Social Justice Literacy: A Problem and Solution for Gordon


The phrase social justice is not an unfamiliar one. This concept is a paramount goal that most societies strive for. The term is one that has been constantly shaped and re-shaped by culture, history, and time. In her article More Than Words? Delving into the Substantive Meaning(s) of “Social Justice” in Education, Corrine E. North asserts that, “the conceptual underpinnings of this catchphrase frequently remain tacit or underexplored”. [1] The American Pledge of Allegiance asserts that our nation is one that stands for “liberty and justice for all.” However, despite this idealistic declaration, America is faced with the reality of justice meaning something different for each of its citizens. This variance stems from the wide range of perspectives that are shaped by the unique life experiences of each individual. While the range of perspectives on social justice is important in order for a society to progress, they can also be a source of tension. When theories on social justice clash, activists are capable of unintentionally perpetuating the very thing they desire to end: injustice. In order to alleviate this dilemma a new methodology needs to be used when discussing social justice; one that allows citizens to become aware of the range of understandings that catalyze diverse social justice theories. Being exposed to a variety of perspectives not only allows one to think critically about the implications of their own perspective but also that of others. These insights provide a holistic framework from which we can approach social justice that can progress towards achieving this common goal.

            In Justice Interruptus author Nancy Fraser examines the changes in social justice theory through historical and cultural lenses. According to Fraser, social activism in the nineteenth and twentieth century was centered on “socialist political imaginary”. 2 Renowned theorists such as Karl Marx argued that the disparate distribution of material goods amongst people in society should be considered the prominent social justice issue of the era.  During this time, “economically defined classes struggling to defend their interests through ending economic exploitation and gaining equal redistribution” catalyzed social justice movements. 2 Yet, as the twentieth century progressed, the focal point of social justice movements shifted. Rather than emphasizing material inequality, social justice theories highlighted the inequality of social capital. Social justice movements were marked by culturally defined groups “struggling to defend their identities” through ending cultural domination and gaining cultural recognition in exchange. Fraser termed this shift in theory “the post socialist condition.” She observes while modern social justice movements lack in clear trajectory, there remains a proliferation of causes joining the front. The cultural politics of recognition are eclipsing the social politics of redistribution causing a “decentering of claims for equality in the face of aggressive marketization and sharply rising material inequality”. 2

North expands on Fraser’s model of social justice by highlighting two other frictions that are embedded within her discussions. She identifies one as “differential emphases on equality as difference and equality as sameness”. 1 The “equality as sameness” perspective assumes that all people are the same and should therefore be treated as such. On the other hand, equality of difference argues that human beings are inherently different. Proponents of this perspective believe it’s important to acknowledge that not all people are starting at the same place socioeconomically, due to historic oppression. The concept of “sameness” implies the existence of a particular standard. Usually that standard mirrors the identity of those who’ve inherently had the most opportunity and power within in a society. “Equality of Difference” supporters contend that not acknowledging difference amongst people inevitably compromises minority groups within society because the standard of “sameness” forces them to not acknowledge the relationship between the unique history of their particular identity in the United States with their with their current life circumstances. Not acknowledging relationship can often leave them feeling deficient and disempowered. Equality of difference assumes that all people are different and should therefore be equally validated, affirmed, and respected for being as such. The second tension she addresses is the varying attention to justice in macro-level processes such as educational policy making and social movement organizing versus micro-level processes, which emphasize individual behaviors and daily social interactions.


North attempts to elucidate these theories in through a visual model. Her goal is to present the paradox of these three categories of social justice: while they are seemingly dichotomous, they often overlap and intersect with one another as well. By introducing the possibility of friction and contradiction within and among spheres she attempts to “challenge reductive understandings in which each of us struggle to cultivate our seeds of consciousness”. 1 Rather than valuing one perspective over another, Fraser believes all perspectives are valuable and have the potential to “enlarge possibilities for more socially just…policies, programs, and practices at the beginning of the twenty first century”. 1

Literacy is defined as “knowledge that relates to a specified subject.” SOURCE? Being literate in social justice means being aware of the different theories related to the subject. Today, there is a “language of social justice.” Words like classism, gentrification, sexism, systems of oppression, etc. all make up a vocabulary created by diverse theories of social justice. However, not everyone has access to this vocabulary, creating barriers in dialogue about the very injustice they are subjected to or perpetuating. Fraser pushes for a new approach to achieving social justice, one that seeks to broaden knowledge on the topic rather than limiting it. Through valuing different social justice theories, this methodology promotes the truism of perspectives on social justice being as diverse as the people who are entitled to it. 

