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What is Social Justice?

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Matt Christensen

on 10 November 2015

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Transcript of What is Social Justice?

Social Justice
What is Social Justice?
The belief that, as humans we all deserve to be treated equally, no matter what circumstances we are born into.
Social - human to human.
Justice - Appropriate equity.
Race Part 1 continued
Examples of Social Justice
Read Part 1 of Handout #1
Answer the questions at the bottom of the page in your notebook.
Social Justice Issues
Public Safety
Health care
Political Systems
Etc., etc., etc.
Take out your notebook and prepare to record your answers there.
Some Questions
The topic of social justice is complicated because it brings up debatable questions.
Who is the young woman ahead of the crowd carrying a book?
Why does the crowd behind her seem angry?
What do you think is happening in this photo?
Discuss as a class.
Burnsville High School 10th Grade Language Arts, 2014
What is the definition of equal, fair, or just?
Who is responsible for making sure society is just and fair? (Think "Harrison Bergeron.")
Is it the government, or is it the job of individuals, or is it both?
What does a fair and just society look like?
Examples of Social Justice - Race Part 2
Read Part 2 of Handout # 1
What is the time period of each photo? In what ways are the time periods of these photos similar? In what ways are they different?
Both photographs expose some element of racism. How?
How are the subjects of each photo similar? How are they different?
How are the historical events surrounding each photo similar? How are they different?
Find a Partner.
Examples of Social Justice

Gender Part 1
Do you think the woman is a construction worker? Why or why not?
What features in the photograph emphasize the woman's competence?
What features in the photograph emphasize the woman's beauty?
What is missing from the photo that you might expect to see?
Overall, what do you think of the woman in the photo? Why?
Examples of Social Justice
Gender Part 2
Do you think the woman is a construction worker? Why or why not?
What features in the photograph emphasize the woman's competence?
What features in the photograph emphasize the woman's beauty?
What is missing from the photo that you might expect to see?
Overall, what do you think of the woman in the photo? Why?
Short Journal Reflection
Relate this analysis of gender stereotyping to your own experience. In your school, household, or community do you see examples of stereotypes of women and girls? Where is it especially prevalent?
What are a couple of Occupations that you think in he past were heavily and only of one gender, but have now evened out?
What are a couple of occupations that we still really associate with a certain gender?
Now go back to your own seat.
Unjust Laws 1
Equality is one of the ideals on which the United States is based. Unfortunately, the country - and its laws - has not always lived up to that ideal.
The tension was evident in the Constitution itself when Northern and Southern sates agreed to do nothing about slavery and to count teach African American slave as 3/5 of a person for purposes of representation and taxation.
Such injustices are seen by many as unjust laws. Over the course of U.S. history, Americans have protested against such legal injustices in an effort to move the country toward fully embodying the ideals on which it was based.
Unjust Laws 2
A variety of methods have been used to gain legal equality for African Americans:
Three amendments to the Constitution (the 13th, 14th, and 15th) after the Civil War eliminated slavery, made former slaves citizens, and granted them voting rights. Federal laws also contributed to legal equality.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965, for example, outlawed poll taxes, literacy tests and grandfather clauses - all methods that had been used to deny African Americans their right to vote. Activists also questioned the constitutionality of some laws, and the resulting court rulings, such as
Brown v. Board of Education
- helped put an end to legal segregation.
Unjust Laws 3
Describe the people in the photo. What do you notice about them?
Do the people seem happy? What kind of relationship do you think exists between them? What makes you think so?
Based on what you see, when do you think this photograph was taken? (You don't need to guess the exact year; identifying the decade is close enough). Why do you think so?
Use the answers to the questions above to predict what makes this photograph so significant.
Turn to someone next to you and share your prediction.
Unjust Laws 4
The people in the photo are Mildred Jeter Loving and Richard Loving. The photograph was taken in 1967 after the Supreme Court ruled that their marriage was legal, overturning laws in Virginia and 15 other states that made it illegal for African Americans and white Americans to marry each other. The court state that the only reason that Virginia had outlawed the Lovings' marriage was to "maintain White Supremacy," which violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
Read Handout #2
Would this photograph be newsworthy in your community today? Why or why not?
What, if anything, surprised you about the case?
Unjust Laws V
Another group today is fighting for the right to be legally married. What do you know about the movement to make it legal for same-sex couples to marry?
Look again at the
Loving v. Virginia
court decision.
This time when you read it, switch out the references to interracial couples and replace them with references to same-sex couples, and replace references to racial discrimination with references to discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Do you think the right to marry should be guaranteed to all Americans regardless of race or sexual orientation?
Why do you think so? What questions or concerns do you have?
did this exercise do anything to change or reinforce your previous thoughts?
Unjust Practices
Some injustices are mandated by law. Others exist either because they are not specifically outlawed or because they persist despite the fact that they are illegal. The first category of injustice is called "de jure" - sanctioned by law. The second group, injustice that exists "in fact" albeit not by law, is called "de facto" injustice.
The American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s took on both kinds of injustice. Students who sat in at lunch counters challenged Jim Crow laws that made segregated public facilities legal. They were protesting against the
de jure
segregation, or segregation that was allowed by law. Other activists protested against segregation that was against the law, but that persisted nonetheless. In 1961, segregation of interstate bus travel was illegal, but in the south, interstate buses and bus stations continued to segregate black people and white people. Despite the fact that segregation was against the law, challenging it was dangerous.
Read Part 1 of Handout #3.
Unjust Practices 2
What law did Irene Morgan break?
What did the Supreme Court rule in
Morgan v. Virginia
What practice did the ruling outlaw?
Why did segregation continue on interstate buses?
Based on your knowledge of
Morgan v. Virginia
, explain why the Freedom Riders' actions were an example of protesting the
de facto
Unjust Practices 3
Describe the photograph.
Read Part 2 of Handout #3.
Based on the photo and your knowledge of the events at Anniston, describe what happened before the photograph was taken.
What is most shocking to you about the photo? What makes it shocking?
The photograph is black and white, as were most photos of the time, how does that affect you as a viewer? How might you respond differently if the photo were in color?
Extension Activity
Although the civil rights movement succeeded in ending many forms of discrimination, some still exist. One current example of
de facto
discrimination (accepted practice, but not law) is racial profiling.
What is racial profiling?
Why did we start using it? What were some of the major events that caused it to be used more?
Who uses racial profiling?
In what way is it positive?
In what way is it an example of
de facto
In your opinion is there any way to use it that is not discriminatory?
Now balancing the positives and negatives, do you think racial profiling should continue to happen? Support your answer.
List three websites from which you received information.
Gender & Education
Malala Yousafzai is an education activist from Pakistan. Her insistence that women everywhere deserve an education led to her attempted assassination by the Taliban and earned her a nomination for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.
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