Mindful Social Justice

Understanding & Practicing Mindful Social Justice

Previously, social justice has been a concerted effort by those who work in the social work industry. We envision a new era of mindful social justice in which the greater community has a stronger understanding and care for the marginalized. We believe there are endless opportunities for connection, cultural integration and making peace within ourselves and our communities through mindfully kind action. This all starts with understanding where the pain comes from and the ways in which we are experimenting with reparative efforts. Fortunately some efforts to help children have passed the experimental stage and have the power to help 100,000s of children live a better life.

This page covers facts, statistics and mindful social justice efforts related to:

  • First Nation’s Struggle
  • History Of Slavery To Abolitionist Movement
  • Parent Training Models For Enhancing Children’s Social Behavior & Mindful Kindness
  • African-American Struggle
  • Latino-American Struggle
  • Hate Crimes Towards LGBTQ Community
  • Violence Against Women

In the same way that one mends a broken personal relationship, the same kind of pattern exists to heal the broken relationship between communities and cultures. We recognize that the white-male, dominated US society needs to continue to promote equality, opportunity and respect for women, people of color, the poor and other marginalized groups.   Acknowledging this need is merely a starting place.

“In a world depending on force, coercive tyranny, and bloody violence, you are challenged to follow the way of love. You will then discover that unarmed love is the most powerful force in all the world.”Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Leaders Practicing Mindful Social Justice

Anytime someone in a position of power models mindfully kind social justice, it inspires new ways of thinking, healing, and feasible steps towards a better working world. Here are a few mindfully kind leaders actively contributing to a better working world.


Pope Francis gave a direct apology for the church’s involvement in the oppression of indigenous people during the colonial era, and called for a global social justice movement to end remaining colonialism that has fostered inequality, materialism and the exploitation of the poor. He also agrees that the church should ask forgiveness for mistreating the LGBTQ community, and exploiting women & children.


Justin Trudeau followed through on his promise to appoint half of his prime minister cabinet positions to women, introduced a bill to protect trans people and uphold their rights, he encourages men to be feminists, he lifted the prohibition on marijuana nationally, and he formally apologized to first nation’s people, and vows a renewal of Canada’s relationship with it’s indigenous people based on recommendations from the Truth & Reconciliation Commission.

police chief, black lives matter, chris magnus

Police chief Chris Magnus has been reducing crime and use-of-force by his officers for years in Richmond, CA. His community policing approach includes supporting the communities’ need to gather and grieve the unjust #blacklivesmatter losses by joining them. “We get the conversation about use of force… This is an opportunity for all police departments, including ours, to look inward and examine our approaches and get better.”

Why did the Pope and the Canadian Prime Minister apologize to First Nations?

To understand the apologies made by the Pope and Canadian Prime minister, we have to look at how white explorers, settlers, and missionaries, (primarily men of European descent), treated First Nations’ peoples in North and South America in ways that would be unthinkable today. Destroying a people’s culture damages families. For example, suicides of young First Nations’ men, which are probably underestimated by 30%, are twice as likely as for any other ethnic group.

Forced Assimilation

From the late 1800s to 1940s, first nation’s children were taken without consent, isolated from family in boarding schools, forced to communicate only in english and practice white religions prior to an age of consent.

Unseen Tears: The Native American Boarding School Experience documentary outlines a hidden history of how the Canadian & US government tried to force first nation’s children to assimilate. (10 minutes)

Native American Adoption Era

From the 1940s to the 1960s as the boarding schools were closed down or turned over the tribes in the US, a new form of white colonization was still in play in the form of adoption. 85% of Native children removed from their homes were placed in non-Indian homes or institutions (such as orphanages or foster homes.) Native adoptees struggle to recover their identities as many states seal birth records for confidentiality.

Native Depopulation

  • Epidemics

    Initial contact led to the spread of typhus, yellow fever, small pox, dysentery, influenza and malaria.

  • Enslavement

    Early Spaniard explorers are on record for using violence to enslave workers.

  • Removal, Violence, and Broken Treaties

    Settler violence against First Nations was modeled and condoned by government leaders. NPR reported, “More than 370 ratified treaties have helped the U.S. expand its territory and led to many broken promises made to American Indians.”

  • Malnutrition

    Confining First Nations to reservations deprived them of their normal way of life and often lead to malnutrition and starvation.

