What is Social Justice?
When I was told I would be writing a blog post on Social Justice, I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about. I wracked my brain of different topics I could cover, but then I realized it may be useful to dive deeper into the true meaning and importance of social justice. In this post, I will talk about what social justice is and how the University promotes social justice.
The first definition you find when you Google social justice is, “Justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.” This definition is still a little wordy. In more simplistic terms, social justice is the following:
- Equal Rights
- Equal Opportunities
- Equal treatment
Keep in mind, this is just a simplified explanation of a broad term. Social justice means many things. To dive deeper, there are a few main principles that help define what social justice is. These principles include, but are not limited to:
Everyone has equal access to resources. These resources include education, health care and employment opportunities.
The principle that everyone should have an equal opportunity to succeed, regardless of past injustices or discrimination.
Diversity in leadership and government, meaning that leaders should represent those whom they serve. This includes women, people of color and other minorities.
Meaning everyone has a voice to help make choices in their community.
- Human Rights
Finally, human rights which encompasses political rights and the freedom from police abuse and reproductive rights.
Social Justice Efforts at the University of Utah
Now that we know some of the fundamentals of what social justice is, let’s take a glimpse at some of the resources the U has to offer.
- Social Justice Advocates (SJAs)
I won’t spend too much time talking about our SJAs because we have an awesome blog post about them already: Who are the Social Justice Advocates? But basically, the SJAs promote social justice within the residence halls. They are a resource for students to build community on campus. You can learn more about our SJAs here.
- Equity Living Room and Equity Lounge
The Equity Living Room (located in Kahlert Village) and the Equity Lounge (located in Benchmark 820) are two places focused on social justice. Staffed by SJAs, these places offer community for students. They hold events on different topics during the semester, and they also are a place where students can play board games, watch movies, study and meet new people. For hours and more information check out their website here.
- Resource Centers
Located in the Student Union are the resource centers for all of campus! These centers include, the Center for Child Care and Family Resources, the Center for Disability and Access, International Student and Scholar Services, the LGBT Resource Center, the Women’s Resource Center, the Center for Equity and Student Belonging, and the Veteran’s Support Center, to name a few. Each of these resource centers is there to make sure each student feels like they belong and provide support, so don’t be afraid to check out these resources! For more information check out the Union’s website here.
If you are interested in learning more about social justice, please check out the following websites for the sources that contributed to this post.