In the words of Fordham Law's Dean Diller, "Our society looks to the legal profession for leadership in working through many of the most difficult issues that we face: balancing values of liberty and privacy against the need for security, establishing equality against a history of discrimination, ensuring the fairness of markets and safeguarding our economy, protecting the environment in the face of climate change, preserving free expression and religious liberty." [Emphasis added]
This guide is intended to provide a list of social justice resources available nationally, locally, and at Fordham University. It will lead you to resources that will facilitate active participation social justice initiatives and service to others and educational resources for personal development such as books.
"[W]e must also recommit ourselves to the work that is proper to us as an academic community. A university’s greatest strength is its intellectual capital—the research, teaching, and learning that occurs both in and outside of the classroom. It is our central mission, and the one on which we expend the great majority of our budget and most of our energy—intellectual and moral. Tapping into these strengths and assets, we must recommit ourselves to the work of educating for justice and to doing all we can to figure out how our beloved nation, to paraphrase President Abraham Lincoln, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all are created equal, has allowed itself to stray from the ideals (and the promises those ideals hold out to all) upon which it was founded."
- Father Joseph M. McShane, S.J.,President of Fordham University
As with most concepts, there is more than one definition for "social justice". Here is a selection of definitions. The common thread is granting rights to groups that have historically been marginalized in society.
"The objective of creating a fair and equal society in which each individual matters, their rights are recognized and protected, and decisions are made in ways that are fair and honest." --Oxford Reference
"[J]ustice at the level of a society or state as regards the possession of wealth, commodities, opportunities, and privileges." --Oxford English Dictionary
"Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote gender equality, or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants. We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability." --United Nations, World Day of Social Justice
"[A] state or doctrine of egalitarianism." --Merriam Webster
"Social justice refers to a concept in which equity or justice is achieved in every aspect of society rather than in only some aspects or for some people. A world organized around social justice principles affords individuals and groups fair treatment as well as an impartial share or distribution of the advantages and disadvantages within a society." --National Education Association