Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Social Justice & Human Rights
With the rise of pejorative terms such as “social justice warrior” and “hacktivist”, social justice has begun to take on a negative connotation in modern society. However, the true meaning of social justice, greater equality for all segments of society, is far from negative.
Many social justice movements throughout history have been heavily opposed and discouraged. Most often, the motivating factor behind this opposition is a desire to preserve one’s position of privilege, even when that privilege may be unfair and detrimental to the rest of society. People inherently resist what they perceive to be an upset of the social order. But when that social order actively discriminates against and disenfranchises people because of characteristics that were assigned at birth such as race or gender, it calls for disruption. Courageous, forward-thinking folks take up this baton of social justice and push for change.
People should not be treated differently, have lower chances of succeeding in life, and less opportunity as a result of their race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other factors out of their control.
Fundamentally, social justice issues are about human and civil rights. People should not be treated differently, have lower chances of succeeding in life, and less opportunity as a result of their race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other factors out of their control. Unfortunately this is not yet the case.
In 2015 there were 5,850 reported hate crime incidents according to the FBI, and social justice organizations believe that many more go unreported. Attacks like the August 2017 events in Charlottesville, Virginia highlight the dangerous and even deadly nature of persistent racism and bias.
Discrimination permeates even the workplace, where one in three women has experienced sexual harassment according to a survey conducted by Cosmopolitan. Salary and wage gaps present yet another manifestation of workplace discrimination, with women’s average wages at only 83% of men’s – and the gap gets wider for minority women.
The legal recourse necessary to fight back in cases of discrimination in the workplace, housing, education, voting and more can be lengthy and expensive. Often, people who are already disenfranchised through this discrimination feel it to be far too difficult and even impossible to seek justice in these cases.
Others still do not even have legal protections against discrimination. According to research conducted by the Movement Advancement Project, 50% of the American LGBT populations lives in one of the 28 states where there is no protection from housing or employment discrimination – including being fired and evicted – based on sexuality or gender identity.
The privilege of not having to face those types of discrimination, comes with the responsibility to help people who are and don’t yet have enough resources to help themselves. By donating to organizations in the “Social Justice and Human Rights’ category, you are giving power back to people who feel powerless because of the circumstances of their birth. Your donation can help fuel advocacy campaigns, provide legal aid, and build communities of support in cases of unjust discrimination.
Gift Hope works closely with several local and national charities to advocate for equal rights, ensure those rights are both protected and enforced, and further demands for social action.. One of Gift Hope’s key focus areas is to support charities which are working to improve our children’s present and future. We work closely with international organizations, with a focus in South America and India, to support specific projects related to child rights, specifically protecting young girls from sex trafficking. You can participate in this initiative by Donating to the Gift Hope Elise Project.