Defining Social Justice
In the simplest terms, social justice is a framework promoting fairness, equity, and equality in all spheres of society so that each individual’s human rights are fully upheld. This framework is applied to the analysis of the economy as well as the education, healthcare, and criminal justice systems. Environmental preservation, access to natural resources, and food security are also social justice issues. As a lens of analysis, social justice is applied to the identification of disparities and the proposal of effective solutions. The pursuit of equality along the lines of gender, gender expression, race, ethnicity, diverse ability, age, and the intersection of all markers of identity is one of the most pressing global social justice issues.
Social justice is very nuanced and all-encompassing. Here are some of the critical social justice issues we are facing as a global community, many directly affecting the artisan and producer communities we source from:1
- Democracy (Multiracial and Multicultural Democracies, Voting Rights, Free and Fair Elections + Peaceful Transfer of Power)
- Environmental Justice (Climate Change, Natural Disasters + Access to Clean Water)
- Food Justice (Food Security, Food Sovereignty + Farm Worker Rights)
- Gender Equality (Women’s Rights, Trans Rights, Inclusion of the Gender Spectrum, Pay Equity, Economic Autonomy + Reproductive Rights)
- Healthcare (Mental Healthcare, Accessibility + Culturally Relevant Services)
- Human Rights (Dignity, Freedom, Autonomy, Economic Justice + Education Equity)
- Human Trafficking
- Land Rights (Intergenerational Land Tenure, Subsistence Farming + Permaculture)
- Migration (Displacement, Immigrant Integration, Statelessness + Refugee Systems)
- Prison Reform
- Racial Justice (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion + Anti-Racism)
A shared commitment to social justice is the starting point to reshape our society into an egalitarian, inclusive, and respectful space for every human being to aspire and thrive. We recognize that the needs of each community are unique; therefore, solutions and interventions must be equitable and tailored to specific contexts. The Fair Trade Movement advances social justice through the promotion of humane, ethical, and environmentally conscious production cycles focused on the economic and cultural well-being of producers. We are proud members of the Fair Trade Federation and remain steadfast in our commitment to practicing fair trade principles.
Equal Rights, Equal Opportunity, and Equal Treatment
At The Little Market, we believe that each individual, regardless of identity or geographic location, is entitled to human dignity and human rights. We recognize that due to complex social, economic, political, and historical dynamics, not everyone has access to the resources and opportunities to thrive. Tragically, not all individuals enjoy equal treatment. Each of us has a responsibility to contribute to change through actions.
At The Little Market, we recognize the obligation we have to contribute to social justice in a meaningful way. We remain committed to:
- Supporting dignified income opportunities for underserved communities both domestically and internationally.
- Expanding our reach to include additional techniques and countries into the existing artisan/producer group roster.
- Making space for the artisans/producers and members of underserved communities to tell their stories from their own perspectives.
- Advocating for social justice in an accurate and authentic way that honors the histories and experiences of underserved and underrepresented communities.
- Promoting a culture of equity where each individual is recognized and celebrated for their unique talents and contributions.
By shopping The Little Market’s collection, you are supporting an extensive network of artisans, producers, and like-minded organizations committed to advancing social justice and creating change.
We have slated a special week-long virtual event this March 2021, in celebration of International Women’s Day. We will be hosting a series of conversations about social justice issues, and we hope you will tune into the event!
1This is not an exhaustive list, organized in alphabetical order, it is meant to highlight key issues directly tied to The Little Market’s mission and work.