There are Still Disproportionate #s of Native American Children in Foster Care Today

13% Of South Dakota's Children Are Native Americans, BUT
Of Kids In South Dakota Foster Care Are Native American
18% Of Alaska's Children Are Native American, BUT
Of Alaska's Foster CAre Children Are Native American
8% Of North Dakota's Children Are Native American, BUT
Of North Dakota's Foster CAre Children Are Native American

Restoring Right Relationships with Indigenous People

It’s important to consider what we (white colonial descendents) lost when our superiority drowned out the culture of First Nations. They absolutely have their own wisdom, connection with the land, and community embracing their elders in ways white culture lacks. Consider how our culture could be different by learning from and honoring them.

First nation’s people assembled at Shaqannapi Point for a pow-wow held in honour of the visit of H.R.H. the Duke of Cornwall and York, Calgary, Alberta, September 18, 1901.

Honoring First Nations

Acknowledge & Advocate For Our Remaining First Nations’ Survivors

Good Reading
Settler by Emma Battell Lowman & Adam J. Barker
Ancient Spirit Rising by Pegi Eyers
“Everyone Calls Themselves An Ally Until It’s Time To Do Some Real Ally Sh#t” 12-Page Zine PDF

Good Sites
Decolonization Theory And Practice
Terminologies Of Oppression

An ‘Indigenous Right Relationship’ Workshop In Your Community

Consider supporting an indigenous peoples group
for example:
International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA)
IWGIA is an international, non-governmental human rights organization. We support indigenous peoples’ struggle for human rights, self-determination, right to territory, control of land and resources, cultural integrity, and the right to development.

Links to indigenous organizations and support NGOs arranged by world regions:
Black Mesa Water Coalition
The Coalition is dedicated to preserving and protecting Mother Earth and the integrity of Indigenous Peoples’ cultures, with the vision of building sustainable and healthy communities.

Although there are records of slavery beginning almost 4,000 years ago,  the Romans from  2nd century on used slavery on a large scale—large chain gangs work the fields, miners are worked to death, and gladiators are forced to fight to the death as entertainment for the slave owners. In the Dark Ages feudalism was also a widely accepted form of slavery, as workers were property of the land they were born on. But the most deaths from slavery on historical record, (about 1.8 million) was from bringing slaves to the Americas.

Slavery Has a Long History


Serfs were unpaid property of the land and expected to work during harvest in feudal England on top of their own survival needs, c. 1310

Modern Humanists Can No Longer Tolerate The Existence Of Any Form Of Slavery


Two students protest child slavery with signs in both Yiddish and English. c. 1920s. It took until 1938 for the U.S. to pass labor laws prohibiting minors from working abusive hours & for compulsory education to be instituted as necessary before a child enters the workforce.

The United Kingdom in 1833 and the United States in 1835 outlawed slavery. The legacy of slavery hangs heavily on its descendants, as noted in African-American Males Facing Serious Challenges on Huffington Post, “African-American people make up only 13 percent of the population in the United States. However, African-American males are leading the charge in several categories when it comes down to incarceration, homicide, school dropout rates, fatherless homes, drug addiction, sexually transmitted diseases, high unemployment, and poverty.”

Early 1770s Abolitionist’s Work Leads To an End to Slavery but Not To Its Legacy

According to a Colorlines. report, modern forms of slavery include: debt bondage, forced marriage, child labor, human trafficking and forced labor. There are still parts of the world that normalize this abuse and struggle to create living wages.

Statistics courtesy of the Walk Free Foundation, a non-profit working to end all moderns forms of global slavery.

Consider joining an organization to support Black communities, for example:
The Movement for Black Lives
In response to the sustained and increasingly visible violence against Black communities in the U.S. and globally, a collective of more than 50 organizations representing thousands of Black people from across the country have come together with renewed energy and purpose to articulate a common vision and agenda.

Showing Up for Racial Justice
SURJ’s role as part of a multi-racial movement is to organize whites to undermine white support for white supremacy and to help build a racially just society.

