social justice issues—social movements, policy, power, and social


The terms social justice, social movements, and social change are aligned in many ways. Social justice issues cause imbalances in equality, privilege, and opportunity. Social movements often arise in response to social justice issues and can galvanize people to engage in social change efforts, both informally through activism and formally through the enactment of laws and policies.

Last week, you examined the influence of a historical social justice issue on the way that a contemporary social justice issue is perceived and addressed. For this Discussion, you will take a closer look at how a contemporary social justice issue is addressed, both informally through activist movements and formally through policies and laws. You will also consider the power differentials related to this issue and what you can do to make a difference in how it is addressed. 

To Prepare

  • Review the Learning Resources on social justice issues. Select one to focus on for this Discussion. You may choose the issue that you focused on last week or a different one.
  • Use the Learning Resources and any additional resources that you found from your own research to determine how the issue has been addressed thus far (e.g., rallies, protests, policies, and laws), how the public perceives the issue, how power differentials affect the issue, and how to promote social change to address the issue. 

Post a brief description of a contemporary social justice issue in which you are interested. This can be the same issue that you discussed last week or a different one. With this issue in mind, respond to the following questions:

  • Have there been large rallies and or protests related to the social justice issue? If so, have the rallies or protests made a difference in addressing or furthering the issue? Why or why not?
  • How have policy, laws, and public views about the issue changed over time?
  • Who holds the power on the issue and who lacks the power? What are the implications?
  • If you could promote social change in relation to the issue, what would the outcome look like?