            At a Christian institution like Gordon College being “literate” in social justice is important for a number of reasons. One being social justice is Biblically mandated. In his book Generous Justice, pastor Tim Keller asserts, “The Hebrew word for “justice,” mishpat, occurs in its various forms more than 200 times in the Hebrew Old Testament”.  According to Keller, the basic meaning of this word is to treat people equitably. Misphat could manifest in acquitting people for wrong-doing according on the merits of the case; however it also means giving people their rights. Deuteronomy 18 directs that the priests of the tabernacle should be supported by a certain percentage of the people’s income. This support is described as “the priests’ mishpat,” which means their due or their right.  Keller connects that verse to our current society through explicating its importance in general terms. Misphat is giving people what they are due, whether punishment protection or care. If you look at every place the word is used in the old testament it is used in conjunction with several classes of people: “Widows, orphans, immigrants, and the poor” In pre-modern agrarian societies these groups had no social or economic power. Today the quartet could be compared to other vulnerable groups within our society such as refugees, racial minorities, those who are without homes, single parents, the elderly, etc. The misphat or justness of a society within the Bible was evaluated based on the treatment of these groups. In Matthew 25:45 Jesus states, “whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not for me.’ God loves and defends those with the least economic and social power and therefore so should his children.  From the beginning of the Bible to the end God continually calls humanity to act justly towards one another.

            In calling humankind to act justly, God desires that his followers address different types of injustice in the world. In the book Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith, Reverend Jim Wallis critiques the common Christian understanding of sin by illuminating that it resides on societal levels beyond that of the‘the individual’. According to Wallis, “If we are to mirror the new life that is the resurrection, dying precedes rising. Repentance and forgiveness precede reconciliation. The biblical term for repentance is metanoia, which means to ‘turn around and go in a new direction’” (Wallis 17,18).  In order to do so Wallis insists that Christians must die to all types of sins. While addressing our personal sins is important, our sinning doesn’t stop there.   “We must acknowledge our complicity or entanglement in systems and patterns of sin and injustice.” The pattern of the world is explicitly and implicitly tainted with injustice. Injustice doesn’t just manifest in the actions that take place on an interpersonal level but they also exist within the “pattern” or the cultural norms of our society. Social structures shape the actions and behaviors of individuals within a society. They have the ability to privilege certain individuals at the expense limiting the opportunities of others. Though Genesis 1:27 states, “God created mankind in His own image…male and female he created them”, sinful structures in our society attempt to dismantle this truism through valuing different identities over others. Wallis calls Christians to reflect on the social implications of their identities and how they play a role in perpetuating systematic oppression or what he would term ‘structural sin’. By not examining taken for granted presuppositions, Christians could unintentionally hurt their neighbors through participating in these systems. “When we fail to take seriously enough what our tribe has done to others, what it’s implications have been and are, and what steps are necessary to bring about reconciliation been and are, we undermine the gospel we proclaim” (Wallis 18).

            Today we are face with the reality of American society becoming increasingly pluralistic. Cultural pluralism is the “concept that individual ethnic groups have a right to exist on their own terms within the larger society while retaining their unique cultural heritages” SOURCE?. One of the many goals of social justice is to promote diversity through respecting and embracing the differences of individuals within society. However, respecting others can be a challenge if individuals are uniformed on why they are different from their peers. In Mark 12:30-31, Jesus calls His followers to Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Yet, the task of loving our neighbor also requires a broader understanding of their identity and how it’s impacted by greater society. The heavenly vision portrayed in Revelations 7:9 describes Heaven in the following way, “There before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” God uniquely handcrafted each individual on this earth. When humanity is united with their Lord they will not be transformed in a way in which they will all look the same; rather they will be equally celebrated for what makes them different. Therefore Christians should begin that process ‘on earth as it is in Heaven’ through exposing themselves to the differences of their neighbor and challenging themselves to respect and eventually celebrate what makes them different.

