This was a question posed to our class by a professor the other day. Is social justice a set of specific values that people hold? Should they try to push "values" of social justice on other people? Does it have a place in our schools? Should students be made to participate in social justice? Are teachers instruments of social justice?
Many answers came out of that discussion. I have digested them all and here is what I am left with...
Social Justice is the right of every human being to live a free, happy, safe, and productive life. Social Justice does have a place in our schools. If not there, then where? As an educator, I do not believe it is my choice, but my obligation to give my students the tools they will need to create a world in which this is possible. Empathy, skills required to have access to the dominant culture, and self-respect are instruments of social justice. I am an instrument of social justice.
These are not a set of values that I hold or try to push on my students. These are the rights of all human beings. This is what it is to be human.