Chung and Bemak (2012) define social justice as the condition in which “society gives individuals and groups fair treatment and an equal share of benefits, resources, and opportunities” (p. 27).
Social Justice is defined as, “A process of acknowledging systemic societal inequities and oppression while acting responsibly to eliminate the systemic oppression in the forms of racism, sexism, heterosexism, classism, and other biases in clinical practice both on individual and distributive levels” (Odegard & Vereen, 2010, p.130)
“Social justice is most fully understood and realized as an inclusive enterprise, in which people come together to work for the common good by transforming for social organizations and processes that contribute to power inequities, oppression and marginalization.” (Caldwell & Vera, 2010, p. 164).
Social injustices can be conscious or unconscious, intentional or unintentional, and overt or covert that range from individual to institutional violations (Chung & Bemak, 2012).
Goodman et al. (2004) defined social justice for mental health professionals as, “scholarship and professional action designed to change societal value, structure, policies, and practices, such that disadvantaged or marginalized groups gain access to these tools of self-determination” (p. 795).
Social justice informed approach to counseling includes the counselor’s role as that of advocate (Ratts, 2009).
Caldwell, J. C., & Vera, E. M. (2010). Critical incidents in counseling psychology professionals’ and trainees’ social justice orientation development. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 4(3), 163-176.
Chung, R. C.-Y., & Bemak, F. P. (2012). Social justice counseling: The next steps beyond multiculturalism. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Goodman, L. A., Liang, B., Helms, J. E., Latta, R. E., Sparks, E., & Weintraub, S. R. (2004). Training counseling psychologists as social justice agents: Feminist and multicultural principles in action. The Counseling Psychologist, 32, 793-837.
Odegard, M. A., & Vereen, L. G. (2010). A grounded theory of counselor educators integrating social justice into their pedagogy. Counselor Education & Supervision, 50, 130-149.
Ratts, M. J. (2009). Social justice counseling: Toward the development of a fifth force among counseling paradigms. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education & Development, 48(2), 160-172.
Maryland Counselors for Social Justice (MCSJ) Newsletter (2018-2019)
Anah, C. (2017). The Relevance of Social Justice Advocacy Today. Compass Points, 10(2), 4-5 MCA Quarterly Newsletter, Fall 2017
Anah, C. (2017). Definition of terms: Social justice advocacy. Compass Points, 9(4), 7-8. MCA Quarterly Newsletter, Spring 2017.
Anah, C. (2017). The legacy of king: Counselors as advocates for social change. Compass Points, 9(3), 7-8. MCA Quarterly Newsletter, Winter 2017.
Artwork by Chioma Anah in response to racial and social injustice:
“In today’s climate in our country, which is…riddled with burgeoning racism, rife with growing huddles of homelessness [and other racial and social justice issues], we need art and we need art in all forms. We need all methods of art to be present, everywhere present, and all the time present.” -Maya Angelou
“To be just, it is not enough to refrain from injustice. One must go further and refuse to play its game, substituting love for self-interest as the driving force of society.” – Pedro Arrupe, S. J.