Social justice is a concept of fair and just relations between the individual and the society. Social Justice issues occur globally, nationally, regionally, locally and within groups. These issues are a result of unequal wealth and resource distribution, unfair treatment of individuals with different traits including race, culture, sexual orientation, religion and so on. There are also laws that purposefully discriminate a group(s) from the same opportunities and resources based on differences that are unique to that group.
It is often said that my generation is lazy, selfish or described with many other negative adjectives. I would argue that more often that is not the case, we are rather unaware of the issues that would drive us to action, or be guided or coached by many that will give us the ability to fix the problems that surround us. One way to give youth power and connect them with their surroundings would be by organizing social justice programmes or government introducing Social Justice courses in our various schools. Not only would such a programme underline the importance of respect and the dignity of each person, facts all of us tend to forget, but it would allow our youth to find their voices and perhaps even their passion. Social Justice teaches us to rid ourselves of prejudice, widen our minds, adjust our opinions and become more responsible citizens.
The promotion of social justice through all spheres of our lives can reduce or eliminate the tendency of mob or instant justice which is a scourge in our country today.
Giving the youth space to enable them to highlight and address the issues they themselves identify as relevant and important will enable them to draw on their skills, knowledge, abilities and responsibilities. Also adults working with youth should acknowledge and respect youth’s contributions to their families, schools, cultures, and the media. The views of the youth have to be treated with respect and they should be provided with opportunities to initiate ideas and activities. The youth need to be respected as contributors of knowledge based on their perspective and experience. Youth knowing their human rights will refrain from things that will not help them and the society as a whole.
If we want to have a generation passionate about what is right and willing to place their needs second to those of the marginalized, let us educate ourselves on Social Justice and become Agents of Change to help the world against Social injustice.
By Linda Adzeoda