Union opens social justice help center

Cincinnati-based Union Institute & University has launched an initiative to provide resources to individuals and organization to help them in their social-justice pursuits.

The Institute for Social Justice (TISJ), founded to provide innovative and practical solutions for the challenges to social justice around the world, launched Jan. 11 the “One Just World” initiative to provide free resources, as well as enhanced offerings through content and certification programs.

What is Social Justice?

“In addition to our certification programs, we felt it was critical to provide a comprehensive resource center,” said Betsy Martin, TISJ executive director. “Our goal is to make an impact in six core areas: economic, social, health, safety, education, and environmental. We are excited to see the momentum built over the past year come to fruition with content, resources, and partnerships to be released in the coming weeks. With everything we do, we want to promote understanding, give people the tools to take action, and a platform to share their voices.”

Founded in 1964, Union Institute & University has been a nonprofit pioneer in educating adults through distance learning. Based in Cincinnati, UI&U has additional academic centers in California (Los Angeles and Sacramento) and Florida (Hollywood).

For many, the first step to taking action is learning what social justice is, and TISJ has just released an infographic to help navigate this question.

In addition, there are multiple access points to information at tisj.myunion.edu., including:

  • Resource Center: Project, contract, supplier, and employment matching;
  • Digital Library: Videos, podcasts, webinars, articles, papers, and research;
  • Virtual Coffee: Online coffee, conversations, and networking;
  • Virtual Community: Physical and digital work and meeting spaces;
  • Book Circle: Social justice book sharing, discussions, and author events; and
  • Online Events: Webinars, podcasts, and discussions.

Dr. Chris Voparil, who teaches philosophy and political theory in UI&U’s Ph.D. program in Interdisciplinary Studies, and serves on the editorial board of TISJ, provides a more detailed analysis in his article, What is Social Justice? 

Dr. Voparil encourages us to move past debates around the definition of social justice. Instead, he suggests a focus on a “working program” that addresses injustices, and creates a more just world.

“Social justice, above all, is about our relations to others – in our communities, our workplaces and institutions, our cities and states, and, yes, our nation and across the globe,” Voparil said. “It is not from formal definitions, but direct interaction and experience with others that we can develop the sensibilities and practices that make us responsive to those who are suffering in our midst.”

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