150 Social Justice Essay Topics & Examples

⭐ top 10 social justice issues to write about, 🏆 best social justice topic ideas & essay examples, ⭐ simple & easy social justice essay titles, 📌 most interesting social justice topics to write about, 👍 good social justice research topics, ❓ research questions about social justice.

Social justice essays are an excellent tool for demonstrating your awareness of the current issues in society.

Inequality in society should be addressed, and social justice advocates are at the forefront of such initiatives. Everyone should be able to achieve their goals and dreams if they put in the effort, assuming of course that reaching that target is at all possible.

To that end, you should ask various social justice essay questions and investigate different situations, particularly those that surround marginalized communities.

While the civil rights movement has succeeded in eliminating discriminatory policies and gender segregation, people should remain vigilant so that inequality again.

There are many topics you can discuss in your essay, but is better to focus on something specific and conduct a detailed investigation. It is easy to take some examples of data that shows a situation that seems unequal and declare that the system is flawed.

However, the data may be inaccurate, and the causes may be different from what you initially perceive them to be. Many fields will be too small for statistic laws to apply, and so there will be a temporary prevalence of people with a specific trait.

Declarations of premature conclusions and calls to action based on these conjectures are not productive and will generally lead to harm.

Be sure to consider evidence from both sides when discussing the topic of injustice, especially in its sensitive applications.

The case of police officers and the racial disparity in arrests is a prominent example, as there is significant disagreement, and neither side can be considered entirely correct.

At other times, unequal treatments may be explained by racial and gender differences without the application of discriminatory practices, particularly with regards to cultural practices.

The importance of justice is above debate, but it is not always about declaring one side correct while the other is wrong and at fault. Humanity operates best when it is unified and follows the same purpose of fairness.

Lastly, try to avoid confusing equality with equity, as the two social justice essay topics are significantly different. The former involves similar starting conditions and opportunities for all people, though they will likely achieve varying successes in life.

The latter means equality of outcomes, meaning that the unsuccessful receive support, which logically has to come at the expense of those who succeed.

You may support either position, with equality being a more traditional concept that seems logical to many people and equity being considered effective at improving the conditions of marginalized communities. However, make your position clear, as the difference is critical and informs your personal concept of social justice.

Here are some additional tips for your paper:

  • Separate the points you make in your essay with social justice essay titles. These titles will help the reader navigate the paper and understand your main claims.
  • Try to introduce original ideas instead of contributing to ongoing debates. An essay does not allow enough space to let you add something that will change the situation to such discussions.
  • The topic of social justice is inherently political, as most suggestions will involve policy-level changes. However, you should try to distance yourself from politics and work with factual information.

Visit IvyPanda to find more social justice essay examples and other useful paper samples to boost your creative process!

  • Unemployment.
  • Global Warming.
  • School Shooting.
  • Income Inequality.
  • Global Pandemic.
  • Social Security.
  • Racial & LGBTQ Discrimination.
  • Mental Health Stigma.
  • Famine and Starvation.
  • Discrimination in Voting.
  • Social Justice in Education With a clear distinction between justice taught in class and justice allowed to thrive in the school environments, teachers can be able to observe how their students perceive and response to social injustices in the […]
  • Advocating for Social Justice in Healthcare However, health care is also often related to the idea of social justice a term that describes the allocation of resources and benefits to people according to their needs and abilities.
  • Promoting Social Justice Through Serving God Therefore, serving God in action correlates with the promotion of social justice and reflects the importance of Christian teachings about kindness towards others.
  • Social Justice: The Catholic’s Social Teachings on Justice The church also seeks to instill value in the prisoners’ lives through teachings and practices that accept prisoners as people who deserve to be treated with dignity.
  • Social Justice and Mental Health However, it is difficult to imagine the U.S.taking nationwide action on mental health due to the absence of healthcare for physical health, which is widely accepted as a serious issue.
  • Jay-Z’s Contribution to Hip-Hop and Fight for Social Justice One should admit that the crime rate among black people in some poor areas is really quite high, and that is another problem Jay-Z covers in his music.
  • Freedom and Social Justice Through Technology These two remarkable minds have made significant contributions to the debates on technology and how it relates to liberty and social justice.
  • Factors of Strategic Management of Social Justice Starting to talk about economic and technological changes that affect the sector of social justice, it is possible to observe tendencies of the level of development of the country from social policy.
  • Social Justice from a Philosophical Perspective Although their theories of justice were significant, they would not have existed without Plato’s influence and the contribution that their ideas of justice have made to political philosophy.
  • Social Justice in the Modern World The main link in social relations is a measure of social justice, a derivative of the equality of people’s opportunities to realize their potential.
  • Social Justice Quotes from “The Wife’s Lament” by Beck “never worse than now ever I suffer the torment of my exile”.”that man’s kinsmen began to think in secret that they would separate us” “so we would live far apart in the world” “My lord […]
  • Social Justice in Counseling Psychology The other barrier which is likely to arise in the process of integrating social justice in the workplace is legal and ethical issues.
  • Social Justice and Vulnerability Theories When the country’s economic analyzers assess the status of the economy, the older people are regarded as the first group of the population that is pulling the economy backward because they are entirely dependent.
  • Social Justice in Social Work Practice The moral approach of social work is fundamentally based on the idea of social justice. Despite the numerous risks associated with advocating for social justice, criticizing injustice is one of the few courageous ways to […]
  • Journal Editors’ Role Regarding Social Justice Issues Journal editors can involve professionals from social justice forums such as civil rights lawyers in their journals as well as reduce the complexity of the presentation of social justice article contents.
  • Researching the Concept of Social Justice A special kind of justice is social justice, the subjects of which are large social groups, society as a whole, and humanity.
  • The Role of Quilting in the African American Striving for Social Justice Perhaps quilting has become not only one of the symbols of African American national culture but also a way in which many black women have become visible and significant.
  • Social Justice and Importing Foreign Nurses Evaluation Given the lag between the submission of the article and its publication, it means that these sources most likely reflect the situation with the recruitment of foreign-educated nurses by the end of the 2000s.
  • Promoting Social Justice With Head Start Program This essay will discuss the role of the Head Start program in the promotion of social justice in the US, focusing on the values taught to the children and the activities that constitute the program.
  • Religion, Politics, and Social Justice Organized religions want to change and implement rebranding to fit the new trend, concentrating on social justice in general rather than the individual spiritual aspirations of a person or a family.
  • Social Justice and Its Relevance in This Century To put the issue in perspective, he references the civil rights movement of the 1960s and juxtaposes it against the fact that the US had a black president.
  • Social Justice Arts as a Remedy for People The work led to the formation of the movement called Black Lives Matter which calls for an end to oppressing black people through law enforcement.
  • Social Justice, Diversity and Workplace Discrimination It also includes the fair distribution of the national wealth and resources among all citizens and the unbiased treatment of all individuals.
  • Social Justice: Why Do Violations Happen? If there is social inequality in a society, it must be corrected to serve the interests of the most oppressed groups of the population.
  • Social Justice From the Biblical Point of View Furthermore, all oppressed and poor people are considered to be “righteous” in the Bible because it “is a reflection of God’s faithful love in action and his desire for justice and righteousness in this world”.
  • Definition of Social Justice and Social Justice in Leadership They should evaluate the situation, identify areas that need improvement and develop a plan to support the achievement of social justice.
  • Social Justice Leadership and Supervision While the concepts of leadership and supervision tend to be referenced within the clinical contend and primarily apply to the responsibilities of the professionals in mental institutions, the issues articulated in the article and chapters […]
  • Uganda’s Economic Planning and Social Justice On the eastern, it borders Kenya, North is Southern Sudan, to the west is DRC and to the southwest is Rwanda, while to the South is Tanzania.
  • Rise of Mental Social Justice It relates to the social justice leadership in clinical and supervisory practice in mental health settings by challenging the modern tenets of managerialism and neoliberalism.
  • Social Justice in the US Healthcare System Social justice is a relatively broad concept, the interpretation of which often depends on the political and economic views of an individual.
  • Conceptualizing Supervision in Search of Social Justice Based on these findings, it could be concluded that Social justice leadership is meant to become the remedy and the ideological, political, and medical opponent of the dominant positivist biomedical paradigm.
  • Researching HIV, AIDS and Social Justice Disney claims that poverty and social injustice lead to the spread of HIV/AIDS among underprivileged people in all countries. The disease was a kind of stigma and infected people were subjected to discrimination and alienation.
  • Equal Pay Convention Ratified by New Zealand and Ensuring Social Justice This paper seeks to identify whether the ratification of the International Labour Organisation equal pay for an equal value of work Convention by New Zealand delivered social justice to the women in the New Zealand […]
  • Influence of Socioeconomic Status and Social Justice on Health in the US In the video, Richard David and James Collins have determined that racism, inappropriate social policies, and chronic stress are major social factors that lead to the delivery of low-weight babies among African American women.
  • Social Justice Perspective Thus public health deals not only with the guarantee of a long healthy life but also regulate and control the death rate, try to expand the life interval, and other things that the policy of […]
  • Deaf Youth: Social Justice Through Media and Activism The Deaf Youth USA for instance strives to educate, inspire, and empower the deaf youth to make difference in the communities.
  • Re-Examining Criminal and Social Justice Systems: Reducing Incarceration Rates in the US The changes in criminal justice policy over the past decades and the alteration of the same from one of rehabilitative and social justice to one of retributive justice and increasing reliance on imprisonment as a […]
  • Social Justice and Ethics: Beneficiaries of U.S. Welfare Programs In United States the beneficiaries include the poor, the old, the disabled, survivors, farmers, corporations and any other individual who may be eligible.
  • Social Justice and Feminism in America So as to make a change in this situation, the feminists in America took efforts to improve the condition of women.
  • Equality of Opportunity and Social Justice: Affirmative Action If this is the situation in advanced nations of the world, the plight in the newly emerging states in Africa, Asia, and Latin America can easily be imagined as to how difficult would it be […]
  • Christianity Religion and Asian World: Social Justice It was also said that the greatest botched opportunity in all church history was in the 1260s the court of the great Kublai Khan asked the Polos when they returned to Italy in 1269 to […]
  • Social Justice for Indigenous Women in Canada However, the problem of social justice or, to be more accurate, the lack thereof becomes especially poignant when considering criminal issues and their management, as well as the factors that contribute to reducing the rates […]
  • Social Justice and Educational Reform in the US People are free to develop their individual attitudes to the importance of social justice in education and leadership. Social justice may be used in the creation of job announcements, proposals, and statements to attract attention […]
  • Social Justice in Quality Health Care The provision of accessible health services is necessary to minimize the health risks of the low-income households and improve their quality of life.
  • What Is Social Justice? To my mind, the two most important principles of justice that should be used to govern within a just society are the selection of highly virtuous state leaders and government representatives to put in charge […]
  • Social Justice: Philosophy of Employment The philosophy of empowerment supports dignity and self-worth; as such, value to all people, regardless of their status or race is an important rule of empowerment.
  • American Women’s Movements for Social Justice Like Alice Walker, Deborah Gray, and Collins, Tyra Banks continues the legacy of black women since she is ready to campaign against racism, sexism, and discrimination.
  • Social Justice Group Work for Homeless Young Mothers The group discussed in the article was started for the purpose of assisting residents address the problem of homelessness especially in aspects of parenting and during pregnancy periods.
  • Readings for Diversity and Social Justice: An Anthology In that way, the authors noted that racial and ethnic differences tend to produce impact on lives of communities in the entirety of their aspects, and thus can aggravate other social justice issues.
  • Health Care Services: Social Justice Analysis For instance, the level of poverty in the USA is on the rise, and many people simply have no funds to purchase their health insurance. In conclusion, it is possible to note that social justice […]
  • Social Justice Issues: Elderly Minority Groups Students should know the peculiarities of the populations in question and should be aware of practices and services available to those patients.
  • Black Lives Matter and Social Justice Social media is a new public platform that has proved to be extremely effective in fighting against the normalization of violence against African-Americans.
  • Ethics and Social Justice in Education Policies The real-life problem that contributes to those controversies is the multicultural genuineness of the community that was exposed to the federal and state standard reforms that transpired throughout the last ten years.
  • Administrative Constitutionalism and Social Justice The current point of view at the crimes and violence is predestined by the commercial pressure applied to the mass media sources. In the majority of the cases, popular media becomes the viral source of […]
  • Counselors as Social Justice Advocates The compelling vision of social justice is to achieve “free, full, and equal participation” of all groups in society to realize their aspirations and mutual needs.
  • U.S. Postal Service’s Ethics and Social Justice In spite of the fact that the current agency was organized in 1971, the background of the organization is related to the development of the first postal service in the country based on the U.S.
  • David Miller’s Theory of Desert in Social Justice The dependence of rewards on the variety of external and conditional factors makes the public and scholars question the idea of the desert and its use for justice.
  • Ethics Issues: Social Justice In other words, it is observed that an individual has a duty of ensuring that the law is followed while the government is expected to provide the basic rights and freedoms.
  • Education and Social Justice The society should also reduce the gap between the poor and the rich. The current level of inequality explains why “every school should reinvent itself in order to deal with social injustice”.
  • Social justice and the black – white achievement gap From a national perspective, the achievement gap between the Black and White is reported to have narrowed down in 2007 as compared to the same gap in 1990.
  • Setting an Agenda for Social Justice According to Wilkinson, Brundrett is a professor of Educational Research in the Faculty of Education, Community, and Leisure and the head of the Centre for Research and Evaluation, in the Liverpool John Moores University.
  • Prosperity and Social Justice The short story was also the subject of debate when it was first written because it failed to fit in any particular genre at the time.”The Yellow Wallpaper” was mostly considered a horror story when […]
  • Social Justice: Wray’s Essential Aspects of Biblical Law and Justice Wray has conducted an extensive study on the subject of social justice and suggests that students taking any course on law or social justice must go back to the origins of these laws and justice, […]
  • Social and Criminal Justice Responses to Sex Work The negative attitude of the community and the criminalization of sex works made workers of his industry vulnerable and susceptible for the physical assaults of men in the street, their customers and even policemen.
  • Social Justice and the Australian Indigenous People The main idea behind the formation of the social justice commission was to give the indigenous Australian people choice by empowering them to stand up for their rights.
  • Is Social Justice the Same Thing as Political Egalitarianism? An Analysis from a Theory of Justice Perspective This is the question that is likely to arise when one is analyzing social justice in the context of political developments in the society.
  • Social Justice and Gay Rights This perception of gays was radically reformed thanks to the efforts of gay rights movements which trace their roots to the 1960s and the Stonewall Riots of 1969 which marked the birth of the gay […]
  • The People Demand Social Justice: The Social Protest in Israel as an Agoral Gathering
  • The Woman Who Spoke of Love and Social Justice
  • Peace and Eco-Social Justice: Failed Distributive Justice, Violence and Militancy in India
  • Spirituality, Women ‘s Issues, Sustainability, and Social Justice
  • Multicultural Counseling Social Justice and Advocacy Reaction
  • The Paradox of Dominate Ideologies in The Fight of Social Justice
  • Letter from Birmingham Jail’ by Martin Luther King Jr. and Social Justice
  • Richard Spencer and the Issues of Social Justice and White Nationalism
  • The Moving Beyond Pity and Inspiration: Disability as a social Justice Issue by Eli Clare
  • The Importance of Human Rights and Social Justice
  • Social Justice: The Role of Higher Education, Criminality and Race
  • Turning Points in the Lives of Chinese and Indian Women Leaders Working Toward Social Justice
  • Paulo Freire’s Social Justice Idea
  • Producing and Practicing Social Justice in Education
  • Urban Social Justice: The Gentrification Debate
  • The Role of Education in Society as Explained in Conell’s Social Justice in Education
  • The Issues of the Canadian Social Services and Social Justice Domain
  • Wellbeing, Freedom, and Social Justice: The Capability Approach
  • The Principle of Social Justice and Advocacy Support
  • The Biblical Prophets’ Teachings on the Love of God in Social Justice
  • The Relationship Between Free Market and Social Justice
  • Uneasy Bedfellows: Social Justice and Neo-Liberal Practice in the Housing Market
  • The Ethics of Pricing and Access to Health Care: A Social Justice Issue
  • Measuring Attitudes Toward Distributive Justice: The Basic Social Justice Orientations Scale
  • The Importance of the Covenant House as a Symbol of Christian Social Justice
  • Social Justice Orientation and Multicultural Environment
  • The New Political Economy of J. S. Mill: The Means to Social Justice
  • The ‘s Coat of Arms Are Trust, Empathy, and Social Justice
  • The Vietnam War and Its Impact on The Creation of Social Justice
  • Race Relations and Social Justice Problems
  • Poverty, Inequality and Social Justice in Nonmetropolitan America
  • Rape Culture, Rapth, and the Cycles of Social Justice
  • The Three Social Justice Issues That Fires Me Up as a Citizen in the United States
  • Reading Baldwin After Harvey: Why Climate Change Is a Social Justice Issue
  • The Importance of Social Justice Is Universal Across
  • Effective Practice During The Social Justice System
  • The Issue of Social Justice Activism in Various Social Media Networks
  • Sustainable Development and Social Justice: Expanding the Rawlsian Framework of Global Justice
  • Once Upon Today: Teaching for Social Justice with Postmodern Picturebook
  • The Congressional Black Caucus Use of Social Media for Social Justice Issues
  • The Effective Teaching Techniques of Lisa Espinosa in Providing Information on the Topic of Cultural Relevance and Social Justice
  • Reading Baldwin After Harvey: Why Climate Change Is a Social Justice Issue?
  • How Does Social Justice Highlight the Relationship Between Social Welfare and Crime Control?
  • Social Justice and Academic Success: Is Individual Effort Enough?
  • Rawls’s Theory of Social Justice: How Decisions Are Made?
  • Are Consultation and Social Justice Advocacy Similar Exploring the Perceptions?
  • How Arc Advances Social Justice?
  • What Are the Different Factors Affect Social Justice?
  • What Does the Information Society Mean for Social Justice and Civil Society?
  • What Is the Connection Between Curricular Practices, Social Justice and Democratic Purpose in the United States Education System?
  • How the United States Has Both Market and Social Justice?
  • What Is the Impact of Social Justice on The United States?
  • What Is the Impact of Social Justice on Human Development?
  • How Does Social Justice Actions Project?
  • When High Pressure, System Constraints, and a Social Justice Mission Collide?
  • What Is the Concept of Social Justice Social Work?
  • What Is the Connection Between Free Market and Social Justice?
  • What Is the Goal of Social Justice Education?
  • What Social Justice Issues Are You Most Passionate About?
  • What Is Consist Social Justice Western Perspectives?
  • How Social Justice Course Changed My Outlook?
  • What Are the Three Social Justice Issues That Fires Up as a Citizen in the United States?
  • What Has Limited the Impact of UK Disability Equality Law on Social Justice?
  • What Is Rawls’ Expanding Framework for Global Justice?
  • How Does the Film “Lord of Flies” Relate to Social Justice?
  • Does the Legal System Promote Social Justice?
  • Are the People Demand Social Justice?
  • Social Justice and the University Community: Does Campus?
  • What Does “Social Justice” Mean?
  • What Does Teaching for Social Justice Mean for Teachers?
  • Why Is Education a Social Justice and Right for Each Child?
  • Children’s Rights Research Ideas
  • Women’s Rights Titles
  • Socioeconomic Status Paper Topics
  • Human Rights Essay Ideas
  • Sociological Perspectives Titles
  • Idealism Paper Topics
  • Respect Essay Topics
  • Libertarianism Research Topics
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IvyPanda. (2024, February 29). 150 Social Justice Essay Topics & Examples. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/social-justice-essay-examples/