            Finally, social justice literacy is important because it addresses issues regarding intent of individuals with power and influence vs. the actual effect of their work. Often leaders have the intent to promote justice in their spheres of influence; however, when they have a limited understanding of social justice, the justice they envision has the ability to do more harm than good. In Steven Corbett and Brian Fikkert’s book When Helping Hurts, he claims that one of the main goals of the ‘Great Commission’ is to help the poor and the desolate. Yet, the two assert that the definition of poverty will change depending on who is defining it; the poor defining it through the psychological and social scope while wealthy churches contribute it to the lack of material things or a geographical location. The authors emphasize that this can cause a harmful cycle where North American churches provide material resources and evangelism to the poor, which reinforces the poor people’s sense of inferiority and lack of self-esteem, which in turn increases the original problem. Though individuals may intend to help in the best way they know how, if they are unaware of broader conceptualizations of what justice looks like their impact could be counterintuitive. When it comes to people’s lives and identities, the impact of our actions can be profound and wide reaching and that’s far more important than the question of our intent. We need to ask ourselves what might be or might have been the impact of our actions or words. It is vital for individuals to step back and listen when we are being told that the impact of our actions is out of line with our intents or our perceptions of self.

Our challenge is a lack of education. Our opportunity is the potential to transform Gordon into a nest of Christ followers sensitive to social issues. Gordon students are underinformed about social justice literacy, which reveals itself in the way students interact. Community members end up harming others, which makes Gordon a scarier place. A Gordon student who has been regularly standing at the bell received an insensitive comment from a fellow student. The other student walked up to him and made a inquiring comment. The student asked why there is protesting when the protesters agreed to sign the life and conduct statement. This comment evinced ignorance about opposing viewpoints—viewpoints arguing for the life and conduct statement to be modified. After Gordon, students who are insensitive to social issues will represent Christ more poorly than those who are aware of these problems.

This topic has arisen to the spotlight of the campus conscience. In this there can be observed a problem, because there is a tension between different groups on campus. Some look down on those at the bell, avoid them, and have no relationships with them.

Why should or shouldn’t Gordon provide more resources to teach its constituents about social justice? Disagreements and agreements are birthed by the proposition that Gordon ought to increase its populace’s literacy of social justice literacy (SJL). Before a judgement is made by the corporation of Gordon, these agreements and disagreements must coexist, which they can do. If we believe that homosexuality is right, and you believe that it’s wrong. We’re going to need to learn how to share the same space peacefully before any judgment is made about how to move forward. Disagreements include a wide range of reasons: financial, missional, and psychological. we will explore each here.

I imagine financial disagreements that spawn out of the claim, “Gordon does not have enough money to create another venue for teaching social justice.” There are professors to pay, and they must be paid for the time it takes to create curriculum.

Furthermore, It may be argued that Gordon students have enough opportunities to become social justice literate. Social justice already has enough outlets at Gordon: ALANA hosts RealTalks every semester. IJM hosts events which educate about trafficking, and occasionally about more broad social justice issues. ACD holds events which touch on issues related to race. Sociology classes which describe social justice issues already exist.

Financial conjecture for: Board of Trustee members would more likely support Gordon with this program in place. If Gordon had greater SJL focus, then it is likely that more students would be attracted to Gordon, especially those committed to social justice, while others who are more averse to social justice would likewise be more averse to joining Gordon.

A missional argument against, “Gordon strives to graduate men and women distinguished by intellectual maturity and Christian character, committed to lives of service and prepared for leadership worldwide.” Where in the mission does social justice fall? Sure, social justice is important, but it is not the heartbeat of Gordon College. If someone interprets the mission statement’s mention of “Christian character” as meaning one who is deeply familiar with Scripture, then more effort does not need to be injected into building SJL.

