Map of Indigenous Communities Throughout North America
We are educators who collectively bring over 2 decades of experience conducting research, teaching, writing, leading workshops, and facilitating discussions in the study and practice of social justice. We have led this work with elementary and high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, preservice and in-service teachers, and in the workplace for employees of government, university, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations. We have presented our research at national and international conferences, and within the disciplines of education, social work, cultural studies, women’s studies, ethnic studies, and Middle East studies.
Through our experiences with wide-ranging audiences, we consistently see predictable gaps in peoples’ understanding of what social justice is and what might be required to achieve it. We think of these gaps as a form of society-wide social justice illiteracy and argue that this illiteracy is not due to a lack of information alone. Rather, social in justice depends on this illiteracy; it is not benign or neutral, but actively nurtured through many forces and serves specific interests.
Social justice illiteracy prevents us from moving forward to create a more equitable society. Thus the primary objective of this book is to provide a foundation for developing social justice literacy. Using accessible language, addressing the most common misinformation, providing vignettes, definitions, exercises and reflection questions, our goal is to provide this foundation to a wide range of readers.