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IvyPanda . "150 Social Justice Essay Topics & Examples." February 29, 2024. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/social-justice-essay-examples/.

116 Social Justice Essay Topics

🏆 best essay topics on social justice, 🔎 easy social justice research paper topics, 🎓 most interesting social justice research titles, 💡 simple social justice essay ideas, ❓ social justice research questions.

  • Social Justice and Civil Rights
  • Ethics and Social Justice in Mental Health System
  • Criminal and Social Justice
  • The Environment and Social Justice
  • Teacher’s Reflection, Liberal Arts and Social Justice
  • Racial Discrimination as a Social Justice Issue
  • Advocating for Social Justice
  • Social Justice, Education, and Critical Pedagogy Education plays a significant role in development. Praxis is the philosophical concept that allows learners to bring into action theories and ideas taught in class.
  • The Social Justice and Nutrition in a Family This paper provides a wider understanding of the practical application of social justice and how the social determinants of health can be used in the description of the family.
  • How to Promote Social Justice in Nursing Social justice plays an instrumental role in nursing by ensuring that inequalities do not deprive marginalized groups of access to quality healthcare services.
  • The Principle of Social Justice in World Religions This essay examines the principle of social justice as the subject of a comparative study among the three schools of thought: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism .
  • Working for Social Justice Instances of social inequality are common in the current century. This paper discusses the different authors who address the topic of social justice.
  • Gender Equity and Social Justice in Schoolchildren Gender inequality can easily be identified in schools by observing how students tend to micro-interact and aggregate in particular activities or groups.
  • Social Justice and Equality in America There is no single vision of the idea of equality in American society, especially with references to the concept of social justice.
  • Gun Violence as the Social Justice Issue The aim of the paper is to describe the issue of gun violence, analyze the reasons for the problem and propose a possible solution.
  • Social Justice Protests Regarding Abortions This study aims to understand abortion rights and how they were significant in women’s equality. Roe v. Rode was a case that challenged the rule about abortion.
  • Creative Voices as Social Justice Advocates Poetic language presents information in a way that enables readers to relate the message to their personal experiences and make informed decisions.
  • Engineering Ethics Education for Social Justice The incident at Morales is a case that provides the reader and the viewers with a moral problem that is arguably confronted at work and home.
  • Individual Responsibilities on Definirion of Social Justice Issues Considering divergent opinions from reviews concerning the non-precision or non-existence of the definition of social justice.
  • General Definitions of Social Justice It is essential to provide several general definitions of social justice that will allow us to fully understand and appreciate this concept.
  • Criminal and Social Justice Intersection: Annotated Bibliography The annotated bibliography of the sources where the criminal and social justice intersection relations are researched.
  • Social Justice and Barriers in Healthcare One of the most important social justice topics that relate not only to nursing in particular but to healthcare in general, is affordable healthcare.
  • The Concept of Social Justice in Nursing Social justice in nursing relates to human rights and equality in the nursing practice and addresses inequalities arising from race, gender, age, religion, etc.
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Its Contribution to Social Justice This paper focuses on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discussing its coverage in scholarly literature, implications for the public, and discussions in Congress.
  • Autonomy and Social Justice for African American and Latino Populations These study objectives are formulated so that the findings will promote autonomy and social justice among the study population.
  • Social Justice: American Arab, Jewish American, and Africans Jewish Americans have many variations of cultural features depending on the degree of involvement in religion.
  • Exploration of Social Justice Aspects One can state that the government should play a significant role in support for families with children while ensuring child welfare measures being taken are fair.
  • The Climate of Social Justice, Racism, COVID-19, and Other Issues The paper argues ideas of music, culture and society are contended to be inseparably connected, which can be clarified through the space of ethnomusicology.
  • Social Justice in Britain’s Workforce Although racism has been outlawed as a social vice, nonetheless, racial discrimination is still one of the major ethical dilemmas in the modern workplace.
  • Female Genital Cutting and Social Justice A female genital cutting is a form of female circumcision extremely detrimental to the natural function of the female body.
  • Social Justice and Sustainable Business Practices Corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies are gradually acquiring legal effects as they are integrated into elements such as supply chain contracts and labor law.
  • The Black Lives Matter Movement as the Call for Social Justice: Analyzing Available Sources of Information A range of sources shed light on the movement The Black Lives Matter, its goals, and the accomplishments that it has achieved so far. This paper analyses some of them.
  • American Policing and Social Justice Social justice is a phenomenon that reflects the economic, political, legal, and moral conditions of life and the development of society.
  • Catholic Moral Teaching on Charity and Social Justice This paper discusses why Catholic moral teaching is so concerned with charity and social justice and how it can influence the rate of immorality that goes on in this world.
  • Social Justice to Maintain Democracy in Australia This essay will look into the impact of social justice concepts in maintaining democracy in Australian society.
  • Reconciliation, Australian Aborigines, and Social Justice The objective of the paper is to discuss the relevance of the policy of reconciliation and relevance of the policy of reconciliation to social justice for Australian Aborigines.
  • Narrative for Advancing a Social Justice Agenda Gender parity in education is changing, but gender inequality continues to exist in favor for boys in Los Angles.
  • Social Justice and Books: Educational Aspects Sherman Alexie’s quote is quite harsh, but true: young adult fiction should not become milder or sweeter just because some of the critics see is as too daunting.
  • Getting Involved in Advocacy Practice for Social Justice Analyzing the main factors influencing the willingness of people to get involved in advocacy efforts is the key to figuring out how to boost the activity of the workers.
  • Social Justice and Pregnant Addicted Mothers When a pregnant mother is addicted to alcohol and drug, she may end up causing irreparable damage to the unborn child.
  • The Social Justice Concept Definition In this article, it is argued that the concept of social justice represents entanglements between policy arenas of social welfare and crime control.
  • Social Justice Towards War Veterans
  • Freedom, Capitalism, and Institutions for Delivering Social Justice
  • Social Justice, Utilitarianism, and Indigenous Australians
  • Public Health and Social Justice in the Age of Chadwick
  • Social Justice, Free Market Style
  • Self-Ownership and Social Justice among Libertarians
  • Special Education, Social Justice, and Effective Learning
  • Old and New Testament Views on Social Justice Religion
  • Criminal Justice, Social Justice, and Morality
  • Social Justice Reformers and the Progressive Era
  • How Social Justice Is Taught in Elementary School?
  • Social Justice Orientation and Multicultural Environment
  • Hispanic Social Justice Issue
  • Social Justice and the LGBT Community
  • The Social Justice Issue in the United States
  • 19th Century Jihads and Social Justice, Security, and Prosperity
  • Human Morality and Social Justice
  • Justice and the Moral Code of Social Justice
  • Social Justice and the Performing Arts in Appalachia
  • Technology and the Advancement of Social Justice
  • Ottawa Charter Social Justice Principles
  • Relationship Between Education and Social Justice
  • Legal and Social Justice for Hispanics and Women
  • Criminal and Social Justice Issues
  • Natural Resources, Economic Rents, and Social Justice in Contemporary Africa
  • Social Justice and Adult Education
  • Health and Social Justice Issues in Saharan Country
  • Social Justice Movement and Social Work
  • Residential Segregation and Social Justice
  • Social Justice Towards Students with Disabilities
  • Racial Discrimination, the Complete Opposite of Social Justice
  • Parental Participation for Social Justice in Education
  • Social Justice and Its Impact on the United States
  • The Vietnam War and Its Impact on the Creation of Social Justice
  • Social Justice Historic Marxist Classical Writers Believe
  • How the Congressional Black Caucus Uses Social Media to Address Social Justice Issues
  • Social Justice and Injustice in Kenya
  • Race, Medicine, and Social Justice: Pharmacogenetics, Diversity, and the Case of Bid
  • Social Justice and the Canadian Correctional System
  • The Biblical Prophets’ Teachings on the Love of God in Social Justice
  • Social Justice: The Role of Higher Education, Criminality and Race
  • Multicultural Education and Social Justice Education
  • Globalization and Social Justice in OECD Countries
  • Social Justice and Special Needs Students
  • Income Disparity and Social Justice Based on Graph
  • Social Justice and Different Views of Natural Law among XIX Century Economics
  • Producing and Practicing Social Justice in Education
  • What Does Teaching for Social Justice Mean for Teacher?
  • Nations and Social Classes as the Greatest Barriers to Social Justice
  • Anthropology and Social Justice Convergence
  • What Does Social Justice Mean?
  • Are Consultation and Social Justice Advocacy Similar?
  • What Are the Principles of Social Justice and Inclusion?
  • Does Perceiving the Poor as Warm and the Rich as Cold Enhance Perceived Social Justice?
  • What Has Limited the Impact of UK Disability Equality Law on Social Justice?
  • How Does the Film “Lord of the Flies” Relate to Social Justice?
  • Why Are Diversity and Inclusion Important for Social Justice?
  • How Can Social Justice Be Achieved in Our Society Today?
  • What Is the Most Important Issue in Social Justice?
  • Does Social Justice Highlight the Relationship Between Social Welfare and Crime Control?
  • What Is Needed to Achieve Social Justice?
  • Is Social Justice Just About Equality?
  • What Is the Relationship Between Equality and Social Justice?
  • Is Social Justice a Reasonable Relationship Between the Individual and Society?
  • What Is the Main Focus of Social Justice?
  • How Does Social Justice Impact Society?
  • What Is the Role of Social Justice in Social Work?
  • Is Inclusion a Part of Social Justice?
  • How Can We Promote Social Justice in the Community?
  • Who Is Responsible for Social Justice and Why?
  • How Can Social Justice Be Maintained in the Society?
  • What Would Happen to the World Without Social Justice?
  • Does Social Justice Apply to Everyone?
  • What Is the Golden Rule of Social Justice?
  • Are Human Rights Based on the Concept of Social Justice?

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StudyCorgi. (2022, October 26). 116 Social Justice Essay Topics. https://studycorgi.com/ideas/social-justice-essay-topics/

"116 Social Justice Essay Topics." StudyCorgi , 26 Oct. 2022, studycorgi.com/ideas/social-justice-essay-topics/.

StudyCorgi . (2022) '116 Social Justice Essay Topics'. 26 October.

1. StudyCorgi . "116 Social Justice Essay Topics." October 26, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/ideas/social-justice-essay-topics/.


StudyCorgi . "116 Social Justice Essay Topics." October 26, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/ideas/social-justice-essay-topics/.

StudyCorgi . 2022. "116 Social Justice Essay Topics." October 26, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/ideas/social-justice-essay-topics/.

These essay examples and topics on Social Justice were carefully selected by the StudyCorgi editorial team. They meet our highest standards in terms of grammar, punctuation, style, and fact accuracy. Please ensure you properly reference the materials if you’re using them to write your assignment.

This essay topic collection was updated on January 9, 2024 .

D istinctive

college essays about social justice

  • October 17, 2021
  • Distinctive College Consulting

By Nora Lessersohn, A.M.

In the past few years, social, political, environmental, financial, and medical crises have made it abundantly clear that one’s race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or disability status directly affect/s their health, finances, work, education, and ability to live life itself. In response, colleges have started to ask their applicants to reflect on how they themselves have contributed to creating equitable and just outcomes for all. The following three prompts are exemplary:

Villanova : St. Augustine states that well-being is “not concerned with myself alone, but with my neighbor’s good as well.” How have you advocated for equity and justice in your communities?

Princeton : Princeton has a longstanding commitment to service and civic engagement. Tell us how your story intersects (or will intersect) with these ideals.

University of Richmond : Please share one idea for actions or policies that you think would begin to address an issue of racial or social injustice.

Such prompts may feel difficult for students who don’t consider themselves “political” (or those who simply understand how massive these problems are). But working towards equity and justice doesn’t begin and end with a protest or a social media post. In fact, you’ve probably worked towards these goals without even realizing it! Here are three questions to ask yourself to help you write a social justice essay.

1) How and when have I tried to be inclusive of others? Inclusion is an important element of working towards equitable social outcomes, whether it happens at a policy level, or at school with your peers. Have you made an effort to incorporate people from different backgrounds into an activity or conversation, whether in a sport, a club, or a social setting? This act could form the basis of a solid social justice essay in which you talk about the value of inclusion to your community.

2) How and when have I tried to help others? While not all assistance relates to issues of equity and justice, thinking about the times you have worked to help people will help you reflect on how your actions may have contributed to these goals. Have you worked as a tutor or mentor? Have you volunteered at a hospital? Have you organized a food drive? While you may not have thought about the macro effects of your service at the time, thinking now through the lens of equity and justice, how do you understand the work that you did? Is there something you could have done better (and will do in the future)?

3) How and when have I tried to ask difficult questions? For many, the first step in working for equity and justice is developing the awareness that there is systemic and racial inequality everywhere we look. When have you been most aware of these issues in society, and what questions did this awareness prompt you to ask? Who did you ask, or did you keep those questions to yourself (and why)? Reflecting on your own process of understanding could be a powerful way to engage with the topic of social justice, and a jumping off point for discussing how you would work towards a more equitable social world in college and beyond.

Hopefully, asking yourself these questions will help you realize that, even if you’ve never protested, posted, or even just “talked politics,” you may still have made an important effort to make the world a better place to live. 

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64 Examples of Social Issues Topics for 2024

May 21, 2024

Writing assignments asking students to engage with social justice/social issues topics target skills vitally important to success in college and beyond. They require writers to demonstrate critical, ethical, and dynamic thinking around demanding topics that present no quick and easy solution. Often, they will call for some amount of research, building textual and media literacy and awareness of the research process. In other words, these kinds of essays can be valuable in teaching students how to think and learn for themselves. But another, underappreciated learning outcome of these essays has to do with their function as communication.