Mindful Social Justice:
Helping Children Thrive

The United States has the second highest child poverty rate among 35 industrialized countries despite having the largest economy in the world. A child in the United States has a 1 in 5 chance of being poor and the younger she is the poorer she is likely to be. A child of color, who will be in the majority of U.S. children in 2020, is more than twice as likely to be poor as a white child. This is unacceptable and unnecessary. Growing up poor has lifelong negative consequences, decreasing the likelihood of graduating from high school and increasing the likelihood of becoming a poor adult, suffering from poor health, and becoming involved in the criminal justice system. These impacts cost the nation at least half a trillion dollars a year in lost productivity and increased health and crime costs. Letting a fifth of our children grow up poor prevents them from having equal opportunities to succeed in life and robs the nation of their future contributions.

This video features Linda’s thriving despite her profound struggle. Despite depression; fear of losing her mother to a stage 4 cancer, fear of losing their home, and of going hungry, her strength and courage are extraordinary. Linda’s perfect 4.0 academic record is all the more astonishing given her 400 hours of community service and mentoring. She is one step closer to her dream of becoming a forensic psychologist and helping others struggling through hard times.

Linda Ransom Beating the Odds of Severe Poverty & Racial Disadvantages

Each Day In The U.S.:

Public School Students
Suspended Daily

public school students
who are corporally punished
Public High School
Students Drop Out

babies are born
to teen mothers
children confirmed
as abused or neglected

children are arrested
for violent crimes

See more statistics at: The Children’s Defense Fund

“Ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected by poverty, and the lack of education, adequate housing and health care transmits poverty from generation to generation and perpetuates racial prejudices and stereotypes.”Mutuma Ruteere, United Nations Rights Expert

Parent Management Training – Oregon Model

Since the 1970s, colleagues at the Oregon Social Learning Center (OSLC) have developed and tested theory-based interventions to treat and prevent conduct and associated problems in children and youth. This research, which has been supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has generated a set of intervention programs that are now recognized as evidence-based programs (EBP). The basic model underlying these methods is called Parent Management Training – Oregon Model (PMTO®).

Program Successfully Addresses

Antisocial-Aggressive Behavior, Anxiety, Conduct Problems, Delinquency and Criminal Behavior, Externalizing, Internalizing, Mental Health problems.

PMTO Therapists

The central role of the PMTO therapist is to teach and coach parents in the use of effective parenting strategies, namely skill encouragement, setting limits or effective discipline, monitoring, problem solving, and positive involvement. In addition to the core parenting practices, PMTO incorporates the supporting parenting components of identifying and regulating emotions, enhancing communication, giving clear directions, and tracking behavior. Promoting school success is a factor that is woven into the program throughout relevant components.

Nurse-Family Partnerships Make a Difference for Infants and Toddlers in Vulnerable Homes

Nurse–Family Partnership (NFP) provides low-income, first-time mothers of any age with home-visitation services from public health nurses. The 37 year old program addresses substance abuse and other behaviors that contribute to family poverty, subsequent pregnancies, poor maternal and infant outcomes, suboptimal childcare, and limited opportunities for the children.

The intervention process concentrates on developing therapeutic relationships with the family and is designed to improve four broad domains of family functioning:

  • Parental roles · Family and friend support
  • Physical and mental health
  • Home and neighborhood environment
  • Major life events (e.g., pregnancy planning, education, employment)

Nurse-visited children born to low-resource mothers had significantly higher school achievement through sixth grade than children who did not receive nurse visits.

Michelle White is among the first NFP participants to successfully complete the program. A single mother at 19, Michelle is dedicated to her son Bradyn’s healthy growth and development.

Achieving the benefits of evidence-based public policy.

Mindful Social Justice: The Innocence Project

The Innocence Project, founded in 1992 by Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.

There Are
DNA Exonerations

Pictured to the left: Innocence Project founders Barry Scheck & Peter Neufeld, executive director Madeline deLone, and board chair Senator Rodney Ellis.

There Are
Real Perpetrators Found

 28 out of 33 people exonerated from wrongful conviction are people of color. For more facts visit the Innocence Project


Author of the expertly penned The Case For Reparations, a landmark article in the Atlantic in June 2014, outlines the history of what is commonly ignored in terms of a country being built on white supremacy. Coates explains the micro-facts of violence driven oppression, the financial plundering, and laws that undermine black rights in unbridled fashion.

The Case For Reparations Cites Examples Of Emotional, Physical & Long Term Community Wealth Costs From:

  • Two hundred fifty years of slavery.
  • Ninety years of Jim Crow.
  • Sixty years of separate but equal.
  • Thirty-five years of racist housing policy.

“Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole… The crime indicts the American people themselves, at every level, and in nearly every configuration. A crime that implicates the entire American people deserves its hearing in the legislative body that represents them.

John Conyers’s HR 40 is the vehicle for that hearing. No one can know what would come out of such a debate. Perhaps no number can fully capture the multi-century plunder of black people in America. Perhaps the number is so large that it can’t be imagined, let alone calculated and dispensed. But I believe that wrestling publicly with these questions matters as much as—if not more than—the specific answers that might be produced.”

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Exonerating The Wrongfully Convicted

Jonathan Barr. Marvin Anderson. Randy Mills. Benny Starks. Four men represented by the Innocence Project and exonerated by DNA evidence tell their uplifting stories about freedom from wrongful conviction.

A Case For Reparations

Author Expertly Names What It Will Take To Make America Humane

TA-NEHISI COATES is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of The Beautiful Struggle and Between the World and Me.

An America that asks what it owes its most vulnerable citizens is improved and humane. An America that looks away is ignoring not just the sins of the past but the sins of the present and the certain sins of the future. TA-NEHISI COATES

How Elitists Benefit From Racism

Tim Wise , anti-racist author, outlines a how elitists use racism to manipulate the working class from the Civil War era to modern day. (9 minutes)

Mindful Social Justice: Lifting Latino American Oppression

Human Rights Watch’s immigration work, “…focuses on reforming harsh, outdated, and ineffective detention and deportation policies to ensure they take into account family unity, flight from persecution, and labor considerations that draw immigrants to the United States. We have exposed the crimes and unsafe working conditions that unauthorized immigrants are too afraid to report out of fear of being deported, the risks of violence back home for those denied due process to seek protection from US deportation, and the devastating impact on millions of people—citizens as well as non-citizens—whose families are torn apart due to inflexible and unfair immigration policies.” Organizations such as the National Council Of La Raza, that focus exclusively on Latino concerns is a trusted resource, offering non-partisan research, policy analysis, and state and national advocacy efforts.

Stonewall Inn Considered The Birth Place Of The LGBTQia Human Rights Movement

Raising Minimum Wages is Good for the Economy, Marginalized, and Public Tax Payers

This video features Liz Gutierrez, Director of Planning and Programs at the Hispanic Services Council in Tampa, Florida. She explain how raising the minimum wage will lift millions of workers out of poverty and reduce the need for public assistance.

If we understand the economics of things, then we understand that through work people can put more money in their pocket and then that’s less public money needed to subsidize corporations. Liz Gutierrez

Latino Statistics Courtesy of the National Council of La Raza

Avg Annual Latino Household Income
Compared To U.S. National Avg $66k Household Income

Latino Families Who Own Homes
Compared To A 63% National Avg Of Homeowners
Latino Families Who Are Living
Below The National Poverty Level

Latino Families Uninsured
Compared To 12% National Avg Of Uninsured
Latino Children Grades 1-12 Who Drop Out
Compared To The National Avg Of 6% Who Drop Out

Hispanic Graduates With A Bachelors Degree OR Higher
Compared To The 30% National Avg

“Ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected by poverty, and the lack of education, adequate housing and health care transmits poverty from generation to generation and perpetuates racial prejudices and stereotypes.”Mutuma Ruteere, United Nations Rights Expert

The Sex And Gender Positive Movement

LGBTQia (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual) people have been subject to homophobic hate crimes for hundreds of years. Emerging research reveals a bigger truth about homophobia fears as a form of self loathing for recognizing any tendencies in oneself while experiencing an authoritarian upbringing forbidding such exploration.

Mindful Social Justice: What LGBTQia Activism Contributes To Humanity

Stonewall Riots, stonewall inn, LGBTQ rights

The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBTQia) community in response to a police raid (and many years of unnecessary police brutality) that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. They are widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern activism for LGBTQ rights globally.

There Were
Hate Crimes Against Individuals For Non-Conforming Sexual & Gender Identities In 2014

In hate crime research released by the FBI for 2014, LGBTQ individuals were the most common victim, accounting for 82% of reported offenses. And while 15,494 law enforcement agencies contributed to the report in 2014, only 1,666 agencies reported hate crimes within their jurisdiction.


Survivors Who
Reported Hostile Attitudes From Police While Reporting The Crime

In research on LGBTQ discrimination by the Williams Institute at UCLA, police abuse, neglect and misconduct were consistently reported at higher frequencies by respondents of color, transgender, and non-conforming gender people.


