Despite the many advancements made in modern society, there are still many people in the world who are both underrepresented and vulnerable to exploitation even in countries operating with modern democratic institutions.
Those who earn a bachelor’s degree in advocacy and social justice studies concentration work to support and improve those communities, as well as the institutions that give them support in the areas where it is needed.
These areas can include health, environmental conditions and economic opportunities.
Social justice offers many different career paths for those interested in making a difference in the world. Many of them are found in the nonprofit sector or with government agencies.
They include the following.
This is the occupation most associated with social justice experts. Those who work in this profession serve on the “front lines” of social justice, dealing directly with those who live in underserved communities. They help families and children find the right support to overcome economic and health challenges, as well as guide them to organizations that offer information on leading healthy lives. They often deal with tough issues such as emotional and physical abuse, substance abuse and child neglect. The federal government projects that the number of jobs in social work will increase 16 percent by 2026, with more than 109,000 people entering the profession.
Many organizations exist to support social justice around the world, including some of the globe’s most disenfranchised countries and communities. These organizations include UNICEF, FAO and the World Bank. In these roles, social justice workers may focus on a wide variety of issues depending on the situation, including emergency relief, food distribution, development of roads and other infrastructure, and health issues.
One of the sad truths of the criminal justice system is that often the victims of crime receive little support from the system. Victim advocates provide this support for victims, connecting them with help for issues ranging from the psychological to the economic. They also help victims understand and navigate the criminal justice system.
Social Justice Specialist
This is an emerging field. In many cases, social justice specialists consult with companies on setting up programs and training for employees on social justice. They may also help organizations develop social justice policies. Public speaking and an ability to work with people at the executive level are often key components of this job.
There are also many organizations that support specific segments of society, including children, women, the lesbian and gay community, Native Americans and African Americans. Others focus on environmental, food and health issues. Organizations that employ social justice workers continue to grow, including Amnesty International, the Children’s Defense Fund, the Southern Poverty Law Center, American Civil Liberties Union, The Urban Institute, the Sierra Club and Greenpeace.
These represent just some of the opportunities in social justice. The career paths continue to grow as the world become more complex. It’s a worthwhile profession for those who want a career where they can directly impact the lives of others in a positive way.