This last feature can be easy to overlook in the context of writing assignments. Questions of audience, authority, and impact seem less significant when you know your teacher must read your essay. However, taking these questions seriously can not only enhance your odds of writing an excellent essay, but could also foster skills instrumental to real-world writing situations.

This article provides a list of social justice topics carefully selected to demonstrate the range and scale of available subjects. It also explains how you might approach writing about these issues with an eye for defining them and understanding the audience. Identifying a great topic that interests you enough to write about is an important early step. But what’s equally or even more important is to understand how to write about it clearly, directly, and persuasively.

How to Write a Successful Essay Grappling with Social Issues Topics

Writing about social issues topics is best improved through asking questions about purpose, context, and outcome. Why this topic and not another? Who is the audience, what do they know, and where might they stand on an issue? What are the typical ways others address the issue? What knowledge, perspective, or plan of action has been missing from that conversation? Why is this topic important to think about? Why is this essay important to read? These questions are crucial to delimiting which social justice topics to focus on and the strategy for writing about them. Answering them in the process of selecting a topic and developing a writing plan can help achieve the following components of good essays:

1) Defining the Issue

A frequent problem with student writing involves tackling questions or issues that are overly broad or vaguely defined. When selecting from social issues topics, it’s actually a smart strategy to think small. Rather than purporting to solve world peace, essays work better when drilling down into more localized and easily defined issues. This will help to communicate clearly what the issue is, convince the reader of its relevance, and successfully indicate that a short piece of writing could meaningfully contribute to the conversation around the issue.

2) Finding and Using Evidence

In many cases, essays on social issues topics will require some amount of research. When incorporating secondary evidence, it’s vital to find sources that are relevant to the topic and signal their credibility. However, even if research is not formally required, it can help toward establishing the purpose of a piece of writing within a larger discussion. Looking toward how others typically address an issue can help toward understanding whether an essay should aim to fill a gap in knowledge, supply a missing perspective, or outline actions that have not been proposed.

Successful Essay Grappling with Social Issues Topics (Cont.)

3) understanding audience.

Student essayists are not overly incentivized to think about questions of audience. However, understanding audience can help toward both defining an issue and acknowledging the purpose of writing. The most important thing to reflect on is the audience’s reason for reading a piece of writing. Why should they care about this social issue and what the essay will say about it? Understanding the reason for reading will help toward envisioning the ideal reader. Then, the essay’s language and arguments can be tailored to what that ideal reader already knows about the topic and their likely attitudes and beliefs.

4) Making an argument

This step follows the others and builds upon each. After clearly defining an issue that is appropriate in scope, an essay should clearly state its purpose or position. It should then interpret relevant evidence to support that position or fulfill its purpose. Then, it should aim to convince the audience by organizing evidence and reasoning into paragraphs structured around topic sentences that support the purpose or position. As these steps make clear, the argument is the essay. Making an argument entails justifying the act of writing itself, as well as the reader’s decision to follow the writer in focusing on an issue from a unique vantage point.

The following list of examples indicates some of the range of social issue essay topics. When considering these or other examples, writers should consider how they can foster purposive essays that understand how they are entering and changing the conversation around the issue.

Example Social Issues Topics – Tech and Labor

Artificial intelligence and digital technology.

  • The environmental impact of emerging AI technologies and industries.
  • Whether AI is a paradigm-shifting revolution or part of a long, gradual history of technology-assisted creative or technical work.
  • The biases that exist in AI systems and data and ways of redressing them.
  • The emergent use of AI tools in modern warfare.
  • How a specific political movement or group of activists has embraced digital communication technologies to advance a cause.
  • How digital self-publishing has affected trends and systems in the publishing industry.
  • How social media algorithms promote addictive behaviors and their effect on minors.
  • A surprising or disturbing effect of government and corporate digital surveillance practices.

Social Issues Topics (Continued)

Economic and labor issues.

  • Causes and effects of unionization in industries connected to the gig economy.
  • Disparities in wages between men and women affecting a key industry like tech.
  • How changes in minimum wage policies affect other wage earners.
  • The impact of globalization on labor rights and standards in the film industry.
  • Comparing the outcomes of universal basic income and guaranteed minimum income as novel social welfare programs.
  • How faculty and graduate student unionization movements respond to shifting labor and ideological conditions at universities.
  • What geographical factors and/or trends in property ownership shape income inequality within a select area?
  • Job fields under threat by automation and AI and strategic responses to the prospect of job replacement.

Example Social Issues Topics –Education and the Environment

  • The effects of the COVID pandemic on textual and media literacy in children and young adults.
  • How educators are responding to the challenges and opportunities of generative AI.
  • Areas of learning affected by bans on “critical race theory” and LGBTQ-related topics in schools.
  • How digital culture has affected the attention spans of young learners.
  • The sources of increased student debt and its effects on the culture of higher education.
  • The history and educational role of political protest on college campuses.
  • How the end of affirmative action could affect the role colleges have played in promoting wide social mobility.
  • The source of debates around “school choice” and how it is changing the face of education.

Environment and Sustainability

  • Geopolitical tensions salient to the transnational effort to combat climate change.
  • Protest and advocacy strategies adopted by environmental advocates and different ways of measuring their effectiveness.
  • Solutions for the disproportionate environmental burdens on marginalized communities.
  • Whether mass consumer behavior or the practices of the economic elite are most responsible for climate crises.
  • Comparing the effectiveness of political optimism and pessimism in efforts to redress climate change.
  • Environmental challenges that result from destructive practices of modern warfare including ecocide.
  • Global meat consumption, its contribution to climate change , and proposed solutions.
  • The benefits and drawbacks of green capitalist and “de-growth” movements as radically contrasting approaches to combatting climate change.

Example Social Justice Topics – Human Rights and Geopolitics

Human rights and equality.

  • How the end of Roe v. Wade has changed the political landscape around women’s reproductive rights.
  • Whether cultural or legal solutions could work best to prevent violence against women.
  • The alliance between feminists and political conservatives that has emerged in the clash over LGBTQ rights.
  • How news media outlets have influenced widespread political efforts to curtail the rights of transgender people.
  • Tensions between private corporations and governments around diversity and inclusion efforts.
  • The effect of enhanced police oversight by civilians on the disproportionate use of force against minority communities.
  • Barriers to housing, employment, or health services faced by people with disabilities.
  • How exploitative work practices affecting minors exist despite legal efforts to curtail them.

International and Geopolitical Issues

  • How migrant crises have influenced new border and immigration policies.
  • How contemporary proxy wars differ from earlier methods of international conflict.
  • Tensions that exist between global humanitarian aid agencies and actors in Global South countries that receive aid.
  • How efforts to ensure affordable access to medicines across the world were affected by the COVID pandemic.
  • How globalization has changed the world distribution of wealth inequality.
  • Weighing the humanitarian costs of solar and electric energy production against those of the oil industry.
  • How cultural differences around gender and sexuality influence global movements for women’s equality and LGBTQ rights.
  • How authoritarian and/or religious political movements have become internationalized.

Example Social Justice Topics – The Legal System and Government

Justice and legal system.

  • Restorative justice alternatives to traditional carceral approaches in the legal system.
  • Efforts to eliminate cash bail and their potential effect on disparities in pretrial detention and bail practices.
  • Legal challenges that new technologies have created in terms of defining or prosecuting crime.
  • Methods of preventing and prosecuting police brutality and harassment.
  • How the locations of prisons affect local communities and economies.
  • Ways to combat mass incarceration through rethinking policing and sentencing standards.
  • Academic, professional, and legal services in prisons and their effect on imprisoned populations.
  • Mental health challenges present in the legal and carceral systems.

Politics and Governance

  • Methods of global governance that have emerged to address transnational challenges like climate change and public health.
  • Questions related to freedom of speech principles that have emerged in the digital age.
  • Mutual aid efforts that address areas of public need that have been unaddressed through traditional political methods.
  • How participatory media encourages broader civic engagement and government transparency.
  • Political solutions for addressing the phenomena of food deserts or food apartheid.
  • Responses of local governments to sharp increases in homelessness after the COVID pandemic.
  • The internationalization of culture wars and political polarization around issues relating to race/ethnicity, gender, and sexuality.
  • Philosophies about the conflict between ideals of multicultural openness and respect for cultural differences.

Final Thoughts – Social Issues Topics

The above social justice topics provide a sense of the large range of urgent issues an essay might topic. However, it’s best to reflect on how a piece of writing can define an issue so as to make clear that it is capable of doing something meaningful with it. That could entail looking for similar, more niche issues to address. Or it could mean deeper thought about an issue for which the writer anticipates they could provide missing information, perspectives, or plans of action. While many readers care about many topics, it’s vital to understand how an essay can create a tangible relationship with an ideal reader. Only then can a writer spur others to think or act in novel and potentially transformative ways.

Additional Resources

  • Good Persuasive Speech Topics
  • Debate Topics
  • Argumentative Essay Topics
  • 60 Senior Project Ideas for High Schoolers
  • 101 Topics for the Science Fair 
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Tyler Talbott

Tyler holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Missouri and two Master of Arts degrees in English, one from the University of Maryland and another from Northwestern University. Currently, he is a PhD candidate in English at Northwestern University, where he also works as a graduate writing fellow.

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8 Tips For Writing A Social Justice Essay

Social justice covers a variety of issues involving race, gender, age, sexual orientation, income equality and much more. How do you write an essay on a social justice issue that’s engaging, informative and memorable? Here are eight tips you should take to heart when writing:

When writing a social justice essay, you should brainstorm for ideas, sharpen your focus, identify your purpose, find a story, use a variety of sources, define your terms, provide specific evidence and acknowledge opposing views.

#1. Brainstorm creatively

Before you start writing your social justice essay, you need a topic. Don’t hesitate to look far and wide for inspiration. Read other social justice essays, look at recent news stories, watch movies and talk to people who are also interested in social justice. At this stage, don’t worry about the “trendiness” of your idea or whether a lot of people are already writing about it. Your topic will evolve in response to your research and the arguments you develop. At the brainstorming stage, you’re focused on generating as many ideas as possible, thinking outside the box and identifying what interests you the most. Take a free online course to get a better understanding of social justice.

You can take a creative brainstorming approach! A blog on Hubspot offers 15 creative ideas such as storyboarding, which involves laying out ideas in a narrative form with terms, images and other elements. You can also try freewriting, which is when you choose something you’re interested in. Next, write down everything you already know, what you need to know but don’t already, why the topic matters and anything else that comes to mind. Freewriting is a good exercise because it helps you decide if there’s any substance to a topic or if it’s clear there’s not enough material for a full essay.

#2. Sharpen your topic’s focus

The best essays narrow on a specific social justice topic and sharpen its focus, so it says something meaningful and interesting. This is often challenging, but wrestling with what exactly you want your essay to say is worth the effort. Why? An essay with a narrow, sharp focus has a clearer message. You’re also able to dig deeper into your topic and provide better analysis. If your topic is too broad, you’re forced to skim the surface, which produces a less interesting essay.

How do you sharpen your essay’s focus? Grace Fleming provides several tips on ThoughtCatalog . First, you can tell your topic is too broad if it can be summarized in just 1-2 words. As an example, “health inequity” is way too broad. Fleming suggests applying the questions, “Who, what, where, when, why and how,” to your topic to narrow it down. So, instead of just “health inequity,” you might end up with something like “The impact of health inequity in maternal healthcare systems on Indigenous women.” Your topic’s focus may shift or narrow even further depending on the research you find.

Writing a human rights topic research paper? Here are five of the most useful tips .

#3. Identify your purpose

As you unearth your topic and narrow its focus, it’s important to think about what you want your essay to accomplish. If you’re only thinking about your essay as an assignment, you’ll most likely end up with a product that’s unfocused or unclear. Vague sentiments like “Everyone is writing about social justice” and “Social justice is important” are also not going to produce an essay with a clear purpose. Why are you writing this essay? Are you wanting to raise awareness of a topic that’s been historically ignored? Or do you want to inspire people to take action and change something by giving them concrete how-to strategies? Identifying your purpose as soon as possible directs your research, your essay structure and how you style your writing.

If you’re not sure how to find your purpose, think about who you’re writing for. An essay written for a university class has a different audience than an essay written for a social justice organization’s social media page. If there are specific instructions for your essay (professors often have requirements they’re looking for), always follow them closely. Once you’ve identified your purpose, keep it at the front of your mind. You’ll produce an essay that’s clear, focused and effective.

#4. Find a human story

The best social justice essays don’t only provide compelling arguments and accurate statistics; they show your topic’s real-world impact. Harvard’s Kennedy School’s communications program describes this process as “finding a character.” It’s especially useful when you’re writing something persuasive. Whatever your topic, try to find the human stories behind the ideas and the data. How you do that depends on the nature of your essay. As an example, if you’re writing something more academic, focusing too much on the emotional side of a story may not be appropriate. However, if you’re writing an essay for an NGO’s fundraising campaign, focusing on a few people’s stories helps your reader connect to the topic more deeply.

How do you choose what stories to feature? Harvard suggests choosing someone you have access to either through your research or as an interview subject. If you get the opportunity to interview people, make sure you ask interesting questions that dig beneath the surface. Your subject has a unique perspective; you want to find the information and stories only they can provide.

#5. Rely on a variety of sources

Depending on your essay’s purpose and audience, there might be certain sources you’re required to use. In a piece for Inside Higher Ed, Stephanie Y. Evans describes how her students must use at least 10 source types in their final paper assignment. Most of the time, you’ll have a lot of freedom when it comes to research and choosing your sources. For best results, you want to use a wide variety. There are a few reasons why. The first is that a variety of sources gives you more material for your essay. You’ll access different perspectives you wouldn’t have found if you stuck to just a few books or papers. Reading more sources also helps you ensure your information is accurate; you’re fact-checking sources against one another. Expanding your research helps you address bias, as well. If you rely only on sources that reflect your existing views, your essay will be much less interesting.

While we’re talking about sources, let’s touch on citations. If you’re writing an essay for school, your teacher will most likely tell you what citation method they want you to use. There are several depending on the discipline. As an example, in the United States, social science disciplines like sociology and education tend to use the American Psychological Association (APA) style. Some places are very rigid about citation styles, while others are more relaxed. If you’re writing an essay where your citation won’t be checked, you still need to give credit to any ideas, thoughts, or research that’s not yours. Proper citation builds trust with your reader and boosts your credibility.

Here are more tips on writing a human rights essay!

#6. Define your key terms

To make your essay as clear and effective as possible, you want every reader on the same page right at the beginning. Defining your key terms is an important step. As Ian Johnston writes, creating an effective argument requires “the establishment of clear, precise, and effective definitions for key terms in the arguments.” You may have to adapt an existing definition or write your own. Johnston offers principles such as adjusting a definition based on the knowledge of who you’re writing for, focusing on what a term is and not just on its effects, and expanding a definition so it covers everything a reader needs to know.

How do you decide which terms are important in your essay? First, never assume a reader understands a term because it’s “obvious.” The most obvious terms are often the ones that need the clearest definitions. If your reader doesn’t know exactly what you’re talking about when you use a term like “health equity,” your essay won’t be as effective. In general, you want to define any terms relevant to your topic, terms that are used frequently and terms with distinct meanings in the context of your essay.

#7. Provide specific evidence and examples

Social justice issues are grounded in reality, so an essay should reflect that. Don’t spend your whole paper being philosophical or hypothetical. As an example, let’s say you’re writing an essay about desertification in Mali. Don’t discuss desertification as an abstract concept. Include real statistics and case studies on desertification in Mali, who it’s affecting the most and what is being done about it. For every argument you make, present supporting evidence and examples.

The strength of your evidence determines the strength of your arguments. How do you find strong evidence? Cite This For Me lists a handful of examples , such as studies, statistics, quotes from subject matter experts and/or reports, and case studies. Good evidence also needs to be accurate and in support of your argument. Depending on your essay topic, how current a piece of evidence is also matters. If you’re not relying on the most current evidence available, it can weaken your overall argument. Evidence should also be as specific as possible to your topic. Referring back to our desertification in Mali essay, that means locating examples of how desertification affects people in Mali , not in Chad or Russia.

Academic essay writing requires specific skills. Here’s an online introductory course on academic writing .

#8. Acknowledge your critics

Not every social justice essay requires an acknowledgment of opposing viewpoints, but addressing critics can strengthen your essay. How? It lets you confront your critics head-on and refute their arguments. It also shows you’ve researched your topic from every angle and you’re willing to be open-minded. Some people worry that introducing counterarguments will weaken the essay, but when you do the work to truly dissect your critic’s views and reaffirm your own, it makes your essay stronger.

