Rhonda Y. Williams, founder and executive director of the Social Justice Institute and associate professor of history, authored a chapter in a recently published book. The book, Social Justice and Social Work: Rediscovering a Core Value of the Profession, was released in May by Sage and views social justice through four different lenses: humanities, social sciences, human service organizations and social work.
Williams’ chapter, “Social Justice for Active Citizenship,” looks at social justice from a social sciences perspective. In it, she talks about the formation, challenges and plans of the Social Justice Institute at Case Western Reserve. It also uses the introductory social justice course (SJUS 100) as an example of the innovative pedagogy Williams and her colleagues are trying to implement.
The course focuses on three questions: What is social justice? Why does social justice matter? What can be done?
It encourages students to think critically and expansively about the social world and the conditions of humanity, providing a foundational exploration of social justice concepts, issues and remedies. Students develop analytical skills to assess inequality and injustice and address historical and contemporary issues.