Union Institute & University launches The Institute for Social Justice

Union Institute & University has launched The Institute for Social Justice, founded to provide innovative and practical solutions for the challenges to social justice around the world.

TISJ is the result of a multi-year initiative and creation of UI&U President Karen Schuster Webb.

Karen Schuster Webb

“There has never been a time when the call for social justice has been louder or the world has been more ready to commit than today,” Webb said. “We see the opportunity to provide tools to make much-needed changes and we’re answering the call.”

TISJ programs focus on the theme “One Just World,” promoting access to excellence in all areas, especially economic, healthcare, educational, and criminal justice disparities. This year’s programs include:

  • One Just World Global Social Justice Certificate
  • One Just Workplace Organizational Resources, Marketplace, and Certification
  • One Just Response First Responder Innovation Lab & Certification
  • One Just Action Community Task Force & Action Board supported by microdonations with current focus on providing “community sinks” washing stations for high traffic homeless areas.

TISJ has brought together thought leaders and experts to develop and execute programs. It also created an advisory board with Union alumna Betsy Martin as executive director.

Betsy Martin

Martin, an advocate of women’s and minority entrepreneurship, is the founder and CEO of Vaya Ventures, which owns, licenses, and consults with high-growth companies. She has created digital education strategies for The University of Michigan and West Clermont Local School District and is the founder of REALWellness local and virtual wellness center.

“Our program theme of One Just World represents our goal to provide community support and solutions to take Social Justice into action,” said Martin. “Today, we are learning to look at measures which define access to excellence and structures which support the experience of excellence: justice, equality, dignity, and safety for all.”

Since its founding in 1964, UI&U has focused on academic excellence, creativity, diversity and integrity. TISJ goals include:

  • Researching and proposing public policies and programs that reduce economic disparities and racism.
  • Promoting international policies and programs that increase civic engagement.
  • Fostering policies that advocate economic and social equity.
  • Eliminating social disparities by way of education, economic policies and programs, housing, health care and criminal justice.


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