The University of Pittsburgh offers a four-step strategy for refuting an argument. First, you need to identify the claim you’re responding to. This is often the trickiest part. Some writers misrepresent the claims of their critics to make them easier to refute, but that’s an intellectually dishonest method. Do your best to understand what exactly the opposing argument is claiming. Next, make your claim. You might need to provide specific evidence, which you may or may not have already included in your essay. Depending on the claim, your own thoughts may be a strong enough argument. Lastly, summarize what your claim implies about your critics, so your reader is left with a clear understanding of why your argument is the stronger one.

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About the author, emmaline soken-huberty.

Emmaline Soken-Huberty is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon. She started to become interested in human rights while attending college, eventually getting a concentration in human rights and humanitarianism. LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, and climate change are of special concern to her. In her spare time, she can be found reading or enjoying Oregon’s natural beauty with her husband and dog.

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50 Social Justice Topics | Best Essay Writing Ideas

social justice topics

The phrase social justice may sound simple, but it covers a pretty diverse scope of issues affecting our society. These include religion, income equality, race, sexual orientation, and gender, among many others. Since these are issues we encounter every day, you will, on countless times in your student life, get assigned a social justice project. Note, this is regardless of what course you may be taking. Therefore, it’s wise to equip yourself with a selection of great social justice topics, and also know how to go about the writing process beforehand. Fortunately, you happen to be at the right place. Check out the roundup of great social justice research topics, as well as a few tips to guide you through the process below.

A List of Social Justice Topics

The key to writing an exemplary social justice research paper is equipping with a list of good social justice topics you are both interested in and that have plenty of information sources. On that note, check out the list below

General Social Justice Topic Ideas

  • What impact does diversity have on social justice?
  • Define social justice
  • How a corporate policy can affect the staff’s mental health
  • What is your take on fundraisers? Are they real charities or money laundering projects?
  • Explain the background and reasons that often lead to employee riots
  • What should immigrating foreigners expect? A better life or condemnation?
  • Explain the connection between globalization and the increase in substance abuse rates
  • Describe the political side of most modern wars.
  • Obesity as an obstacle to one’s social life
  • Increasing unemployment as the direct consequence of economic recessions
  • The impact of global warming on small island nations such as the Maldives
  • History and the progression of the idea in Western political thought
  • Globalization on international hospitality and tourism and how it impacts the local population
  • Non-governmental organizations, are they positive activists of change?
  • LGBTQ + pride movement
  • Describe the negative impact of societal beauty standards
  • What is the extent of abuse and neglect in orphanages, care homes, and orphanages

Good Social Justice Debate Topics

  • Can peace exist without war?
  • Define the relationship between social media and the increased cases of suicide
  • Reverse discrimination- a myth or reality?
  • A world of peace- is it real, or is it just a far-fetched fantasy?
  • Is the issuing of green cards a privilege or a necessity?
  • Should we perceive it as sex work or paid rape?
  • The church and the state- is it possible for them to remain separate?
  • Will gun control laws help reduce mass shootings?
  • Is consent a valid concept in the porn industry?
  • Building a wall between the US and Mexico? Logical or racist?
  • The immunization debate; should vaccination be mandatory?

Social Justice Speech Topics

  • Who pays the price of war and terrorism?
  • Talk about white privilege in the media
  • Can social media help society overcome the problem of illiteracy?
  • Talk about child abuse prevention strategies in the US
  • The societal impact on teenage smoking
  • Dating violence among university and college students
  • The effect of TV on infant child development
  • The issue of discrimination; do existing policies adequately protect citizens?
  • Problems brought about by illiteracy
  • Economic issues in developing countries and their link to the US economy
  • Address discrimination in sports

Social Justice Topics in Education

  • Why is peace education rare than shooting classes
  • Describe the mistreatment or abuse of autistic kids in elementary schools
  • Should our educational system be flexible enough to accommodate the evolving world, or is it a much wiser idea to retain the old standards?
  • Discrimination against the female gender or non-citizens in our education system
  • The impact of illiteracy on our community today
  • The impact of bullying and anxiety development in teenagers
  • Social media as the new form of bullying
  • How accessible is our educational system, the poor, migrant works, refugees, and other minority groups?
  • Mandatory uniform as a means to wipe out student identity
  • Can social media help our society overcome the problem of illiteracy?
  • Free education for everyone, will it ever become a reality

Thoughts On Social Justice Essay Writing

Writing an essay on social justice is not only a regular part of your student life but is meant to train you into a functioning adult in society. Writing on different social justice research topics will also help you keep up with the trends and changes taking place in our society. Therefore, to write the perfect social justice essay ensure you

Choose Social Justice Topics Wisely

When it comes to writing on social justice, it’s wise to choose a topic relevant to the community at that time. For instance, all social justice topics on our list directly impact society today. Therefore, choosing to write on any of them will cause controversy because not everyone has the same opinion as you. Hence, your audience, in this case, your professor, will be curious to see how you handle a particular social justice issue.

But other than being relevant, good social justice topics usually have plenty of research material. So apart from choosing a topic related to 2023, make sure whatever you opt to write about won’t leave you all drained.

Invest in Research

Social justice topics such as bullying in school usually have plenty of press. In that breath, you want to make your essay on social justice as unique and as memorable as possible. Therefore, instead of writing what everyone knows, go the extra mile in doing your research. For instance, if your social justice topic of choice is bullying, choose to address the psychological part of it, instead of the regular effects most students do.

Support Your Stance with Examples

As noted earlier, social justice mainly focuses on issues that affect our everyday lives. It is all about things that take place in our community regularly. Therefore, read the relevant college essay examples to help your audience relate to the social justice topic you’ve chosen to write about on a personal level. For instance, if you are talking about climate change, use examples that will hit close to home, such as increased energy costs. This way, your audience understands just how critical climate change is and why they should take action!

Keep your social justice essay very simple. Once you are done, revise and edit it to confirm that it is flawless. To make sure you submit a plagiarism-free paper and excellent grades, we advise you to hire our essay writers .

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Six brilliant student essays on the power of food to spark social change.

Read winning essays from our fall 2018 “Feeding Ourselves, Feeding Our Revolutions,” student writing contest.


For the Fall 2018 student writing competition, “Feeding Ourselves, Feeding Our Revolutions,” we invited students to read the YES! Magazine article, “Cooking Stirs the Pot for Social Change,”   by Korsha Wilson and respond to this writing prompt: If you were to host a potluck or dinner to discuss a challenge facing your community or country, what food would you cook? Whom would you invite? On what issue would you deliberate? 

The Winners

From the hundreds of essays written, these six—on anti-Semitism, cultural identity, death row prisoners, coming out as transgender, climate change, and addiction—were chosen as essay winners.  Be sure to read the literary gems and catchy titles that caught our eye.

Middle School Winner: India Brown High School Winner: Grace Williams University Winner: Lillia Borodkin Powerful Voice Winner: Paisley Regester Powerful Voice Winner: Emma Lingo Powerful Voice Winner: Hayden Wilson

Literary Gems Clever Titles

Middle School Winner: India Brown  

A Feast for the Future

Close your eyes and imagine the not too distant future: The Statue of Liberty is up to her knees in water, the streets of lower Manhattan resemble the canals of Venice, and hurricanes arrive in the fall and stay until summer. Now, open your eyes and see the beautiful planet that we will destroy if we do not do something. Now is the time for change. Our future is in our control if we take actions, ranging from small steps, such as not using plastic straws, to large ones, such as reducing fossil fuel consumption and electing leaders who take the problem seriously.

 Hosting a dinner party is an extraordinary way to publicize what is at stake. At my potluck, I would serve linguini with clams. The clams would be sautéed in white wine sauce. The pasta tossed with a light coat of butter and topped with freshly shredded parmesan. I choose this meal because it cannot be made if global warming’s patterns persist. Soon enough, the ocean will be too warm to cultivate clams, vineyards will be too sweltering to grow grapes, and wheat fields will dry out, leaving us without pasta.

I think that giving my guests a delicious meal and then breaking the news to them that its ingredients would be unattainable if Earth continues to get hotter is a creative strategy to initiate action. Plus, on the off chance the conversation gets drastically tense, pasta is a relatively difficult food to throw.

In YES! Magazine’s article, “Cooking Stirs the Pot for Social Change,” Korsha Wilson says “…beyond the narrow definition of what cooking is, you can see that cooking is and has always been an act of resistance.” I hope that my dish inspires people to be aware of what’s at stake with increasing greenhouse gas emissions and work toward creating a clean energy future.

 My guest list for the potluck would include two groups of people: local farmers, who are directly and personally affected by rising temperatures, increased carbon dioxide, drought, and flooding, and people who either do not believe in human-caused climate change or don’t think it affects anyone. I would invite the farmers or farm owners because their jobs and crops are dependent on the weather. I hope that after hearing a farmer’s perspective, climate-deniers would be awakened by the truth and more receptive to the effort to reverse these catastrophic trends.

Earth is a beautiful planet that provides everything we’ll ever need, but because of our pattern of living—wasteful consumption, fossil fuel burning, and greenhouse gas emissions— our habitat is rapidly deteriorating. Whether you are a farmer, a long-shower-taking teenager, a worker in a pollution-producing factory, or a climate-denier, the future of humankind is in our hands. The choices we make and the actions we take will forever affect planet Earth.

 India Brown is an eighth grader who lives in New York City with her parents and older brother. She enjoys spending time with her friends, walking her dog, Morty, playing volleyball and lacrosse, and swimming.

High School Winner: Grace Williams

college essays about social justice

Apple Pie Embrace

It’s 1:47 a.m. Thanksgiving smells fill the kitchen. The sweet aroma of sugar-covered apples and buttery dough swirls into my nostrils. Fragrant orange and rosemary permeate the room and every corner smells like a stroll past the open door of a French bakery. My eleven-year-old eyes water, red with drowsiness, and refocus on the oven timer counting down. Behind me, my mom and aunt chat to no end, fueled by the seemingly self-replenishable coffee pot stashed in the corner. Their hands work fast, mashing potatoes, crumbling cornbread, and covering finished dishes in a thin layer of plastic wrap. The most my tired body can do is sit slouched on the backless wooden footstool. I bask in the heat escaping under the oven door.

 As a child, I enjoyed Thanksgiving and the preparations that came with it, but it seemed like more of a bridge between my birthday and Christmas than an actual holiday. Now, it’s a time of year I look forward to, dedicated to family, memories, and, most importantly, food. What I realized as I grew older was that my homemade Thanksgiving apple pie was more than its flaky crust and soft-fruit center. This American food symbolized a rite of passage, my Iraqi family’s ticket to assimilation. 

 Some argue that by adopting American customs like the apple pie, we lose our culture. I would argue that while American culture influences what my family eats and celebrates, it doesn’t define our character. In my family, we eat Iraqi dishes like mesta and tahini, but we also eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast. This doesn’t mean we favor one culture over the other; instead, we create a beautiful blend of the two, adapting traditions to make them our own.

 That said, my family has always been more than the “mashed potatoes and turkey” type.

My mom’s family immigrated to the United States in 1976. Upon their arrival, they encountered a deeply divided America. Racism thrived, even after the significant freedoms gained from the Civil Rights Movement a few years before. Here, my family was thrust into a completely unknown world: they didn’t speak the language, they didn’t dress normally, and dinners like riza maraka seemed strange in comparison to the Pop Tarts and Oreos lining grocery store shelves.

 If I were to host a dinner party, it would be like Thanksgiving with my Chaldean family. The guests, my extended family, are a diverse people, distinct ingredients in a sweet potato casserole, coming together to create a delicious dish.

In her article “Cooking Stirs the Pot for Social Change,” Korsha Wilson writes, “each ingredient that we use, every technique, every spice tells a story about our access, our privilege, our heritage, and our culture.” Voices around the room will echo off the walls into the late hours of the night while the hot apple pie steams at the table’s center.

We will play concan on the blanketed floor and I’ll try to understand my Toto, who, after forty years, still speaks broken English. I’ll listen to my elders as they tell stories about growing up in Unionville, Michigan, a predominately white town where they always felt like outsiders, stories of racism that I have the privilege not to experience. While snacking on sunflower seeds and salted pistachios, we’ll talk about the news- how thousands of people across the country are protesting for justice among immigrants. No one protested to give my family a voice.

Our Thanksgiving food is more than just sustenance, it is a physical representation of my family ’s blended and ever-changing culture, even after 40 years in the United States. No matter how the food on our plates changes, it will always symbolize our sense of family—immediate and extended—and our unbreakable bond.

Grace Williams, a student at Kirkwood High School in Kirkwood, Missouri, enjoys playing tennis, baking, and spending time with her family. Grace also enjoys her time as a writing editor for her school’s yearbook, the Pioneer. In the future, Grace hopes to continue her travels abroad, as well as live near extended family along the sunny beaches of La Jolla, California.

University Winner: Lillia Borodkin

college essays about social justice

Nourishing Change After Tragedy Strikes

In the Jewish community, food is paramount. We often spend our holidays gathered around a table, sharing a meal and reveling in our people’s story. On other sacred days, we fast, focusing instead on reflection, atonement, and forgiveness.

As a child, I delighted in the comfort of matzo ball soup, the sweetness of hamantaschen, and the beauty of braided challah. But as I grew older and more knowledgeable about my faith, I learned that the origins of these foods are not rooted in joy, but in sacrifice.

The matzo of matzo balls was a necessity as the Jewish people did not have time for their bread to rise as they fled slavery in Egypt. The hamantaschen was an homage to the hat of Haman, the villain of the Purim story who plotted the Jewish people’s destruction. The unbaked portion of braided challah was tithed by commandment to the kohen  or priests. Our food is an expression of our history, commemorating both our struggles and our triumphs.

As I write this, only days have passed since eleven Jews were killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. These people, intending only to pray and celebrate the Sabbath with their community, were murdered simply for being Jewish. This brutal event, in a temple and city much like my own, is a reminder that anti-Semitism still exists in this country. A reminder that hatred of Jews, of me, my family, and my community, is alive and flourishing in America today. The thought that a difference in religion would make some believe that others do not have the right to exist is frightening and sickening.  

 This is why, if given the chance, I would sit down the entire Jewish American community at one giant Shabbat table. I’d serve matzo ball soup, pass around loaves of challah, and do my best to offer comfort. We would take time to remember the beautiful souls lost to anti-Semitism this October and the countless others who have been victims of such hatred in the past. I would then ask that we channel all we are feeling—all the fear, confusion, and anger —into the fight.

As suggested in Korsha Wilson’s “Cooking Stirs the Pot for Social Change,” I would urge my guests to direct our passion for justice and the comfort and care provided by the food we are eating into resisting anti-Semitism and hatred of all kinds.

We must use the courage this sustenance provides to create change and honor our people’s suffering and strength. We must remind our neighbors, both Jewish and non-Jewish, that anti-Semitism is alive and well today. We must shout and scream and vote until our elected leaders take this threat to our community seriously. And, we must stand with, support, and listen to other communities that are subjected to vengeful hate today in the same way that many of these groups have supported us in the wake of this tragedy.

This terrible shooting is not the first of its kind, and if conflict and loathing are permitted to grow, I fear it will not be the last. While political change may help, the best way to target this hate is through smaller-scale actions in our own communities.

It is critical that we as a Jewish people take time to congregate and heal together, but it is equally necessary to include those outside the Jewish community to build a powerful crusade against hatred and bigotry. While convening with these individuals, we will work to end the dangerous “otherizing” that plagues our society and seek to understand that we share far more in common than we thought. As disagreements arise during our discussions, we will learn to respect and treat each other with the fairness we each desire. Together, we shall share the comfort, strength, and courage that traditional Jewish foods provide and use them to fuel our revolution. 

We are not alone in the fight despite what extremists and anti-semites might like us to believe.  So, like any Jew would do, I invite you to join me at the Shabbat table. First, we will eat. Then, we will get to work.  

Lillia Borodkin is a senior at Kent State University majoring in Psychology with a concentration in Child Psychology. She plans to attend graduate school and become a school psychologist while continuing to pursue her passion for reading and writing. Outside of class, Lillia is involved in research in the psychology department and volunteers at the Women’s Center on campus.   

Powerful Voice Winner: Paisley Regester

college essays about social justice

As a kid, I remember asking my friends jokingly, ”If you were stuck on a deserted island, what single item of food would you bring?” Some of my friends answered practically and said they’d bring water. Others answered comically and said they’d bring snacks like Flamin’ Hot Cheetos or a banana. However, most of my friends answered sentimentally and listed the foods that made them happy. This seems like fun and games, but what happens if the hypothetical changes? Imagine being asked, on the eve of your death, to choose the final meal you will ever eat. What food would you pick? Something practical? Comical? Sentimental?  

