Social Justice Issues Take A Front Row Seat
During the 2010s, social justice took a front row seat in American cultural consciousness. Rights and freedoms movements – particularly those focused on protecting marginalized and victimized populations – have gained both traction and front-page headlines. The core issues that these groups hope to address are also the same issues that affect social workers’ caseloads every day.
In order to address the diverse issues and intersectional complexities affecting their clients, social workers must first have an understanding of the society-wide concerns that are exerting influence from the macro level all the way down to the individual.
We are spotlighting six key social justice areas:
- Human rights: How the very definition of “human rights” is changing, in part due to shifting demographics in the United States.
- Racial justice: Why social workers are perfectly placed to become civil rights activists – but why this also may be an ethical grey zone.
- Gender equality: Despite tremendous gains, gender bias is a continued barrier for women in the workplace and healthcare system. Find out how decades of assumptions have lead to inequality.
- LGBTQI+ equality: Hate crimes and discrimination aren’t the only issues affecting members of the LGBTQI+ community. Find out what social workers are likely to encounter in client caseloads.
- Domestic violence: The issue of domestic violence cuts across all lines of race, ethnicity, and class — yet some populations are more vulnerable than others.
- Substance abuse: Research has emerged that homeless veterans are likely to struggle with alcohol and substance abuse – learn why it’s such a pressing issue for social workers.
Obviously, these important topics all are very complex and while each section paints a high level picture of the issues, it’s important to keep the conversation going.
Whether caseworkers in the field, administrators or advocates – social workers have a responsibility to make connections between individual rights and the broader social, economic and cultural contexts that create conditions where injustice can take place.