Social justice encompasses diversity (the presence of difference) and multiculturalism (inclusion of a multiplicity of cultures). "The goal of social justice education is full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs. Social justice includes a vision of society that is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure."*
*From Adams, M., Bell, L.A., & Griffin, P. (2007). Teaching for diversity & social justice (Second edition). Routledge.
**Source unknown for widely-circulated image above.
Image by All Booked Up
Intersectionality is a concept that describes the ways in which social identities are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another in relation to oppressive institutions. See the Intersecting Axes of Privilege, Domination, and Oppression* to consider intersecting social identities and their connection to privileged or targeted social groups.
* Adapted from Kathryn Pauly Morgan, "Describing the Emperor's New Clothes: Three Myths of Educational (In)Equality."
The Gender Question in Education: Theory, Pedagogy, & Politics, Ann Diller et al., Boulder CO: Westview, 1996.
From BuzzFeedYellow videos
Privileges are unearned, unasked for, often invisible benefits and advantages not available to members of minoritized groups. Rather, these advantages are socially constructed to benefit members of dominant groups. The BuzzFeed staff members in the video above participated in an activity designed to inspire awareness about privilege as a means of working toward a more just and inclusive world.
For a consideration of the daily effects of white privilege, see Peggy McIntosh's foundational "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" (1990).
Institutionalized oppression reflects policies, traditions, and norms that function to systematically exploit one social group to benefit another social group. This differs from individual prejudice or discrimination in that it occurs when one group's prejudice is backed by historical, social, and institutional power.
The short video above (with graphics and animation by Erica Pinto), created for the African American Policy Forum, includes metaphors intended to illuminate barriers to equity and justice for minoritized groups.
This page is inspired by educational resources and training materials shared by the Office of Multicultural Affairs at the University of Kansas.
Please contact Sunita Gandhi if you have questions or comments about this guide.