Caroline Clauss-Ehlers, an associate professor at Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Education, is available to discuss new approaches to discussing social justice issues that place children’s concerns at the forefront of the social justice conversation, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Social justice for children involves addressing the structural and institutional issues that result in inequalities among our youngest citizens,” Clauss-Ehlers said. “Social justice issues faced by children include poverty, a lack of educational access, immigration trauma, health and mental health disparities, being affected by war, being discriminated against for identifying as LGBTQ, amongst others. Children are rarely viewed as stakeholders in justice rules of law; child justice issues are often dealt with separate from larger justice and security issues; and when justice issues for children are addressed, it is often through a siloed, rather than a comprehensive approach.”
“New approaches to place children at the front of the social justice conversation take an action-oriented perspective to coordinate efforts,” she said. “During this time, we need to engage young people and encourage their active participation as social justice advocates for themselves as well as for others. Building social justice globally, like fighting this virus, involves sharing resources and information across countries. It will take international consideration for children and young people worldwide to be incorporated into the social justice conversation.”
Caroline Clauss-Ehlers is a licensed psychologist and the program/clinical coordinator for the Graduate School of Education’s programs in school counseling and counseling psychology. She studies the diverse experiences of children and families, and explores how systems can promote well-being among members. She is a co-editor of Social Justice for Children and Young People.
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