What can I do to make a difference?
Build the safety net of support for children and families of those who are incarcerated.
Promote the destigmatization of incarceration.
Build empathy and awareness for communities who have been disproportionately targeted under U.S. policies of mass incarceration and empower far-reaching reform.
Call on the faith community to be a central force in reforming local, regional and national mass incarceration policies.
Here are some strategies to achieve these goals:
One way we can contribute to social justice movements is by donating money or other goods to community organizations with goals related to the following:
- strengthening children, youth, and families
- criminal justice reform
- community reentry following incarceration
An important part of being a social justice activist is building personal relationships with people who are less privileged than you are. People whose activism primarily takes this approach empathize deeply for the ways in which injustices affect people at an individual level.
- Serve as an ally or advocate to individuals who are the subject of discrimination or unfair treatment;
- Advocate for individuals and groups through signing on to online petitions, emailing and phoning public officials;
- Share the advocacy effort with your friends through social networking.
Social justice activists focus their energies on fighting for larger social change. These efforts can include the following:
- Voting for candidates that support social justice;
- Joining political organizations whose focus is to promote social justice for all through the support of political candidates, holding elected officials accountable, organizing to get people to vote, and sharing accurate information about important social issues with the media;
- Running for office;
- Joining organizations with a social justice focus and sign up for their email communication to stay abreast of the issues and organizational initiatives
- Attending local meetings about social justice issues;
- Using social media to share accurate information about important social justice issues with friends, family and colleagues.
Become informed through access to reliable news sources
- Watch “13th” available on Netflix directed by Ava DuVernay
- Read related books:
- Become a regular reader or listener of reliable news sources such as:
Talk to your neighbors, friends and family; share accurate information and disclose your sources.
Social Justice goals can only be achieved through the collective efforts of concerned individuals like yourself. Please become a part of this movement as together we can and will accomplish remarkable things!
Service & Volunteerism
Opportunities to work for social justice through service and volunteerism are endless. You can locate community agencies through 211, the United Way of Greater Milwaukee, Internet searches, and Volunteer Milwaukee http://www.volunteermilwaukee.org/.
Other opportunities to get involved:
The Helen Bader School of Social Welfare Social Work Macro Practice Colloquium
This is an annual event sponsored by former students and colleagues of Dr. Deborah Padgett, advocate for Macro Social Work education and Chair of the Social Work Department from 2003-2016. Deb is retiring at the end of this academic year.
This year’s event was generously sponsored by Barbara Bigler (MSW 1996, BSW 1982).
- A New Approach to Helping Men of Color Heal After a Violent Incident
- ‘Milwaukee 53206′ and Mass Incarceration: This is Not a Unique Story. It’s a Quiet Story.’
- Cutting WI’s High Black Male Incarceration Rate: Progress, But a Long Way to Go
- Former Milwaukee Inmates: ‘I Am More Than My Record’
- Wisconsin Lawmakers Will Consider Alternatives to Prison For Non-Violent Offenders
- Forum: Numerous Changes Needed, if Wisconsin is to Reduce Black Male Incarceration