A missional argument for: Part of what qualifies a person as “distinguished by Christian character” is their commitment to social justice. Rooted in Isaiah 58-60 is God’s call for people to inaugurate justice, as well as God’s commitment to doing so himself. Here we see that a fasting which takes care of underserved people is one which pleases God. In order to be formed into a person who cares about and is committed to social justice, one must receive education seeking to transform the student in such a way.

Psychologically, many might not be ready to engage with social topics. These are heavy topics, and some are not mature enough to discuss them well. On the other hand, if interactive exposure doesn’t happen somewhere, when will people mature to the point of becoming ready to discuss? People are matured by conversing, so this forum could be a mechanism for maturing. Other things cause maturity as well–the passage of time, the example of leaders, hardships, pain, beauty and inspiring events, things, or people. A degree of self awareness is required in order to engage social topics without harming others. There should not be increased investment in social issues at Gordon because of the risk for harm.

What is greater than the risk for harm is the potential of benefit. Psychologically, awareness could be raise for students, and then they would be more sensitive. More sensitivity on the greater part of students could lower psychological stress for the portion of students who are harmed by the insensitivity of the larger whole. The LGBT community for example would learn about these issues and how to better converse about them, though perhaps enduring some psychological duress of their own, alleviating psychological stress of others.

There are three major types of solutions Gordon could offer its students to improve their social justice literacy: classes, clubs, and events . Some of these options are just optional—voluntary for the students who might become involved in them, while others are required. There are benefits and drawbacks to a requirement vs. something more elective. In the following paragraphs we describe the advantages and disadvantages to each solution, as well as comment on the optional character offered by this potential, and connect that to the pros and cons of the argument.

Before any of these solutions are instantiated, a meeting should be had between leaders of clubs who are concerned with social justice, which extends to social justice faculty, whose common goal of social justice bounds them together. [2] This idea is inspired by Connie North, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland (as of 2009), who performed a research project that brought together teachers from five different contexts. [3] All had the goal of teaching for social justice, but each taught in a different manner.

There are five demographics of people who could be involved in any of these solutions: students, faculty, staff, administration, and members from surrounding communities, such as townsfolk of Wenham, nuns from Sisters of Notre Dame in Ipswich, or even teenagers from Salem High. Any of the solutions could be open to Gordon faculty and staff–whoever has signed the life and conduct statement and statement of faith. An environment with a demographic of more than just students adds to the experience by providing a variety of people to learn from.

A club on campus could be dedicated to SJL. A problem with this is the low percentage of student involvement that is likely to arise out of it, especially considering the variety of social issue based clubs that already exist. This is why it may be better to create curriculum for an already existing club with a broad sweeping focus, like Social Justice Initiative (SJI).

We have developed a brief curriculum for use by a social justice club; first, we mention goals and guiding principles. Here we will provide a brief outline of the curriculum. The goal of this course is two fold. One: to impart to the enrolled students the content of a few social issues. Two, to help develop thoughtfulness. Three, to develop skills needed for living amongst social issues. Four, to ingratiate experiences where people interacted with others who were different than them. Explanations of different groups of peoples’ responses to particular issues should be presented. But this course not only imparts information, it offers a space to work through ignorance and insensitivities they might have when discussing social issues. What makes discussion so important is that it reveals the ideas within people, and helps to shape those ideas. If peoples’ ideas are shaped (which may happen by the information shared, by talking about social issues with other Gordon students, or by having an opportunity to get to know someone who falls in a different demographic) their lives will also be shaped.

The track of material presented by a club could proceed as follows: first, describe what social justice literacy is. Hopefully that excites people to realize how discussing social issues now can give them skills that will lead to richer relationships and more sensitive as they work.

