Welcome to this website on social justice. I’m Joan Beckwith, and one of those people who have Ideas in the middle of the night, many of which seem less amazing in the light of day, but some of which take hold. This website was one of those ideas, and came about when I realised that most of the work I have done as a psychologist and most of the issues I care most about involve social justice.
I decided to call this website 2020socialjustice because the cherished ideals are a bit like 20-20 hindsight, or 20-20 vision, representing a state of perfection that is unlikely to be achieved and yet is still worth working towards in whatever ways are possible. At this stage writing is possible for me though being on the front line is not.
2020 is also a time in the future, far enough away for substantial change, and near enough for realistic commitment. With this in mind, I decided to write this blog until at least 2020, produce at least 20x20 relevant posts by the end of that time, and complete at least 20 of those in any half-calendar year.
So, welcome to 2020socialjustice where you can:
- Read my blog about issues of social justice, provide feedback, make suggestions, and raise questions
- Find out about my novel, Swimming with Sharks, how to get it, read reviews, and provide feedback
- Check out links and resources relevant to social justice, and suggest additional material
- Find out about me and my background
- Check out my curriculum vitae and academic publication list
- Link to the 2020socialjustice facebook page for brief posts
- Get in touch about any of the above or other aspects of social justice
It is now six months since I (metaphorically) pushed the start-button on 2020socialjustice. It has been an interesting time, combining the liberation of writing what I think about issues I care about, and the somewhat baffling journey of website and facebook management. I’m not of the demographic that seems to come hardwired with technological competence, and the truism about writing being the easy part has indeed been true.
What is 2020socialjustice about?
Six months down the track, I am rather clearer about the concept, and here is what I would now say:
- 2020socialjustice is about ideas – as distinct from campaigns, petitions or other direct action.
- It covers multiple issues – on the grounds that all social justice issues are interconnected.
- It is secular and humanistic – rather than connected to religion or church.
- It is political – but not party-political
- It locates social justice in a context of power relations.
- It is about speaking out for the rights of marginalised groups and identifying abuses of power.
- It is intended to be interactive, and involvement is central to extending, diversifying, and enriching the conversation.
What has happened so far?
Between this website and the facebook page, there have been around forty posts that address issues, and themes have included:
- Gender and affirmative action
- Racism, indigenous peoples, asylum seekers
- Privilege and poverty
- Sexuality and marriage equality
- Child abuse and the royal commission
- Disability awareness, mental health, suicide
- Human rights, discrimination, Othering
- Workplace bullying and abuse of power (which is where it all started with Swimming with Sharks).
I have even had a couple of goes at drugs and gambling in sport, mainly because problems tend to get reduced to individuals rather than being put into the broader context of big business. The vested interests at this level seem to pass under the radar.
What I would like to happen
Building interactive involvement in 2020socialjustice is a work-in-progress and a high priority for the next half-year. Any and all suggestions for getting more people more involved are most welcome, and can be submitted through this website (click), through the facebook page (click), or by email at email@example.com.
Best Themis blessings to all…Joan Beckwith
April 21st, 2013 | Published in Social justice
“Indigenous people want very little. They just want justice.” Indeed, it is not much to ask, even if not simple to achieve. In this post I reproduce some ideas from a seminar recently attended.Read the whole post
March 31st, 2013 | Published in Social justice
I believe we should be providing sanctuary and inclusion for people seeking asylum in Australia, not detention and exclusion, and although these ideas may seem increasingly naive in the current climate, there are precedents from other movements, place, and times. At the end of the post, comments are included from Brigid Arthur, Rui Santos, and Christine Baxter, exemplars in their fields.Read the whole post
March 21st, 2013 | Published in Social justice
The idea of Harmony Day is great, but in order to be authentic it needs to be inclusive of people seeking asylum, which it currently is not. Can we achieve inclusive harmony for next Harmony Day?Read the whole post
March 8th, 2013 | Published in Social justice
International Women’s Day…a day for celebrating and validating women all over the world…and for wearing our red hats.Read the whole post
Bullying is a busy term, covering too much and not enough. In this post I suggest an alternative way of describing what goes down in workplaces, particularly the part involving abuse of hierarchical power.Read the whole post
January 27th, 2013 | Published in Social justice
Some priests apparently claim to believe that only sex with women violates their vows of celibacy. The challenge for the royal commission is to cut through the layers of deceit, delusion, hypocrisy and power…Read the whole post
My positions on abortion, marriage equality, and gun ownership are inconsistent, but also unequivocal. The pro-choice-anti-choice tension may remain uncomfortable, but also intractable…Read the whole post
January 5th, 2013 | Published in Social justice
Twelve letters, one for each day of Christmas, draw attention to world peace; universal needs for food, shelter, and belonging; survival of the planet; eliminating discrimination, worker abuse, and child abuse; contextualising mental health, and opening up discussion of suicide…Read the whole post
Cultural identities and languages of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are not (yet) specifically recognised in the Australian constitution. Mandawuy Yunupingu, frontman for Yothu Yindi, advocates such recognition as even more important than recognition by other musicians…Read the whole post
November 25th, 2012 | Published in Social justice
Workplace bullying, asylum seekers, the royal commission on child sexual abuse, Obama’s reelection, and anti-discrimination legislation are among the topics canvassed in this collation of brief posts that first appeared on facebook.com/2020socialjustice…Read the whole post
November 5th, 2012 | Published in Social justice
Merit-based success can seem like a right-minded concept, at least on face value. It only really makes sense, however, on a level playing field, and the terrain still looks pretty bumpy to me…Read the whole post
This second post is a first attempt at locating discussion of social justice within a context of the operation of power within organisations and institutions (such as Churches)…Read the whole post
November 1st, 2012 | Published in Social justice
Social justice is work in progress towards social equity. A bit like hope, beauty and friendship, it may be most recognisable in its absence. What can I do, I ask myself? I can write about the things I care about and maybe even start conversations. I hope so…Read the whole post