This situation is the reality for the 2,747 American prisoners who are currently awaiting execution on death row. The grim ritual of “last meals,” when prisoners choose their final meal before execution, can reveal a lot about these individuals and what they valued throughout their lives.

It is difficult for us to imagine someone eating steak, lobster tail, apple pie, and vanilla ice cream one moment and being killed by state-approved lethal injection the next. The prisoner can only hope that the apple pie he requested tastes as good as his mom’s. Surprisingly, many people in prison decline the option to request a special last meal. We often think of food as something that keeps us alive, so is there really any point to eating if someone knows they are going to die?

“Controlling food is a means of controlling power,” said chef Sean Sherman in the YES! Magazine article “Cooking Stirs the Pot for Social Change,” by Korsha Wilson. There are deeper stories that lie behind the final meals of individuals on death row.

I want to bring awareness to the complex and often controversial conditions of this country’s criminal justice system and change the common perception of prisoners as inhuman. To accomplish this, I would host a potluck where I would recreate the last meals of prisoners sentenced to death.

In front of each plate, there would be a place card with the prisoner’s full name, the date of execution, and the method of execution. These meals could range from a plate of fried chicken, peas with butter, apple pie, and a Dr. Pepper, reminiscent of a Sunday dinner at Grandma’s, to a single olive.

Seeing these meals up close, meals that many may eat at their own table or feed to their own kids, would force attendees to face the reality of the death penalty. It will urge my guests to look at these individuals not just as prisoners, assigned a number and a death date, but as people, capable of love and rehabilitation.  

This potluck is not only about realizing a prisoner’s humanity, but it is also about recognizing a flawed criminal justice system. Over the years, I have become skeptical of the American judicial system, especially when only seven states have judges who ethnically represent the people they serve. I was shocked when I found out that the officers who killed Michael Brown and Anthony Lamar Smith were exonerated for their actions. How could that be possible when so many teens and adults of color have spent years in prison, some even executed, for crimes they never committed?  

Lawmakers, police officers, city officials, and young constituents, along with former prisoners and their families, would be invited to my potluck to start an honest conversation about the role and application of inequality, dehumanization, and racism in the death penalty. Food served at the potluck would represent the humanity of prisoners and push people to acknowledge that many inmates are victims of a racist and corrupt judicial system.

Recognizing these injustices is only the first step towards a more equitable society. The second step would be acting on these injustices to ensure that every voice is heard, even ones separated from us by prison walls. Let’s leave that for the next potluck, where I plan to serve humble pie.

Paisley Regester is a high school senior and devotes her life to activism, the arts, and adventure. Inspired by her experiences traveling abroad to Nicaragua, Mexico, and Scotland, Paisley hopes to someday write about the diverse people and places she has encountered and share her stories with the rest of the world.

Powerful Voice Winner: Emma Lingo

college essays about social justice

The Empty Seat

“If you aren’t sober, then I don’t want to see you on Christmas.”

Harsh words for my father to hear from his daughter but words he needed to hear. Words I needed him to understand and words he seemed to consider as he fiddled with his wine glass at the head of the table. Our guests, my grandma, and her neighbors remained resolutely silent. They were not about to defend my drunken father–or Charles as I call him–from my anger or my ultimatum.

This was the first dinner we had had together in a year. The last meal we shared ended with Charles slopping his drink all over my birthday presents and my mother explaining heroin addiction to me. So, I wasn’t surprised when Charles threw down some liquid valor before dinner in anticipation of my anger. If he wanted to be welcomed on Christmas, he needed to be sober—or he needed to be gone.

Countless dinners, holidays, and birthdays taught me that my demands for sobriety would fall on deaf ears. But not this time. Charles gave me a gift—a one of a kind, limited edition, absolutely awkward treat. One that I didn’t know how to deal with at all. Charles went home that night, smacked a bright red bow on my father, and hand-delivered him to me on Christmas morning.

He arrived for breakfast freshly showered and looking flustered. He would remember this day for once only because his daughter had scolded him into sobriety. Dad teetered between happiness and shame. Grandma distracted us from Dad’s presence by bringing the piping hot bacon and biscuits from the kitchen to the table, theatrically announcing their arrival. Although these foods were the alleged focus of the meal, the real spotlight shined on the unopened liquor cabinet in my grandma’s kitchen—the cabinet I know Charles was begging Dad to open.

I’ve isolated myself from Charles. My family has too. It means we don’t see Dad, but it’s the best way to avoid confrontation and heartache. Sometimes I find myself wondering what it would be like if we talked with him more or if he still lived nearby. Would he be less inclined to use? If all families with an addict tried to hang on to a relationship with the user, would there be fewer addicts in the world? Christmas breakfast with Dad was followed by Charles whisking him away to Colorado where pot had just been legalized. I haven’t talked to Dad since that Christmas.

As Korsha Wilson stated in her YES! Magazine article, “Cooking Stirs the Pot for Social Change,” “Sometimes what we don’t cook says more than what we do cook.” When it comes to addiction, what isn’t served is more important than what is. In quiet moments, I like to imagine a meal with my family–including Dad. He’d have a spot at the table in my little fantasy. No alcohol would push him out of his chair, the cigarettes would remain seated in his back pocket, and the stench of weed wouldn’t invade the dining room. Fruit salad and gumbo would fill the table—foods that Dad likes. We’d talk about trivial matters in life, like how school is going and what we watched last night on TV.

Dad would feel loved. We would connect. He would feel less alone. At the end of the night, he’d walk me to the door and promise to see me again soon. And I would believe him.

Emma Lingo spends her time working as an editor for her school paper, reading, and being vocal about social justice issues. Emma is active with many clubs such as Youth and Government, KHS Cares, and Peer Helpers. She hopes to be a journalist one day and to be able to continue helping out people by volunteering at local nonprofits.

Powerful Voice Winner: Hayden Wilson

college essays about social justice

Bittersweet Reunion

I close my eyes and envision a dinner of my wildest dreams. I would invite all of my relatives. Not just my sister who doesn’t ask how I am anymore. Not just my nephews who I’m told are too young to understand me. No, I would gather all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins to introduce them to the me they haven’t met.

For almost two years, I’ve gone by a different name that most of my family refuses to acknowledge. My aunt, a nun of 40 years, told me at a recent birthday dinner that she’d heard of my “nickname.” I didn’t want to start a fight, so I decided not to correct her. Even the ones who’ve adjusted to my name have yet to recognize the bigger issue.

Last year on Facebook, I announced to my friends and family that I am transgender. No one in my family has talked to me about it, but they have plenty to say to my parents. I feel as if this is about my parents more than me—that they’ve made some big parenting mistake. Maybe if I invited everyone to dinner and opened up a discussion, they would voice their concerns to me instead of my parents.

I would serve two different meals of comfort food to remind my family of our good times. For my dad’s family, I would cook heavily salted breakfast food, the kind my grandpa used to enjoy. He took all of his kids to IHOP every Sunday and ordered the least healthy option he could find, usually some combination of an overcooked omelet and a loaded Classic Burger. For my mom’s family, I would buy shakes and burgers from Hardee’s. In my grandma’s final weeks, she let aluminum tins of sympathy meals pile up on her dining table while she made my uncle take her to Hardee’s every day.

In her article on cooking and activism, food writer Korsha Wilson writes, “Everyone puts down their guard over a good meal, and in that space, change is possible.” Hopefully the same will apply to my guests.

When I first thought of this idea, my mind rushed to the endless negative possibilities. My nun-aunt and my two non-nun aunts who live like nuns would whip out their Bibles before I even finished my first sentence. My very liberal, state representative cousin would say how proud she is of the guy I’m becoming, but this would trigger my aunts to accuse her of corrupting my mind. My sister, who has never spoken to me about my genderidentity, would cover her children’s ears and rush them out of the house. My Great-Depression-raised grandparents would roll over in their graves, mumbling about how kids have it easy nowadays.

After mentally mapping out every imaginable terrible outcome this dinner could have, I realized a conversation is unavoidable if I want my family to accept who I am. I long to restore the deep connection I used to have with them. Though I often think these former relationships are out of reach, I won’t know until I try to repair them. For a year and a half, I’ve relied on Facebook and my parents to relay messages about my identity, but I need to tell my own story.

At first, I thought Korsha Wilson’s idea of a cooked meal leading the way to social change was too optimistic, but now I understand that I need to think more like her. Maybe, just maybe, my family could all gather around a table, enjoy some overpriced shakes, and be as close as we were when I was a little girl.

 Hayden Wilson is a 17-year-old high school junior from Missouri. He loves writing, making music, and painting. He’s a part of his school’s writing club, as well as the GSA and a few service clubs.

 Literary Gems

We received many outstanding essays for the Fall 2018 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we’d like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.

Thinking of the main staple of the dish—potatoes, the starchy vegetable that provides sustenance for people around the globe. The onion, the layers of sorrow and joy—a base for this dish served during the holidays.  The oil, symbolic of hope and perseverance. All of these elements come together to form this delicious oval pancake permeating with possibilities. I wonder about future possibilities as I flip the latkes.

—Nikki Markman, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California

The egg is a treasure. It is a fragile heart of gold that once broken, flows over the blemishless surface of the egg white in dandelion colored streams, like ribbon unraveling from its spool.

—Kaylin Ku, West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, Princeton Junction, New Jersey

If I were to bring one food to a potluck to create social change by addressing anti-Semitism, I would bring gefilte fish because it is different from other fish, just like the Jews are different from other people.  It looks more like a matzo ball than fish, smells extraordinarily fishy, and tastes like sweet brine with the consistency of a crab cake.

—Noah Glassman, Ethical Culture Fieldston School,  Bronx, New York

I would not only be serving them something to digest, I would serve them a one-of-a-kind taste of the past, a taste of fear that is felt in the souls of those whose home and land were taken away, a taste of ancestral power that still lives upon us, and a taste of the voices that want to be heard and that want the suffering of the Natives to end.

—Citlalic Anima Guevara, Wichita North High School, Wichita, Kansas

It’s the one thing that your parents make sure you have because they didn’t.  Food is what your mother gives you as she lies, telling you she already ate. It’s something not everybody is fortunate to have and it’s also what we throw away without hesitation.  Food is a blessing to me, but what is it to you?

—Mohamed Omar, Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Missouri

Filleted and fried humphead wrasse, mangrove crab with coconut milk, pounded taro, a whole roast pig, and caramelized nuts—cuisines that will not be simplified to just “food.” Because what we eat is the diligence and pride of our people—a culture that has survived and continues to thrive.

—Mayumi Remengesau, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California

Some people automatically think I’m kosher or ask me to say prayers in Hebrew.  However, guess what? I don’t know many prayers and I eat bacon.

—Hannah Reing, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, The Bronx, New York

Everything was placed before me. Rolling up my sleeves I started cracking eggs, mixing flour, and sampling some chocolate chips, because you can never be too sure. Three separate bowls. All different sizes. Carefully, I tipped the smallest, and the medium-sized bowls into the biggest. Next, I plugged in my hand-held mixer and flicked on the switch. The beaters whirl to life. I lowered it into the bowl and witnessed the creation of something magnificent. Cookie dough.

—Cassandra Amaya, Owen Goodnight Middle School, San Marcos, Texas

Biscuits and bisexuality are both things that are in my life…My grandmother’s biscuits are the best: the good old classic Southern biscuits, crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside. Except it is mostly Southern people who don’t accept me.

—Jaden Huckaby, Arbor Montessori, Decatur, Georgia

We zest the bright yellow lemons and the peels of flavor fall lightly into the batter.  To make frosting, we keep adding more and more powdered sugar until it looks like fluffy clouds with raspberry seed rain.

—Jane Minus, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, Bronx, New York

Tamales for my grandma, I can still remember her skillfully spreading the perfect layer of masa on every corn husk, looking at me pitifully as my young hands fumbled with the corn wrapper, always too thick or too thin.

—Brenna Eliaz, San Marcos High School, San Marcos, Texas

Just like fry bread, MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) remind New Orleanians and others affected by disasters of the devastation throughout our city and the little amount of help we got afterward.

—Madeline Johnson, Spring Hill College, Mobile, Alabama

I would bring cream corn and buckeyes and have a big debate on whether marijuana should be illegal or not.

—Lillian Martinez, Miller Middle School, San Marcos, Texas

We would finish the meal off with a delicious apple strudel, topped with schlag, schlag, schlag, more schlag, and a cherry, and finally…more schlag (in case you were wondering, schlag is like whipped cream, but 10 times better because it is heavier and sweeter).

—Morgan Sheehan, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, Bronx, New York

Clever Titles

This year we decided to do something different. We were so impressed by the number of catchy titles that we decided to feature some of our favorites. 

“Eat Like a Baby: Why Shame Has No Place at a Baby’s Dinner Plate”

—Tate Miller, Wichita North High School, Wichita, Kansas 

“The Cheese in Between”

—Jedd Horowitz, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, Bronx, New York

“Harvey, Michael, Florence or Katrina? Invite Them All Because Now We Are Prepared”

—Molly Mendoza, Spring Hill College, Mobile, Alabama

“Neglecting Our Children: From Broccoli to Bullets”

—Kylie Rollings, Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Missouri  

“The Lasagna of Life”

—Max Williams, Wichita North High School, Wichita, Kansas

“Yum, Yum, Carbon Dioxide In Our Lungs”

—Melanie Eickmeyer, Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Missouri

“My Potluck, My Choice”

—Francesca Grossberg, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, Bronx, New York

“Trumping with Tacos”

—Maya Goncalves, Lincoln Middle School, Ypsilanti, Michigan

“Quiche and Climate Change”

—Bernie Waldman, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, Bronx, New York

“Biscuits and Bisexuality”


—Miles Oshan, San Marcos High School, San Marcos, Texas

“Bubula, Come Eat!”

—Jordan Fienberg, Ethical Culture Fieldston School,  Bronx, New York

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Roosevelt Review (Archives, 2014-2018)

Archives of roosevelt review: the roosevelt university alumni magazine, faculty essay: what is social justice.

May 14, 2015 by Susan Torres-Harding, associate professor of psychology 2 Comments

Susan Torres-Harding is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology. Her research interests include understanding the impact of sociocultural factors on physical and psychological health and assessing the development of social justice attitudes and social activism. She earned her PhD in Clinical Child Psychology from DePaul University in 2001.

Social justice has always been an important value to me and a foundation for my career aspirations. Therefore, in 2006, I was pleased to join the faculty at Roosevelt University, a university founded on inclusivity and one with a strong focus on social justice and social action. I quickly realized that this was a friendly “home” where I could continue to discuss the impact of societal inequalities and discrimination in health care, my own area of research.

At the same time, I was intrigued by the reactions of friends and colleagues when I told them that I was now at Roosevelt. Invariably, I would meet people who had been at Roosevelt in those early years, and they would tell me stories about what a special place Roosevelt is. They described Roosevelt as a school where people of all races came together—a college unlike others. The pictures hanging on the walls of the Auditorium Building from those early years are visual reminders of this truly unique integration of people from diverse racial groups at a time when racial segregation was the norm. Today Roosevelt continues to be ethnically and racially diverse, but the world has changed since Roosevelt came into being in 1945. In addition to racial injustice, which regrettably remains prevalent in our society, we now truly confront other forms of discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, social class and disability status.

As a Roosevelt psychology professor, I often talked in my classes about social justice as a key value for the Roosevelt community, but I found students grappled with the meaning of social justice. What is social justice? Whom is it for? Many students talked about social justice as if it were a high-minded ideal, unrealistic or impractical to do in real life. While we often discussed the need to use our knowledge and skills to work for a more fair and just society, I wondered if students had become overwhelmed with the amount of injustice in society and whether they believed they could actually make a difference in the world.

This led me to ask myself, what do students think social justice is all about? More importantly, I wanted to know what I could do to empower them to take action and strive to make a difference while at Roosevelt and after.

In response to these questions, I started a series of studies to investigate how students understood social justice and how, if at all, they were learning about our social justice message and integrating it into their own lives. What did all of this talk of social justice mean to the students? And, how could we, as educators, facilitate the goals of students who had the sincere desire to promote social justice, but who also had the notion that it was too hard, impractical, unrealistic or idealistic? As an educator, I had a personal stake in these questions. I wanted to know if integrating social justice concerns into my classes was actually making a difference in how students viewed themselves, their communities, and their own personal and professional actions. In other words, were we living up to the Roosevelt University mission of educating “socially conscious citizens”? Does talking about social justice make a difference, or is it all a lot of feel-good talk that is disconnected from reality?