Second, teach about the conditions necessary for an environment where people can talk about social issues. Confidentiality must be established. Rules about how to listen can be decided by the group. [4] Should there ever be reason for interuption? How much should the group focus on connecting their experiences to what they’re saying? Should critiques be phrased in the form of questions? The importance of open dialogue is made possible by certain conditions. [5] Discuss the use of “I statements”, and their importance to create an atmosphere where people do not feel affronted by others. [6] This created environment will serve as one of the teaching elements, demonstrating to the students what sort of atmosphere is possible and, as they may determine, even desirable.

Third, go into content areas, touch on distinguishing between human rights and theological rights, navigating the complicated waters of what to do as a Christian and what to do as a human. [7] Move into basics of navigating gender, race, religion, and sexuality. Discuss privelage. [8]

At the start of our discussion on this project, we decided that having a class, instead of a series of events or an organization on campus, would be the most effective way to fulfill the educational purposes of this project. There are already organizations such as SJI or IJM on campus that are working hard on providing students with events and lectures that talk about topics of social justice. In order to have a more systematic and organized way of teaching students, an organized course with a syllabus and professors would be the best option.

A class could be open to surrounding community members. Having people who are not full time students part of this class would would increase the variety of people contributing thoughts and opinions. Also, having multiple generations of students would form the students into people more sensitive of problems that affect other generations.

These classes could be held off campus to make them more available to people from non-Gordon communities.

However, missing from a group with non-Gordon community members is the commonality brought by the whole class having signed the life and conduct statement. That commonality creates a guarded atmosphere where students can assume all are in some way committed to Jesus (even if that way is as small as a signing of the life and conduct statement). This group of life and conduct signers have more in common than shared humanness, which results in opportunity to discuss how to respond to various issues as Christians—a claim which all students of this class can in a deep way personally support. 

Classes provide a thorough solution to this problem, because they allow a student to have a long amount of time to cover material. This option allows for the greatest amount of formation to happen to the student.

Should a class become a core requirement? If a class is chosen as the solution to pursue, which we think it is, the first step will be to offer a class, then following that, if it proves beneficial or at all transformational to campus, then consider making it a core class. It should be a core class, because this information and these skills are key to becoming a well informed person

What would make this class distinct from others which are already offered? It might have a component which focuses on teaching skills of discussion, and give space to practice those skills, rather than simply pouring content into the students brains, like Laura Carmer’s illustration of catching balls of info slow-pitched, then pouring them back out. [9] However, this is not entirely unique, because it is practiced within upper level social work, practical oriented group therapy and counseling practice classes.

The biggest question that needs to be addressed to improve the quality of the education provided to the students would be “How do we maintain religious freedom in a pluralistic culture?” Like was mentioned before, idea and practice of social justice are heavily influenced by religion. Therefore, the way we approach this topic will be heavily influenced by our Christian beliefs and at the same time tend to train those taking the course to understand social justice from a Christian perspective. There should be a well-crafted balance between recognizing that Christianity provides a very specific and special understanding of social justice and also accepting that there is common ground in understanding social justice across worldviews and religions. How much of our curriculum should be influenced by Christianity while ignoring the rest of the world or how much can be influenced by the world while ignoring the basic tenants of Christianity?

            In order to make this course as applicable as possible, it would be necessary that the curriculum be crafted to accommodate students of all majors. There are many students who are not social work majors or sociology majors who have a passion to learn about the different topics of social justice and understand the different terms and their role in the role with the knowledge. However, they are either scared to act in the world because they don’t have adequate education or understanding or simply feel unprepared emotionally. The question that should be asked when formulating the curriculum should be focused on three main areas: 1) recruiting instructors and teachers who can reach out to students across majors, 2) selecting topics and presenting them in a way that would be applicable to the general audience, and 3) providing the students with some applicable things so that they would feel confident using their knowledge in the world.

            The format of the course should also be strictly scrutinized. Is the best way to present these topics in a seminar format or in a lecture format? Will the students have a better grasp of the topics if they are divided into smaller groups or if they are given reading material and worksheets to fill out? How can the format and the topics ensure that all of the views and perspectives are presented but at the same time give a final answer as to how to define a term or how to correctly understand an issue? Where is the balance between giving the students the freedom and liberty to explore the different perspectives and providing them a definite definition of a topic to set up some standards and common ground? What would be the best way to assess students’ understanding of the material?

