The mission of the Social Justice Institutes at Carlow University is to provide access to under-represented groups and to close educational, socio-economic, and leadership gaps, particularly those that disproportionately affect women.
Projects of the Social Justice Institutes fall under the following three themes:
- Research: Engaging faculty, staff, and students in collaborative, change-oriented research projects that address local, national, and international needs.
- Education: Fostering and supporting faculty in developing interdisciplinary concentrations in social justice, the application of coursework through practical skills training, and the development of curricular offerings that address social justice issues.
- Community Engagement and Service: Linking community-based organizations with University resources to address community-identified social justice issues, encouraging collaborative relationships between community organizations and our faculty and students.
To position Carlow University as a leader in advancing an inclusive and just society through education and informed practice.
The Social Justice Institutes at Carlow University have adopted the critical social justice approach "that refers to specific theoretical perspectives that recognize that society is stratified (i.e., divided and unequal) in significant and far-reaching ways along social group lines that include race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability. Critical social justice recognizes inequality as deeply embedded in the fabric of society (i.e., structural), and actively seeks to change this. While this approach refers to a broad range of fields, there are some important shared principles:
- All people are individuals, but they are also members of social groups.
- These social groups are valued unequally in society.
- Social groups that are valued more highly have greater access to the resources of a society.
- Social injustice is real, exists today, and results in unequal access to resources between groups of people.
- Those who claim to be for social justice must be engaged in self-reflection about their own socialization into these groups (their “positionality”) and must strategically act from that awareness in ways that challenge social injustice.
- This action requires a commitment to an ongoing and lifelong process.
- Recognize that relations of unequal social power are constantly being enacted at both the micro (individual) and macro (structural) levels.
- Understand our own positions within these relations of unequal power.
- Think critically about knowledge.
- Act on all of the above in service of a more socially just society.
(Sensoy, O., & DiAngelo, R. J. (2012). Is everyone really equal?: An introduction to key concepts in social justice education. New York: Teachers College Press.)