March 7, 2006

N&O Social Justice Goal for Orange County

I was struck by a piece in the N&O. It reports that the Orance County Board of Commissioners is considering adopting as a goal the promotion of "Social Justice
"Such a goal likely would identify areas the county wants to improve on and include some way to measure progress, said Milan Pham, the county's human rights and relations director." ...

There is no one definition of social justice, said John Calmore, who teaches social justice lawyering at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law and cowrote "Social Justice: Professionals, Communities and Law, Cases and Materials."
"Social justice seeks to really address the opportunity-denying circumstances," he said. "Whatever those opportunity-denying circumstances are, you want to free people from them."

You have to wonder why this is not the goal of every government everywhere but certainly it is not.
I guess the county that contains the Town of Chapel Hill, renowned bastion of liberalism, might have an inclination in this direction, but taking the first step, actually acknowledging governments obligation to address these problems as way to build a better community, takes courage and conviction. My hat is of the the board if they are able to follow through. It reminds of a line in a community vision statement that I once read. " We recognize that in order to secure this future we must work together, treating all with respect and providing all with justice, keeping our common goals in front of us and our petty differences behind us."


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