            As the planning process gets into more detail, the questions should be asked if there should be any restrictions and limits set on the course. Should this course be open to every student? Should there be age restrictions? Should this course be a form of junior and senior seminar? Or should this course be more of a freshman class like TGC then another assessment class as a senior?

If a class is set up, the effects of social justice literate students will go on and impact many regions of the world. Being literate in social justice and being able to communicate with others with understanding of different definitions will affect many different aspects of society, spanning in scope from personal to global.

Because social justice is greatly influenced by religions and worldviews, understanding and familiarizing oneself with areas of social justice will help students understand varying understandings of social justice according to different worldviews. In turn, this greater understanding will allow for more meaningful and genuine relationships and conversations with those holding to different worldviews. Touching upon the major religions in the world – Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam – understanding their worldviews and principles will help one to understand social justice in a more comprehensive way and vice versa. Christian idea of social justice stems from the presupposition that God is justice and that justice is caring for the “least of these.” Christian view of caring for the orphans and the widows is more personal than societal. [10] Judaism emphasizes ethical responsibility primarily reflected from the concepts of simcha, tzedakah, chesed, and tikkun olam which all reflect thankfulness and reconciliation in the world. Hindus stress equality of all beings. Muslims observe alms-giving as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Understanding different religions’ main tenants on social justice explains their approach to social justice, and at the same time allows for a broader perspective for a student who studies social justice. [11]  

            Another big area that is affected by social justice literacy is the realm of politics, more specifically the start of war. The first important understanding is the understanding of what authority and power are and how to use them. How much should the society’s authority be governed by moral code and ethical considerations? The problem arises when different societies decide to govern themselves with different ideas of the importance of moral codes.  In addition, the difference in opinion on the best form of economic policies or political forms also causes conflict.

As a foundation for interacting with others in politics, a definition of conflict should be clearly set because varying understanding of what consists of a “conflict” can cause deep misunderstanding and eventually a physical war. If two different parties have different definition of what is problematic and what is worthy to cause conflict, misunderstanding will only intensify. But the way a society or an individual reacts to conflicts will also have a great effect on the outcome of the conflict. Are they going to approach with a more physical response or more psychological response? What is interpreted as violent may not be interpreted as violence by the other party. As it is stated, it is crucial that people have a common understanding of what a conflict is and what the best way to deal with it is. [12]

Having a deeper understanding of what social justice is will also lead to actions and decisions that strive to elevate standard of living for everyone. First of all, health care system could potentially be impacted by familiarity with social justice. Understanding of social justice can affect even the first step of health care policy making or reforms: choosing the target audience.

The most prominent area of health care is bioethics. How one views human life, how one understands social justice in different contexts and from different perspectives can definitely affect what his or her view on bioethical issues, such as cloning, stem cell research, euthanasia, or mercy killing.

            The failure to understand social justice is distinctly manifested in health care inequities between classes. Economic policies regarding health care system will also be affected. Creating a more affordable access to health care or developing a more empowering and humanizing health care laws might be some of the results from a deep understanding of social justice. Related to inequalities among classes is a problem of housing and homelessness. Housing is such a big part of the national economy that around 33% of Americans spend more than 30% of their income on housing. Therefore, conception of social justice in the realm of housing and policies would influence a big part of the national economy. There is a huge need to address this issue especially with the increasing poverty and declining marriage rates. Proper understanding of social justice will influence policies that will make housing more affordable for low-income population. There are ways to do it, whether it be through tax incentives or zoning practices. But what is necessary even before policy change in housing or health care is a correct understanding of social justice and the history and background behind poverty and inequality among classes in order to be genuine advocates, public debaters, and just policy makers. [13]

            Another area where a firm understanding if social justice is critical is the media, especially with the growth in capability and use of technology in recent years. Film makers have to be aware of the current social atmosphere and be aware of the different opportunities and topics in the world to be engaged in and how media can be used to convey different messages of social justice. What are the filmmakers going to be inspired by? What messages specifically about social justice are they willing to convey and still be able to keep audience and be successful in the market? Understanding the importance and different realms of social justice will heavily influence the future media market and the stories that they will bring to the world. A good starting point in influencing media with a good understanding of social justice is to first realize how big of an impact media has on the world [14] .

