and landed in New York City. His Brooklyn cousin Sammy Clay is looking for a partner to create heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit America the comic book. Inspired by their own fears and dreams, Kavalier and Clay create the Escapists, The Monitor, and Luna Moth, inspired by the beautiful Rosa Saks, who will become linked by powerful ties to both men. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is the winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Publication Date: 2001-08-25