Offenders Who Claimed
Their Primary Motivation Was Thrill Seeking

In research on hate crime offenders by the National Institute of Justice, the largest category is thrill seekers motivated by a desire for excitement. Only 25% of offenders are motivated by defending themselves or a community from a perceived threat.


“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

History Of Ex-Gay Cures (5 min)

While there is no scientific basis for the variety of ex-gay cures that have been attempted, there is substantial research on the negative emotional effects on the individual being forced to change.

Children Rejected By Their Families Are
More Likely To Attempt Suicide

More Likely To Struggle With Depression

More At Risk For Sexually Transmitted Infections

Matt Baume is a writer, storyteller, and videographer living in Seattle, Washington (the northwest coast of the U.S.) who makes weekly videos for the sake of making sense of LGBTQia issues.

Redefining Realness

“I couldn’t fault the people who were telling me that (that I should be a boy), because that’s all they learned in the world.” Janet Mock

Author of the gripping memoir, Redefining Realness, Janet Mock describes, with an unflinching rawness, processing her gender expression against all odds. With every disadvantage one might imagine as multiracial, poor and trans in America, Mock imparts a vital wisdom about the unique challenges that this misunderstood, marginalized population faces.

This woman’s quest for self actualization at all costs has a profound effect upon one’s own view of self acceptance and how we accept others.

When she released Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More in February 2014, feminist critic bell hooks called Janet’s memoir, “A lifemap for transformation,” while Melissa Harris-Perry said “Janet does what only great writers of autobiography accomplish—she tells a story of the self, which turns out to be a reflection of all humanity.”

JANET MOCK is an author of the best selling coming of age story, Redefining Realness. She has also contributed to Marie Claire, People.com, and Elle.com and her advocacy work continues to earn honors from the likes of Feminist Press, GLSEN, and Planned Parenthood.

Findings about LGBTQia Homicides from the Anti-Violence Project Report At NCAVP.org

Of Homicide Victims In 2015 Were People Of Color
Of Homicide Victims Were Transgender Or Gender Non-conforming People
Of Homicide Victims Were Transgender Women Of Color
Of Homicide Victims Were Gay Or Bisexual Men
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.Desmond Tutu

Mindful Social Justice: Men Who Are Ending Violence Against Women

Multiple non-profit efforts are adding to the international movement to end gender violence. Multiple well known men are stepping up to demonstrate that it’s a shared responsibility to challenge cultural norms in favor of mindfully kind treatment of women.

mindful social justice, women's rights, feminist, Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart at the 71st Annual Peabody Awards Luncheon, 2012, Anders Krusberg, CC 2.0

SIR PATRICK STEWART, is a self proclaimed feminist, actor, and survivor of witnessing his father’s abuse towards his mother growing up.

“Violence against women is learned. Each of us must examine, and change, the ways in which our own behavior might contribute to, enable, ignore or excuse all such forms of violence. I promise to do so, and invite other men and allies to do the same.”Sir Patrick Stewart

Domestic Violence Stats Via U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations & National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey

U.S. Troops Killed In
Iraq & Afghanistan From 2001-2012

First Nations Women
Affected By Rape, Physical Violence And/Or Stalking
U.S. Women Killed By
Male Partners From 2001-2012

African American Women
Affected By Rape, Physical Violence And/or Stalking
U.S. Women Who Experience
Physical Violence By Intimate Partners Annually

Hispanic American Women
Affected By Rape, Physical Violence, And/Or Stalking

Bisexual Women
Affected By Rape, Physical Violence And/Or Stalking

Lesbian Women
Affected By Rape, Physical Violence And/or Stalking

Heterosexual Women
Affected By Rape, Physical Violence, And/Or Stalking

See more statistics at: National Intimate Partner And Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Report Summary

“Ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected by poverty, and the lack of education, adequate housing and health care transmits poverty from generation to generation and perpetuates racial prejudices and stereotypes.”Mutuma Ruteere, United Nations Rights Expert

Join The #RingTheBell Movement

One million men. One million promises. End violence against women. To “ring the bell” is to take action to challenge violence or discrimination against women. How will you build your awareness and effect change in your community?

One million men. One million promises. End violence against women. To “ring the bell” is to take action to challenge violence or discrimination against women. How will you build your awareness and effect change in your community?

Make your promise today!


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