Students Define Social Justice

To begin answering some of these questions, my research team and I embarked on a study to first understand how students defined social justice. In textbooks, researchers and educators define social justice as “involving the recognition of the existence of social injustices based upon being a member of a non-dominant or marginalized social group.” These marginalized social groups can include people who live in poverty, women, people who are LGBTQ, people who are disabled, people from racial and cultural minority groups, and people who have severe mental illness or have a substance abuse disorder. Researchers also defined social justice as “a value or desire to increase access of power, privileges and socioeconomic resources to people from socially marginalized groups.”

But is this how students thought about social justice? I believed it unlikely that most students would think about social justice in such abstract terms. So we conducted a study with Roosevelt students simply asking how they defined social justice. We found that students were relatively consistent in their definitions. They tended to describe social justice as addressing injustices in equality and promoting opportunity, rights, fairness and acceptance of everyone, including people from diverse backgrounds. Interestingly, a significant proportion (44 percent) of the students said they engaged in some activity that promoted social justice.

Additionally, we asked students to describe what they were actually doing to promote social justice. In most academic papers, social activism is defined as political activism: marching in protests, attending rallies, writing legislators or voting in order to promote policy or legal changes.

They tended to describe social justice as addressing injustices in equality and promoting opportunity, rights, fairness and acceptance of everyone, including people from diverse backgrounds.

Interestingly, there was a tremendous range of responses to our question. In addition to political activism, we identified many different categories of social justice activities, including conducting social-justice-related research, being a member of or volunteering for an organization that focused on social activism, seeking out educational opportunities to learn more about social justice, engaging in advocacy on behalf of people from disadvantaged or marginalized groups, and talking to family and friends about social justice.

What was most impressive to me was the creativity displayed by students as they sought to promote social justice, as well as the diversity of issues addressed by their actions. Many students reported participating in marches, protests and other direct social actions for economic or racial change. One participant was working to promote social justice by acting in a short film that aimed to foster acceptance of LGBTQ youth during the coming out process. Some students were using a social justice approach when providing clinical services to children with developmental disabilities. A few reported that they were engaged in youth mentoring or were working on behalf of youth within the juvenile justice system. Others were working to promote racial justice, women’s empowerment and awareness around diversity-related justice. Still others described being LGBTQ allies or serving as advocates for women who have endured domestic and sexual violence. We also had students who volunteered at community or religious organizations to help individuals around issues of poverty and food security.

A significant number of students indicated that they spoke with family or friends about these issues. I think that these kinds of actions are more quiet forms of activism. Discussing issues of social justice with significant others might have the impact of changing attitudes or gaining support from them. In turn, this might ultimately increase awareness of social issues and might influence others to take action in some way in their own lives.

Many of the students’ efforts involved using resources available at Roosevelt University. These included engaging in social-justice related research, attending lectures, being part of student groups and organizations that promoted social justice such as RU PROUD (a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and ally organization) and Students for a Sensible Drug Policy , engaging in social justice as part of their professional clinical training and volunteering as part of service learning. Although less than half of the students we surveyed reported engaging in activism, those who were active appeared to take advantage of the resources and opportunities available at Roosevelt, and many sought to integrate these experiences with their academic studies.

Connecting With The Mission

The second study that my research team and I conducted focused on the role of the University mission in promoting positive attitudes toward social justice. I wanted to understand whether students who felt more involved at the University and agreed with its mission were in fact more likely to engage in social activism. Interestingly, I found that students who reported having a high sense of community—that is, feeling as if they belonged to the “Roosevelt family”—said they valued the social justice mission more.

Students who respected the social justice mission were much more likely to state that they intended to work for social justice in the future and felt that they possessed the skills to effect positive change. These students were also more likely to report having engaged in social activism, talk about social justice issues with family and friends and personally identify as social activists. It seems that Roosevelt’s social justice mission influenced students by impacting both positive attitudes toward social justice and facilitating the integration of social justice concerns into their personal and professional lives. Feeling a part of the Roosevelt community mattered because it allowed them to share in this core community value.

Thus, the mission and values of Roosevelt University are having an impact on our students’ actions. We are currently conducting additional studies where we hope to follow undergraduate students over time to see how their ideas and views of social justice might change as they move from freshman to senior year. We are also interviewing student activists to learn from their unique experiences, motivations and perceptions of their own work.

Indeed, it has been a pleasure to be able to assess and document the amazingly diverse and creative activism that is going on at Roosevelt. In addition to the examples listed above, Roosevelt students have participated in walk-outs and rallies in Grant Park, lobbied at the state capital, made videos to help educate others about traditionally marginalized groups, conducted interventions to promote health and wellness in our communities, and organized programs that give our students and people in the community a voice. We have so much to learn from our students!

An important part of social justice education is to trust that students are able to evaluate the information we provide and use it in a way that is valid, realistic and relevant to their own lives. Because students are able to come up with so many unique and creative ways to address injustices in their interpersonal and professional lives, professors should not provide answers, but rather should pose questions to help students recognize the real challenges in our society. We can encourage them to critically evaluate their own views and the views of others and provide them with a range of interventions and interpersonal skills that they can then use to confront a range of social problems and issues in their own ways. We also need to recognize that this is hard, risky work.

An important part of social justice education is to trust that students are able to evaluate the information we provide and use it in a way that is valid, realistic and relevant to their own lives.

Working for social justice is, by its nature, “radical” because it focuses on changing the status quo, challenging existing policies and can involve breaking rules. As educators, it is important that we not only talk about social justice but provide students with the skills they need to take action and be effective. Promoting favorable attitudes and teaching interpersonal intervention and activism skills will have a positive impact on students and help them fulfill the Roosevelt mission of creating “socially conscious citizens” who change the world.

Contact Susan Torres-Harding at [email protected]

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November 23, 2018 at 10:53 am

extremely nice one……..

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Social Justice College Essays Samples For Students

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Do you feel the need to check out some previously written College Essays on Social Justice before you start writing an own piece? In this free catalog of Social Justice College Essay examples, you are granted a fascinating opportunity to discover meaningful topics, content structuring techniques, text flow, formatting styles, and other academically acclaimed writing practices. Adopting them while crafting your own Social Justice College Essay will surely allow you to finalize the piece faster.

Presenting the finest samples isn't the only way our free essays service can aid students in their writing efforts – our authors can also compose from point zero a fully customized College Essay on Social Justice that would make a solid basis for your own academic work.

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The Doonesbury cartoon presented in the question contains the quintessential arguments both for and against social justice. The NAACP representative in the cartoon—really a representative of all minority groups that fight for social justice—is acting by calling in doomsday propositions based on the current events in society. This is a parody that many people in the majority have about minority cultures—that because really terrible forms of discrimination were in the past and are no longer practiced, modern society does not need to recognize that there are still forms of discrimination practiced every day.

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Essay on Social Justice

Students are often asked to write an essay on Social Justice in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Social Justice

Understanding social justice.

Social justice is the fair treatment of all people in society. It’s about making sure everyone has equal opportunities, irrespective of their background or status.

Importance of Social Justice

Social justice is important because it promotes equality. It helps to reduce disparities in wealth, access to resources, and social privileges.

Role of Individuals

Every person can contribute to social justice. By treating others fairly, respecting diversity, and standing against discrimination, we can promote social justice.

In conclusion, social justice is vital for a balanced society. It ensures everyone has a fair chance to succeed in life.

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250 Words Essay on Social Justice

Social justice, a multifaceted concept, is the fair distribution of opportunities, privileges, and resources within a society. It encompasses dimensions like economic parity, gender equality, environmental justice, and human rights. The core of social justice is the belief that everyone deserves equal economic, political, and social opportunities irrespective of race, gender, or religion.

The Importance of Social Justice

Social justice is pivotal in fostering a harmonious society. It ensures that everyone has access to the basic necessities of life and can exercise their rights without discrimination. It is the cornerstone of peace and stability in any society. Without social justice, the divide between different socio-economic classes widens, leading to social unrest.

Challenges to Social Justice

Despite its importance, achieving social justice is fraught with challenges. Systemic issues like discrimination, poverty, and lack of access to quality education and healthcare are significant roadblocks. These challenges are deeply ingrained in societal structures and require collective efforts to overcome.

The Role of Individuals in Promoting Social Justice

Every individual plays a crucial role in promoting social justice. Through conscious efforts like advocating for equal rights, supporting policies that promote equality, and standing against discrimination, individuals can contribute to building a just society.

In conclusion, social justice is a fundamental principle for peaceful coexistence within societies. Despite the challenges, each individual’s conscious effort can contribute significantly to achieving this noble goal. The journey towards social justice is long and arduous, but it is a path worth treading for the betterment of humanity.

500 Words Essay on Social Justice

Introduction to social justice.

Social justice, a multifaceted concept, is often described as the fair and equitable distribution of resources and opportunities, where outside factors that categorize people into social strata are irrelevant. It encompasses the idea that all individuals should have equal access to wealth, health, well-being, justice, privileges, and opportunity irrespective of their legal, political, economic, or other circumstances.

Origins and Evolution of Social Justice

The concept of social justice emerged during the Industrial Revolution and subsequent civil revolutions as a counter to the vast disparities in wealth and social capital. It was a call for societal and structural changes, aiming to minimize socio-economic differences. The term was first used by Jesuit priest Luigi Taparelli in the mid-19th century, influenced by the teachings of Thomas Aquinas. Since then, the concept has evolved and expanded, encompassing issues like environmental justice, health equity, and human rights.

The Pillars of Social Justice

Social justice rests on four essential pillars: human rights, access, participation, and equity. Human rights are the fundamental rights and freedoms to which all individuals are entitled. Access involves equal opportunities in terms of resources, rights, goods, and services. Participation emphasizes the importance of all individuals contributing to and benefiting from economic, social, political, and cultural life. Equity ensures the fair distribution of resources and opportunities.

Social Justice in Today’s World

In the 21st century, social justice takes many forms and intersects with various areas such as race, gender, sexuality, and class. It is increasingly associated with the fight against systemic issues like racism, sexism, and classism. The Black Lives Matter movement, for instance, is a social justice movement fighting against systemic racism and violence towards black people. Similarly, the #MeToo movement is a fight for gender justice, aiming to end sexual harassment and assault.

Despite the progress, numerous challenges to social justice persist. Systemic and structural discrimination, political disenfranchisement, economic inequality, and social stratification are just a few. Moreover, the rise of populism and nationalism worldwide has further complicated the fight for social justice, as these ideologies often thrive on division and inequality.

Promoting social justice requires collective action. Individuals can contribute by becoming more aware of the injustices around them, advocating for policies that promote equity, and standing up against discrimination. Education plays a crucial role in this process, as it can foster a deeper understanding of social justice issues and equip individuals with the tools to effect change.

In conclusion, social justice is a powerful concept that advocates for a fairer, more equitable society. While significant strides have been made, numerous challenges remain, necessitating a continued commitment to promoting social justice. Through education and advocacy, individuals can play a crucial role in this ongoing effort. The pursuit of social justice, therefore, is not just a societal or institutional responsibility, but an individual one as well.

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Forgotten Spaces: Ecocriticism Social Justice, and the U.S. South (Collection of Essays)

The U.S. South is often a forgotten space within ecocritical discussions, yet it provides fruitful ground for thinking about environmental issues. In 2019, in the first edited collection of essays on the topic, Zachary Vernon notes that focusing attention on this bioregion might help “provide a way out of the limitations of thinking too locally or too globally,” and it might inspire a group of stakeholders to come to the table as well (7). One problem with ecocritical approaches is the long history of representing the U.S. South as an “internal other in the national imagination: colonized, subordinate, primitive, developmentally arrested, or even regressive” (Watson 254). Another issue is that both the environmental humanities and Southern studies have frequently been white spaces. This proposed anthology convenes a conversation about the U.S. South and environmental issues with an eye towards social justice. We seek theoretically-sophisticated essays attentive to intersections between race, class, gender, and sexuality within the U.S. South to round out our proposed collection.  Interdisciplinary environmental research from a variety of frameworks and disciplines is welcome, including literature, film, art, history, popular culture, public memory, sociology, political science, and geography. 

Questions to consider:

  • Why does the U.S. South seem like a forgotten space within ecocritical discussions?
  • How do we reach across entrenched divides and academic silos to engage in cross-disciplinary engagement with ecocritical concerns about the South?
  • What entanglements might we find between race, environment, gender, sexuality, class, and social justice?
  • How have artists, writers, activists, and cultural workers of color engaged with representing the environment, and what might their creative labor contribute to wider discussions beyond the academy?
  • How are rural and urban environments represented in the U.S. South? How are they represented from outside?
  • What constitutes the commons in the South? Was there ever really a Southern commons?
  • How are public parks, museums, and recreation areas curated in the South, and what might we learn about entanglements between race and the environment through attending to these spaces?
  • What is the history of traveling southward or leaving the South? What kinds of cultural constructions represent the region as a place to return to or escape from?
  • How might we interrogate Donna Haraway’s phrase “the plantationocene” to consider the vexed history of work, nature, and captivity in Southern spaces? 
  • How might we consider Settler colonialism, genocide, and Indian Removal within an ecocritical framework? How has a legacy of Settler colonialist violence in the South impacted the environment?
  • Can indigenous practices, beliefs, and cultural production be mobilized towards a Southern ecocriticism?
  • What are the many varieties of experience within different souths?

Other possible topics:

  • Climate change and its impact on southern spaces. Southern climate diaspora.
  • Hurricanes, floods, tornados. Natural disasters and social justice.
  • Disaster capitalism and southern spaces.
  • Sacrifice zones. Industrial pollution.
  • Carceral, military, and/or institutional Southern spaces.
  • Queer ecology and queer ecological souths.
  • Global approaches to environment and the U.S. South.
  • Animals and animality in southern cultural productions. Domestic/wild/wilding.
  • Southern megacities and the built environment in the U.S. South.
  • Race and nature in the South.
  • White supremacy and public spaces.

We seek MLA-formatted essays from 4,000-7,000 words. Please submit abstracts of 250-500 words by July 15, 2024. Notification of acceptance will be made by Aug. 1, 2024. And final essays will be due October 15, 2024. We will be submitting the proposal, table of contents, and sample essays to academic presses by Aug. 1, 2024.

Send abstracts and questions to: Katie Simon, Georgia College and State University,  [email protected]  and Catherine Bowlin, Elon University,  [email protected]

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Reflections on social (in) justice: a digital collection.

By Doug Anderson June 24th 2020

If you are a member of the Allegheny community (students, faculty, staff, and alumni), the Allegheny College Archives invites you to share your reflections about social (in)justice in light of the inequities revealed by the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, recent acts of racial violence, and the related protests by submitting creative works for the College’s digital collections. Individuals telling their stories is part of our entire community being seen, heard, and valued and is part of our joint commitment  to creating an inclusive, respectful and safe residential learning community that actively confronts and challenges injustice. This project intends to help us share our stories as a way to build understanding, strengthen our community, foster human connection, and preserve personal accounts of these troubling events for future generations and scholarly research. Visit our website to learn more about submitting your work or  submit directly here . We will accept your essays, poems, photographs, videos etc., that share your reactions and feelings about the life-changing events of recent weeks. Tell us how these historic events in this turbulent time have impacted your life. We will accept your creative reflections at least through 2020. If you have any questions, please contact Ruth Andel, Archivist ( [email protected] ) or Beau Smith, Digital Resources Librarian ( [email protected] ).

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college essays about social justice

How to Write the University of San Francisco Essays 2023-2024

The University of San Francisco is a private Jesuit university in the Bay Area. In addition to Common App materials, USF requires all applicants to submit one short supplemental essay. For this essay, you will consider USF’s Jesuit tradition and how you envision yourself joining its mission. 

Applicants to USF’s Nursing (BSN) program will need to submit an additional short essay while completing their Common App. Applicants to the St. Ignatius Institute will need to complete a series of additional short essays, to be submitted via the school website.

The University of San Francisco receives thousands of applications from highly-motivated students every year. Your essay responses are your opportunity to stand out from the competition. In this post, we’ll discuss how to craft an engaging response to each of these options.

Read this USF essay example to inspire your own writing.

University of San Francisco Supplemental Essay Prompts

All applicants, the university of san francisco’s jesuit tradition emphasizes community engagement and education for social justice, inspiring our students to become passionate agents for others. how do you see yourself becoming a part of this mission (200 words), nursing (bsn) applicants, what will be your responsibility to others as a jesuit-educated, bsn professional registered nurse (200 words), st. ignatius institute applicants.