            Social justice literacy matters because it positively impacts so many regions of life. Essentially, we’re advocating for Gordon community members to become familiar with different social issues on a basic level, aware of various conceptions of social justice, and learn to discuss these topics well, particularly by discussing to the point of common definitions before serious debate is had. We think a core class is the best solution to this problem at Gordon, because it teaches more comprehensively than a club. People “distinguished by Christian character” should be sensitive, knowledgable, and skilled regarding social problems.


Connie E. North’s Teaching for Social Justice? Voices from the Front Lines (2009, Paradigm Publishers: Boulder, CO). This book describes the process a professor went through to research five teaching methods with the aim of social justice. Four high school teachers in four different geographical, demographically mixed contexts provided stories about their teaching, then monthly these teachers would come together and discuss their progress. After each story North provides an account of how well these social justice teaching methods worked. Their disadvantages and advantages.

Cannon, Harper, Jackson, and Rah’s forgive us: confessions of a compromised faith (2014, Zondervan Publishers: Grand Rapids, MI) offers an account of Christians running through major social issues and how Protestants have caused damage in these spheres. This would be valuable to a social justice literacy project because it offers brief, humble perspective on the harms people involved in the solution would likely be able to vicariously identify with—as many of them would call themselves Protestant. Furthermore, it would simply provide brief insight into major varieties of social issues.

When Helping Hurts by Steven Corbett, Justice Interrupts by ­­­­­­Nancy Fraser.

Databases: ERIC (EBSCO) – a database for educators. There is information here on educational techniques, which could be implemented for increasing social justice literacy, Opposing Viewpoints In Context (Gale) gives differing viewpoints on many different issues. From here could information be gathered about the issues that are surveyed in this course.

Magazine: The Progressive reports on social issues.

Organizations: CCDA: Here will be found people who care deeply about social issues, and not only that, but people who are in covenant relationship with Jesus. The Leadership Conference is a political organization which connects people with an agenda to lobby for change in legislations.

Conferences: CCDA has a national conference each year, and has 2500 participants on average. This year’s already happened. Here is a list of conferences The Leadership Conferece is putting on over the coming year:

News: The Huffington Post has a regular section on social justice. JUSTICE: The People’s News offers selections from various news sources, but all related to social issues and justice.

Web sites: The Social Justice Training Institute,, this organization offers training to professions in order to improve inclusion in their communities. The American Civil Liberties Union has a helpful website with stories, key issues, and suggestions for action:

[1] North, C. E. "More Than Words? Delving Into the Substantive Meaning(s) of "Social Justice" in Education." Review of Educational Research 76.4 (2006): 507-35. Review of Educational Research. Web. 10 Nov. 2014. <>.


[2] Dan Johnson. Individual Conversation. Frost 335. 29 October 2014.

[3] Connie North. Teaching for Social Justice: Voices from the Front Lines. 2009. Paradigm Publishers, Colorado. p.p. 159.

[4] Amber Woods. Group Conversation. Amber’s room. 3 November 2014.

[5] Ryan Groff. Individual Conversation. CFI 301. 23 September 2014.

[6] John Prickett. Individual Conversation. Summer 2014.

[7] Greg Carmer. Individual Conversation with Jacob Stephens. Frost 305. 5 November 2014.

[8] Olzem Sensoy and Robin DiAngelo. Developing Social Justice Literacy: An Open Letter to Our Faculty Colleagues. Phi Delta Kappan. January 2009. p.p. 351.

[9] Laura Carmer. Elijah Project Retreat. January 2014.

[10] What does the Bible say about social justice?


[12] Mische, M. Patricia, “The Significance of Religions for Social Justice and a Culture of Peace”. Journal of Religion, Conflict, and Peace. Volume I. Issue I, Fall 2007.


[14] (