“Tell me more about social justice…”

In our meeting on Monday, June 4, we talked about what social justice is, and gave examples. After the jump, see what committee members had to say.

Food Access:

One example that I can think of is food trucks that bring fresh produce to neighborhoods that don’t have access. That cuts out issues of access, distance and means. Removing barriers.

Personal Experiences & Struggles:

Art is a way to give people a voice. If it’s about recovery, immigration, equality, etc, people have a voice. It’s communication, too.

Processing pain, personal healing, and impacting others:

Not just for “us” – can be just for me. If I create a painting and it’s a reflection of my experience during a time of genocide or terror, this form of expression is a reflection of social justice. When you can share that with others, you can express more socially just ways. You can impact others.

Privilege and power

Not just equality, but also recognizing privileges and helping other people to have similar ones. My form of expression is athletics.

Giving selflessly

A women’s microsavings group in Burma decided to give a portion of their savings money to victims of Cyclone Nargis to start a microsavings program. The communities did not know each other, but they felt it was their duty to help in any way they could.

Challenge the dominant norm

Social Justice in art is a challenge to the dominant norm. It’s subjective, and it’s what you see. So it’s very inclusive. It lets people in.


Social justice and art connects with the research I’ve done. One of my particular interests is the Phillipino-American community. Giving voice to the experiences of a group of people who aren’t heard very often. How do we disseminate these stories? What about art as the way to disseminate the stories of groups that have been largely invisible. Oral histories, spoken word. The art becomes a way to give voice to stories, people, experiences that may not otherwise have access.


Tell us more about what social justice and the arts mean to you! Leave a comment below.