Prompt 1: Please explain why you would like to join the Institute. (200 words)

Prompt 2: SII tries to foster solidarity in action to honor the Jesuit ideal of being people with and for others. Can you give an example of service you performed in the past? What did you do and why? (200 words)

Prompt 3: What does spirituality mean to you? Please specify if you currently or formerly have a faith tradition and any religious formation experiences. (200 words)

Prompt 4: What do you know about the Jesuits? (no word count given)

University of San Francisco’s Jesuit tradition forms the school’s mission and values. The school’s education centers around humanitarian causes, and students take service-based courses and partake in research that helps to better our world. Your response should explain how you plan to contribute to this mission. 

Feel free to draw on either the academic and non-academic programs offered by USF. You can choose major-specific ways to get involved, as University of San Francisco strives to have a Jesuit influence on every degree program. You could also focus on your personal interests and experiences, such as your desire to participate in the Arrupe Immersion program to learn more about a marginalized community.

For example, you might discuss how obtaining a BA in Performing Arts and Social Justice at USF will allow you to promote equity in children’s dance programs. If you are a business major, you could talk about creating a startup that focuses on helping homelessness or hunger. Your responses should be detailed and actionable ways that you would get involved in the USF community. 

You are limited to only 200 words, so focus on only one or two ways that you would get involved. Use your space to provide a detailed response rather than simply listing off various social justice programs.

Nursing is the most popular undergraduate major at the University of San Francisco, and applicants to the program are required to respond to an additional short essay question. In this prompt, USF asks potential Nursing students to describe how they will use their education to care for their community.

This prompt is similar to the Community Service Essay archetype, but instead of asking you to reflect on past service, this prompt asks that you describe the nature of service you’ll do in the future. 

As a future professional registered nurse, you’ll have a responsibility to others — whether that be your patients, their family members, or even your community as a whole. A successful response to this question will convince its reader that you are choosing the Nursing profession to serve others and that you will take this duty seriously. 

Your response is limited to only 200 words, so you will have to be selective about how you choose to showcase your commitment to caring for others. Avoid dwelling too much on the obvious: of course you have a responsibility to care for your patients’ health. 

Think of some other responsibilities that a good nurse fulfills. For example, you might say that you have a responsibility to maintain a welcoming environment in which patients can freely advocate for their health. 

USF is a Catholic university, so if you practice a religion, feel free to draw on your beliefs as you formulate your answer.

St. Ignatius Institute Applicants, Prompt 1

Please explain why you would like to join the institute. (200 words).

St. Ignatius Institute (SII) is a distinct program within University of San Francisco. Students complete an alternative to the university’s core curriculum that emphasizes traditional Jesuit pursuits such as philosophy, theology, and literature. SII students have access to unique community-based learning programs and a study-abroad option in Oxford.

Your reason for applying to St. Ignatius Institute should about the St. Ignatius program specifically, not general aspects of the University of San Francisco. Why are you interested in SII and not a more traditional program at USF? What about SII appeals to you that you could not easily find at another institution? 

For example, instead of describing your interest in philosophy, explain why the small class sizes in SII will allow you to have more stimulating philosophical discussions. Instead of saying you would like to study abroad in England, discuss your desire to study at Blackfriars Hall in Oxford. You can also mention aspects of the SII community, such as the weekly liturgy nights, living/learning community, or the various opportunities for peer mentoring. 

St. Ignatius Institute Applicants, Prompt 2

Sii tries to foster solidarity in action to honor the jesuit ideal of being people with and for others. can you give an example of service you performed in the past what did you do and why (200 words).

Charitable acts are a core aspect of the Jesuit tradition. Your response should demonstrate that you also value service. Although your word count is only 200 words for this prompt, a brief anecdote will help ground your response and give it greater impact.

For example, instead of listing your responsibilities while volunteering at a women’s shelter, briefly describe a typical morning. You could also describe a particularly impactful moment you had while volunteering at the women’s shelter, such as a meaningful conversation.

Remember that your anecdote should only be one part of your response. You should also clearly describe your experience for the reader. The prompt asks you why you did your act of service. Instead of focusing on practical answers, such as needing to meet a requirement for National Honors Society, you should focus on a deeper reason. Why did you choose that kind of service? What about the nonprofit’s mission spoke to you? 

St. Ignatius Institute Applicants, Prompt 3

What does spirituality mean to you (200 words).

Although St. Ignatius Institute is open to people of any religion, the program heavily emphasizes spirituality and spiritual development. SII students experience different forms of prayer and engage with the Catholic tradition. Your response should demonstrate your interest in spirituality in whatever form it takes within your life. 

Do not use a dictionary definition or focus on creating the most “correct” answer. This prompt asks for your personal relationship to spirituality, so define how you understand the term in your everyday life. Do you view spirituality through connection to a higher power, or do you see spirituality as more of an essence? Where and when do you feel the most spiritually fulfilled?

Although the second part of this prompt refers to religion, you do not need to pretend to be Catholic or religious in order to compose your answer. If you do practice religion, or you previously practiced a religion, share how that has shaped your spiritual experience, including how you began practicing (i.e., your “religious formation experience” as stated in the prompt). If you are not part of an organized religion, talk about spirituality in a more abstract form and how you believe it impacts your life.There is no wrong answer so long as you write a thoughtful response. 

St. Ignatius Institute Applicants, Prompt 4

What do you know about the jesuits (no word requirement).

St. Ignatius Institute is rooted in the Jesuit philosophy of faith and learning. Understanding the Jesuits–a Catholic religious order that emphasizes a liberal education and charitable deeds–is key to understanding St. Ignatius Institute.

This prompt is technically optional; however, we strongly encourage you to answer it to the best of your ability. Your response should demonstrate a firm knowledge of the Jesuits goals and ideals, but you do not need to be overly detailed or recount the entire history of the Society of Jesuits. 

Your response should focus on your knowledge of the Jesuit’s mission and values, as these aspects will most closely relate to your experience at SII. 

Although this prompt does not have a word requirement, try not to extend your response too far beyond the word maximums for your previous answers. 

Where to Get Your University of San Francisco School Essay Edited

Do you want feedback on your University of San Francisco essays? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool , where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays. 

If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!

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college essays about social justice

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Essays on Social Justice

One of the most important concepts that regulate human relations is the concept of justice, so make sure the social justice essay reflects upon the meaning of justice for people. Justice, along with good, is the most ancient social ideals. The idea of justice is fundamental in the legislation of modern democratic society, in which law is considered as a normative embodiment of justice. Many samples of social justice essays below will help you understand the correlation between law and justice better. Social justice, however, stands for fair relationships between the individual and society and involves the equal distribution of wealth, equal opportunities in society, and equal social privileges. Copious essays on social justice explore this topic in further detail. Look through the social justice essay samples we prepared if you want your essay to be top-notch.

Social Justice: Promoting Equality and Well-being Social justice may be looked at as a reflection of equal and fair distribution of basic human rights, political freedom, fair living conditions, and distributive economic resources among the societal members. In essence, it is basically aimed at promoting equality and societal well-being. For example,...

Social justice and Human rights are interrelated, and they are working together towards a common goal of promoting the well being of all human beings.  Human rights are essential to the social justice advocacy because they both foster compliance with attributes like dignity, respect, and self-determination.  Just like human rights...

Words: 1818

Through the perspective of social justice, the study examines the subject of Huck Finn from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The protagonist of Mark Twain's book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is Huckleberry. The book takes place in a period of racism and slavery. Huckleberry's journey is one of societal...

The right to a fair trial The right to a fair trial is the first basic justice principle. According to this right, a fair and certain procedure must be followed when a person is being tried. Priority should be given to the proper administering of justice before, during, and after a...

Equality and Marriage Equality is a topic that has received a lot of attention recently. This is one of several concepts that characterize social justice and its relevance to people's desire of a happy life. Murkowski, one of Alaska's senators, wrote an article about the necessity of equality in marriage. Murkowski...

The Problem of Global Justice Thomas Nagel argues in his paper The Problem of Global Justice that global socioeconomic justice assumes a sovereign world state. The purpose of this dissertation is to question his thesis and to give specific voice to a frequent tendency in political philosophy to assign disproportionate weight...

Words: 1677

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Human rights theories appeared as early as after World War II (Rawls 1999). The debates centered on inequities among people of the same country. However, a strong emphasis on social justice began to emerge in the nineteenth century. John Rawl made significant contributions to ideas of social injustice. Recently, a...

Words: 2652

The Criminal Justice System in the United States The criminal justice system in the United States is a complex structure designed to punish and prevent criminal criminals while also ensuring victims receive justice. The trials, prosecutors, convicts, and suspects are all part of an interconnected network that makes up the scheme....

Words: 1052

Criminal Justice and Reconciliation Criminal justice authorities are responsible for ensuring social control by reducing violence and punishing criminals. However, the organizations struggle to ensure societal stability by establishing mechanisms for reconciliation between the survivor and the accused. As a result, the mechanisms of justice provision foster hatred between the two...

Some social injustices ranging from racial inequality to pay equality have been faced by the US. The current paper will concentrate on pay equality as social inequality, evaluating the essence of the gender pay gap in the US. Research reveals that in the US, a woman receives 80 percent of...

Economic Disparity Impacts Communities A high degree of economic inequality is characterized by the current economy, with most citizens falling at the base of the continuum, the lower and middle classes. Economic Disparities and Factors in Social Terms Economic disparity has an impact on numerous social factors, such as access to healthcare and...

Unity and instability are known to be significant causes of the fall of civilizations and states across the globe. Civilians end up losing their lives and wealth because of the consequences of these struggles. Yugoslavia is no longer a democracy after many shocks from local and foreign sources, and the...

Words: 1609

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Social Justice Essay: Successful Admission Paper Sample

EssayEdge > Blog > Social Justice Essay: Successful Admission Paper Sample

Note: This essay appears unedited for instructional purposes. Essays edited by EssayEdge are substantially improved. For samples of EssayEdge editing, please  click here .

June 1987. Age 19. I was traveling by train. My destination: Refugio del Rio Grande, a cooperatively run Central American refugee camp on the Mexican border. For three months, I would be the only “outsider” living and working there. That summer, I taught English to refugees. I helped them prepare asylum applications. I sang folk songs, cooked tortillas, and drank with them. Machete in hand, I joined them in clearing fields, chopping wood, and planting corn. I listened to their narrations of political tyranny and economic subordination, and to their yearnings for change. I joined them in their attempts at democratic, communal decision-making. And at some point I stopped thinking of the refugees as “them”. For a brief time, their struggle became mine, and the distinction of who was helping whom became blurred. A turning point.

February 1992. Age 23. I was traveling by rental car (consciously American manufactured). My destination: River Rouge, a working-class suburb of Detroit. Map in lap, I drove in circles, my frenzied daily efforts again frustrated by a notoriously poor sense of direction. I managed to stumble upon my destination at 9:58 p.m., minutes before the nightly deadline for unannounced visits, parked and scurried to the door. This worker-my eighteenth of the day-offered several compelling reasons for not wanting to participate in a United Steelworkers’ Union organizing drive. I found myself unable to even attempt an inspiring “union rap”, trying instead to understand his dilemma, and leaving his home without even suggesting he sign a union card. I was not a great labor organizer.

These sketches are two examples of the various social justice-related jobs I have undertaken over the past several years. In choosing to work in diverse capacities over a range of issues, I have followed three objectives: first, to challenge my views on different problems; second, to examine the effectiveness and limitations of different strategies for affecting progressive social change; and third, to test my own aptitude, interest, and personal capacity for working in different professional roles. My attached resume thus documents a variety of issue areas (immigration, homelessness, civil rights, human rights, education, labor, and children’s rights) and roles (social worker, policy analyst, researcher, teacher, community and labor organizer, and legal advocate).

As the two episodes suggest, this process revealed my interests, abilities, and limitations. Above all, several work experiences fostered an interest in law as an instrument to, and obstacle of, social change. For example, my work with the NJ Supreme Court Task Force on Minority Concerns, on a study uncovering and proposing remedies to de facto discrimination within the legal system, underlined law’s potency for both perpetuating and combating injustice. My work with the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (LCHR) introduced me to law’s potential for affecting change though creative, non-adversarial means. The results of the pilot parole project I coordinated at LCHR was cited in INS’ decision to change its national policy on paroling asylum applicants.

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Yet it was working for The Alliance for Children’s Rights on cases of individual representation that ultimately convinced me to choose law as a vocation. As a founding staff member of the first organization in Southern California devoted exclusively to defending the legal rights of low income children, I had the opportunity to experience the excitement of creating a progressive law practice which served critical, previously unmet needs. As Intake Coordinator, I had to quickly familiarize myself with legal areas ranging from dependency and delinquency to public benefits, family, housing, and civil rights law. As well, I developed a system for interviewing the children and assessing the cases for placement with pro bono attorneys. My relationships with the young clients gave me direct insight into the way in which law, practiced properly, can empower people to themselves take a stand against injury and injustice, and the difference this transformation makes to their self-esteem and individual fortitude.

Finally, I have tried, through my academic work, to complement action with reflection. College courses enabled me to begin grappling with broad theoretical questions of social justice, political morality, and jurisprudence. My current graduate course work in political theory is an effort to enhance my capacity to sort through these issues. I look forward to law school as a way to continue these theoretical explorations. More importantly, I am hopeful that studying law will ground the questions in a practical framework, enabling me to develop the technical skills needed to work toward progressive change: change which expands individual life chances, redresses historic inequities in well-being, and minimizes the subordination of some individuals and groups by others.

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Your Best College Essay

Maybe you love to write, or maybe you don’t. Either way, there’s a chance that the thought of writing your college essay is making you sweat. No need for nerves! We’re here to give you the important details on how to make the process as anxiety-free as possible.

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What's the College Essay?

When we say “The College Essay” (capitalization for emphasis – say it out loud with the capitals and you’ll know what we mean) we’re talking about the 550-650 word essay required by most colleges and universities. Prompts for this essay can be found on the college’s website, the Common Application, or the Coalition Application. We’re not talking about the many smaller supplemental essays you might need to write in order to apply to college. Not all institutions require the essay, but most colleges and universities that are at least semi-selective do.

How do I get started?

Look for the prompts on whatever application you’re using to apply to schools (almost all of the time – with a few notable exceptions – this is the Common Application). If one of them calls out to you, awesome! You can jump right in and start to brainstorm. If none of them are giving you the right vibes, don’t worry. They’re so broad that almost anything you write can fit into one of the prompts after you’re done. Working backwards like this is totally fine and can be really useful!

What if I have writer's block?

You aren’t alone. Staring at a blank Google Doc and thinking about how this is the one chance to tell an admissions officer your story can make you freeze. Thinking about some of these questions might help you find the right topic:

  • What is something about you that people have pointed out as distinctive?
  • If you had to pick three words to describe yourself, what would they be? What are things you’ve done that demonstrate these qualities?
  • What’s something about you that has changed over your years in high school? How or why did it change?
  • What’s something you like most about yourself?
  • What’s something you love so much that you lose track of the rest of the world while you do it?

If you’re still stuck on a topic, ask your family members, friends, or other trusted adults: what’s something they always think about when they think about you? What’s something they think you should be proud of? They might help you find something about yourself that you wouldn’t have surfaced on your own.  

How do I grab my reader's attention?

It’s no secret that admissions officers are reading dozens – and sometimes hundreds – of essays every day. That can feel like a lot of pressure to stand out. But if you try to write the most unique essay in the world, it might end up seeming forced if it’s not genuinely you. So, what’s there to do? Our advice: start your essay with a story. Tell the reader about something you’ve done, complete with sensory details, and maybe even dialogue. Then, in the second paragraph, back up and tell us why this story is important and what it tells them about you and the theme of the essay.


Don’t! Don’t try to tell an admissions officer about everything you’ve loved and done since you were a child. Instead, pick one or two things about yourself that you’re hoping to get across and stick to those. They’ll see the rest on the activities section of your application.


If you can’t think of another way to end the essay, talk about how the qualities you’ve discussed in your essays have prepared you for college. Try to wrap up with a sentence that refers back to the story you told in your first paragraph, if you took that route.


YES, proofread the essay, and have a trusted adult proofread it as well. Know that any suggestions they give you are coming from a good place, but make sure they aren’t writing your essay for you or putting it into their own voice. Admissions officers want to hear the voice of you, the applicant. Before you submit your essay anywhere, our number one advice is to read it out loud to yourself. When you read out loud you’ll catch small errors you may not have noticed before, and hear sentences that aren’t quite right.


Be yourself. If you’re not a naturally serious person, don’t force formality. If you’re the comedian in your friend group, go ahead and be funny. But ultimately, write as your authentic (and grammatically correct) self and trust the process.

And remember, thousands of other students your age are faced with this same essay writing task, right now. You can do it!

Social justice essay



Socialjustice implies a fair and just existence between an individual andthe society regarding wealth distribution and social privileges.Social injustice arises when people are not assured justice forexample when the unequal distribution of wealth occurs, andunfairness to individuals with different characteristics includingculture, race, religion, and gender takes place. The race is an issuepertaining social justice as people should be treated equally despitethe race they emanate from(Rowse, 2013).They should not be excluded from the community by being consideredminorities.

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Individualsencounter social injustices due to racial discrimination in manyways, for example, being fired at work due to a difference in one’srace. It can be seen when a former Hooters waitress got fired fromworking with Baltimore restaurant since Hooters forbidsAfrican-American Girls from wearing blond hair highlights. It isunjust since other women can wear the highlight but it was claimed itlooked unnatural on African-Americans. Such a situation can bereplaced with social justice by having Hooters improve its trainingto their managers on how to deal with employees through realizingthey should receive equal treatment(Rowse, 2013).To make this change, much awareness on social media and othercommunication platforms should be made clear to the people of Hootersthat in this, era people should not be segregated based on race.

Socialjustice regarding race failed to hold in April 1999 when a complaintwas filed against Coca-Cola Company by four African-Americanemployees, who represented 2200 other employees in a case whereCoca-Cola discriminated them in their pay, performance evaluation,and promotions. The African-American employees received 1/3 less thanthe whites regarding salaries. This situation would be replaced withsocial justice only by the management of Coca-Cola makingcomprehensive changes to its employee procedures and policies. Tomake the change, it took a panel of the plaintiff’s lawyers thatrevised the personnel policies(Rowse, 2013).It also acted as a watchdog to ensure the terms agreed upon wereimplemented.

Inconclusion, failure to uphold social justice leads to many problemslike racial discrimination in the society. Racism has detrimentaleffects on the victimized individuals, for example, theAfrican-Americans in the US who end up being fired from work, beingpaid less, work without promotions, and receiving poor performanceevaluations. The situation can be replaced with social justice bymaking the society aware through mass education that each person isequal. It requires overseers who will take note of any racialdiscriminations to implement the change.

Rowse,T. (2013).&nbsp Rethinkingsocial justice .Chicago: Aboriginal Studies Press.


Six years after an assessment found a ‘climate of anti-Blackness’ at Southwestern College, what’s changed?

Members of Southwestern College's learning community "Umoja" gather in their community room on Thursday, May 2, 2024.

On Thursday, KPBS reported how two former professors are suing Southwestern College for retaliation after reporting racial discrimination.

It’s not the first accusation of racism against Southwestern.

In 2018, a University of Southern California assessment found a “palpable climate of anti-Blackness” at Southwestern College.

Of the nearly 50 colleges and universities the team had assessed, the report said, the stories they heard from Southwestern employees were the worst they’d encountered.

Current president Mark Sanchez inherited Southwestern’s racial challenges when he accepted the position in 2020.

Transfer rates for Black male students to four-year colleges were in the single digits, he said.

“I would venture to say that was probably one of the lowest transfer rates in the state at a California community college. So I knew the situation was urgent,” he said.

Community colleges offer associate degrees, but to earn a bachelor’s degree, students need to transfer to a four-year college.

He said a lot of students rely on public transit — which makes getting to even the nearby four-year colleges difficult — so he worked on convincing more programs to offer their classes on Southwestern’s campus.

Arizona State University will launch a program there in August, he said, and UC San Diego is looking to bring physician assistants and bachelor of nursing programs in the fall semester.

After the 2018 report came out, Southwestern created an equity officer position and hired Janelle Williams Melendrez.

She focused on a key question: Who is being invited to interviews, who is hired as a result?

Melendrez said they see much more diversity in candidate pools and hiring now.

While overall diversity is increasing, the number of African American faculty and administrators is trending down.

They won’t have this years’ final numbers until August, but Sanchez said one metric is making him optimistic — he said they’re starting to see an uptick in Black student enrollment.

President Mark Sanchez and Executive Officer of Equity and Engagement Janelle Williams Melendrez pose on Southwestern College's campus on Thursday, May 2, 2024.

The school also offers a learning community geared toward African American students, called Umoja.

Umoja’s community room walls are covered with photos of Black icons like Toni Morrison and Malcolm X.

On the whiteboard someone scrawled: “Never let anyone bring you down. You got to keep going.”

Five students gathered there on a May afternoon to discuss what Southwestern is like today for Black students, who make up 4% of enrollment.

In many ways, what they share are universal stories of being a minority.

The students said they have Black leaders to look to on campus, and they have each other.

First-year Nikki White said when she sees another Black student, “I'm gonna holler at you, because I don't see a lot of us walking around like that.”

But when they go to class, they’re often the only Black student in the room.

They described a pressure to represent all Black people well.

First-year Dwight Howell Junior said his teacher kept asking for his input on environmental racism.

“But I didn’t even know what environmental even was,” he said.

He felt like he wasn’t just letting himself down, but all the Black people on campus.

Students walk through the Southwestern College campus in Chula Vista in this undated photo.

“I feel like since there's not a lot of us here, all of us have, like, a certain job that we have to do,” Howell explained. “We have to present ourselves in a certain way so we can uphold our reputation and stuff like that.”

The room murmured in agreement.

“We really get held at a high standard, like to the point where we can’t breathe,” said White. “Because it's like everybody, like everybody — the campus, the hood — is, like, banking on us to make it so that we can open that door. And I'm not going to sit here and lie. I am very disciplined, but it is stressful.”

Howell said it’s stressful not just physically, but mentally, “Because we also feel like that, ‘Oh, I got to do this. Oh, I got to do this. Oh, I got to walk straight. I got to keep my back up. I got to clap my hands a certain way ... ’”

The room laughed at his pantomime. Everyone could relate.

Jose Jackson, a football player and second-year student, explained the stakes: “Statistically, physically, even mentally, you have to beat the system because people are going to look at us and racially profile us and not even say anything.”

White said she gives herself pep talks: “I'm constantly telling myself, like, ‘I am the best. Like, I will graduate. I will be somebody who is a leader.’”

Aside from challenges facing many Black students on campuses across the country, the students said they’ve felt supported at Southwestern.

“The most amazing part about being here on campus as a Black student is the resources,” said Umoja president and first-year Victoria Ayekof – resources like tours of historically Black colleges, internships and scholarships.

But, she said, “It's kind of like a double-edged sword because so many people don't know about it.”

Learning communities like Umoja have a limited number of spots. Ayekof wants to join student leadership to help all Black students benefit from the community Umoja offers.

The students said they hadn’t heard about the recent lawsuit or the 2018 report, but they believe the claims.

They know friends who’ve had bad experiences as Black students. And Ayekof said she’s heard there’s history from longtime Black staff.

“They've paved the way for us because they weren't — what's it called? — supported, when they originally wanted to start a program like Umoja,” she said.

She said Black issues are out in society now, not things that are “unknown, or impossible to realize.”

“It's at a point where we've done a lot of fighting and a lot of vocalizing,” she said, “and it's up to others to actually take that into consideration or to choose to be complacent with the system.”

college essays about social justice

college essays about social justice

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Center for Inquiry's Robyn Blumner

‘Incredibly divisive and illiberal’

Critical race theory and “identitarianism” are having concerning effects on the sciences, according to the head of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.

Robyn Blumner, ( pictured ) president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry and executive director of the Dawkins Foundation, spoke with The College Fix in a phone interview last week about her concerns with the shift away from merit-based scholarship and individualism.

“The identitarian project is very closely aligned with post-modernist views of race and racial essentialism and critical race theory and this idea that we are our immutable characteristics and that is the most salient feature of who we are as we go through society, rather than the individualism that each of us bring to our humanity,” Blumner said.

Her organization is made up of professors like Dawkins, a famous atheist evolutionary biologist and author, and other scholars who advocate for scientific research based on evidence and critical thinking devoid of religion and superstition.

The Dawkins Foundation, which is part of the Center for Inquiry, also advocates  against conservative Christian beliefs influencing research and education.

But recently Blumner and others have become more vocal about the problems with politically left ideology in sciences, such as requiring diversity, equity, and inclusion statements from professors.

In a recent The Skeptical Inquirer article , Blumner wrote “increasingly dogmatic social justice/identitarian considerations are leaching into science in a way that is hampering progress in the field.”

She cited a case in New Zealand’s public school system where the traditional indigenous belief system Mātauranga Māori is taught as “equivalent to Western science.” She likened it to the United States teaching creationism rather than evolution, conflating a religious belief with scientific fact.

Blumner, a journalist and lawyer who previously worked for the American Civil Liberties Union, told The Fix she defines herself as a “classical liberal” but recognizes the division some on the political left are causing in the sciences.

MORE: U. Michigan speaker discusses ‘data colonialism,’ tech centered on ‘Indigenous knowledge’

She referenced examples like “citation justice” in which scholars are encouraged to cite people of color, women, and others in their research, placing identity and race above merit. Some science journals even require research papers be scanned by software programs to avoid citation bias.

“Once again, identity is deemed a value higher than pure merit— the proper yardstick for when a citation is warranted,” Blumner wrote in her article.

Some universities require faculty applicants to submit “diversity, equity, and inclusion” statements, including the University of California at Berkeley.

Additionally, some science grant programs emphasize DEI in order to receive funding.

“It’s extremely dangerous. And that’s why I wrote the piece, I think, and put science back on its heels. It will get in the way of progress. It will. It will divert us from bettering human outcomes,” Blumner told The Fix . “And it’s incredibly divisive and illiberal. Because it will put people against one another in really destructive ways.”

She is not alone in her concerns.

New York Times columnist Pamela Paul wrote last year about the rise of subjectivity in research, referencing The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ’ rejection of the paper “In Defense of Merit in Science.”

“One needn’t agree with every aspect of the authors’ politics or with all of their solutions. But to ignore or dismiss their research rather than impartially weigh the evidence would be a mistake,” Paul wrote. “We need, in other words, to judge the paper on the merits. That, after all, is how science works.”

Meanwhile, renowned scientists like Dawkins have faced criticism for stating scientific facts that contradict leftist ideology.

Last August, the former Oxford University professor was accused of “transphobia” and “violent speech” for stating that “sex is binary,” The Fix reported at the time. Dawkins said it is “wrong” to claim “lived experience and personal choice trump biology,” and transgender activists are “tyrannical.”

Sex is clearly binary, declaring oneself to be otherwise is a distortion of reality. #Gender #Science #PoetryOfReality pic.twitter.com/PHap1TQlaA — Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) July 31, 2023

While Blumner is concerned about ideology infiltrating science from the left and the right, she said society has progressed in other ways, including the destruction of “barriers to entry” and the welcoming of a “vast diversity” of scientists.

She brought up Martin Luther King Jr.’s words about getting past skin color as criteria for qualification, and said she hopes the equality she has seen grow throughout her lifetime can be celebrated.

“We have gone from the idea that certain kinds of people who look a certain way don’t have a place in the sciences, to it’s still a literal celebration of the vast diversity of people who are now putting on a lab coat,” Blumner told The Fix . “It’s hard now to generalize what a scientist looks like to us. It looks like everyone.”

“I celebrate that. I don’t blame society for this ‘lack of progress,’” she said. “I celebrate the fact that we got here.”

MORE: DOE gives universities $25 million to foster ‘diversity’ in STEM fields

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States Have Restricted Teaching on Social Justice. Is Teacher Preparation Next?

college essays about social justice

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When Andrew Spar first started teaching music to elementary students at Turie T. Small Elementary School in Daytona Beach, Fla., he assumed they all would know to be gentle with instruments.

Spar, now president of the Florida Education Association (FEA) and a vice president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), quickly learned the importance of understanding the differences between his upbringing and that of the students he served.

He grew up in a middle-class neighborhood in the suburbs of New York City, and was a trained violinist from an early age. But Spar was teaching in a school where he said a majority of students lived in poverty, he said, and his students hadn’t had the same opportunities to play instruments like he had.

The concept of preparing teachers to understand their students’ backgrounds—and how systemic racism and sexism impact those backgrounds—has been a growing feature of many teacher-preparation programs, some of which pride themselves on integrating social justice themes into their coursework.

Now, that’s being called into question as more state legislatures take aim at how those issues can be taught in teacher preparation. The efforts have left educators and advocates concerned it will encompass culturally responsive teaching methods, and fearing it will ultimately negatively impact student learning.

Earlier this month, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a measure prohibiting teacher training and education preparation programs from delving into “identity politics,” and teaching that “systemic racism, sexism, oppression, and privilege are inherent in the institutions of the United States and were created to maintain social, political, and economic inequities.”

The measure was part of an effort to “fight back against indoctrination in education and the workplace,” DeSantis said in a news release. It appears to build on the state’s other similar efforts, including a law that restricts what teachers can say about LGBTQ+ individuals in their classrooms.

(DeSantis’ office did not respond to a request for comment before publication.)

Republican Florida Rep. Berny Jacques, a sponsor of the legislation, said in an email to EdWeek that the legislation addressed concerns lawmakers have about teaching about race and oppression.

“This legislation will allow students to be taught by teachers focused on delivering exceptional education,” he said.

The recent Florida law is part of a larger, years-long effort to restrict discussions of racism or sexism in schools, taking particular aim at educator preparation. Broadly, at least nine states have enacted legislation in the last three years to prohibit mandatory professional development or training of public school teachers on topics such as racism or sexism, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Legislation is pending in at least four others.

Several states have introduced similar bills or taken other steps that would limit how teachers can discuss racism and sexism in the classroom . Those efforts have faced legal challenges in some states, even as some social studies groups have started training teachers to navigate these so-called “divisive concepts” laws . However, momentum has largely been slowing for measures targeting “divisive concepts,” and research has found most lessons are kept politically neutral.

Spar said he had to learn to adapt to his students’ backgrounds to effectively teach them early in his teaching career. (The FEA, a major political opponent of DeSantis, criticized the Florida legislation as harmful.)

“I think it’s just so important, and it required me to really open my horizons and open my view of the world so that I could better interact and support the students I was teaching,” he said. “It’s something you have to be able to do if you’re going to truly connect with the kids, and it doesn’t happen unless we’re deliberately having that discussion.”

Educators worry the legislation will impact student learning

Dr. Kai Mathews, the director of the California Educator Diversity Project at the University of California, Los Angeles’ Center for the Transformation of Schools, says it’s taken time for teacher-preparation courses to begin embedding culturally responsive teaching. The 2020 racial reckoning following the public killing of George Floyd and protests of injustices against Black people nationwide fueled that work, she said.

“It’s not just for the historical knowledge and facts. It is also when we’re including students from a diverse background, to see themselves in the making up, and in the composite of, history and of society, and we’re bringing it into the classroom,” Mathews said. “There’s a relatability that then comes with the content that we’re teaching. It’s not just math for math’s sake.”

With schools facing a student chronic absenteeism crisis and competing with student apathy , connecting students to their education is even more vital, she said.

“I don’t know how many more ways students need to show us that disengagement is attached to our inability to make our education relevant and meaningful,” she said.

Dr. Omiunota N. Ukpokodu, a professor of education at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, said so often she hears from student teachers that their classes are struggling academically, with many testing two grades below their level. She pointed to the 2023 results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which showed a significant decrease in 8th grade students’ civics scores.

There’s a gap caused by teachers being afraid to teach critically about racism in the wake of laws restricting class discussions, she said. That’s troubling when the U.S. is multicultural and multiracial, and the world is becoming more and more interdependent, she said.

“How are they being prepared to take this responsibility of preparing the young for the world that we live in, that they will be part of in a workforce that is diverse? How can they learn to become participatory citizens when they don’t have the critical thinking skills that they need to engage?” she said.

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Professor Jeffrey Gonzalez publishes review essay in “Public Books”

Posted in: English Department , Homepage News and Events

screen grab from PublicBooks.org post. headline "We Were Not Than Band" - But What Was Sonic Youth. Black & White image of band is below

English professor Jeffrey Gonzalez recently published a review essay discussing Sonic Youth member Thurston Moore’s memoir, Sonic Life , in the online magazine Public Books . Professor Gonzalez’s review, which appeared on May 16, was included in Lithub’s “ LitHub Daily, ” whose editors describe their selections as “the best of the literary internet,” on May 20.

college essays about social justice

Almost 30% of Americans Say College Not Worth It in Pew Poll

By Daniel Neligh

Close to 30% of Americans said a college degree isn’t worth it in a survey from Pew Research Center that highlights the drag soaring costs have had on views about higher education in recent decades in the country.

Almost half of US adults in the report think college is worth the cost — but only as long as they don’t need to take out a loan. Only 22% of respondents said a college degree is worth it even with student debt.

college essays about social justice

Four in 10 Americans said having a four-year degree is not too or not at all important to ...

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