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What are some jobs related to social justice?

I've come to realize that my only passion is social justice, especially for lgbtq and poc. I do also have a desire to help people and a knack for writing. However I feel like I would not thrive on one-on-one work like becoming a councelor because it feels too personal and too much pressure, like I would be devestated if I failed someone. Do you think I could be satisfied with some specific career in politics, law, psych research, or something that helps spread awareness?
#social-justice #lawyer #psychology #politics #political-science #law #criminal-justice

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Subject: Career question for you

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Su’s Answer

Hi Ray!

I also have a passion for Social Justice. Some thoughts about potential careers.
- Executive Director of an organization
- Fundraising / Development
- Grant writer
- Community engagement
- Social media coordinator/ public relations / communications
- Lobbyist

Social work is another way to participate in social justice, but it sounds like from your description that this isn't the direction you want to go.

I would recommend getting involved in an organization that has a purpose that is important to you. Volunteer or intern and use the experience to learn about how organizations work. Most social justice or non-profit organizations work very closely with other organization, legislative bodies (at all levels), and public entities. You should be able to start to explore how those relationships work and find a path that supports your passion.

Here is another resource that may be helpful. https://www.foundationlist.org/news/list-of-nonporift-job-boards-made-for-the-nonprofit-sector/

Best of luck to you, Ray.


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Sarah’s Answer

I recommend you find areas to volunteer in causes you are passionate about. For example, a group working to promote LGBTQIA+ rights in your city or state. Talk to the employees of the group and get their insight into career paths.

I completely agree with the previous posters - you can help people in many, many industries without working specifically for a social justice organization. I work for a large medical device company, and we have many internal employee-led initiatives to promote LGBTQIA+ awareness and rights not only within our organization but also in the local communities where we are based. There are many publications which list "Best Places to Work" for various types of diversity and inclusion indexes. It may be worth considering if you'd like to research those types of companies and work for them.

Best of luck!
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Kathy’s Answer

You can go to sites like www.careeronestop.org to find information on career exploration, training, and jobs. This site has tons of great information as you begin your search. You can look at different careers and what it takes for you to receive training, watch videos on different job types, and get questions answered.

You can also go to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics at https://www.bls.gov/audience/jobseekers.htm to look at various occupations and learn about the current and future jobs outlook, advancement and training requirements, employment, salary, and a 10 year outlook for those occupations. There are also lots of other topics to explore on this page that will give you great information to help you get started.
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Mary’s Answer

Non profits oriented around social justice are a great way to give back to society, you can volunteer for them or serve on their boards and help direct where they go and who they help.

Serving as a police officer is a way to increase social justice. The vast majority do what they do because they care about helping people; which can include bringing food/supplies/misc to people in need, helping get people with addiction and mental health issues off the street to a safe place and saving children or vulnerable adults from abusive situations. It's a very high stress job because they often interact with people when they aren't at their best, but there is a real need for people like you who care about making the world better.

Starting out as a volunteer for a non-profit or food shelf etc is a good way to get your foot in the door. It's a chance for you to get to know the organization to see if it'd be a good fit for you long term and will allow you to meet the people who actually work for it so they know you and what you can do if an opening comes up or if one of their connections has an opening for something similar.
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Rebecca’s Answer

Hi Ray,

I also have a passion for social justice. In college, I majored in Human Services and Social Justice. I think there are many different career paths you can take. Below, I have listed some options:

- Grant writing
- Advocacy work at a non-profit
- Development/ Fundraising
- Teaching
- Corporate Social Responsibility/ Community Engagement at a corporation
- Community Engagement Liaison at a non-profit
- Policy related work either at a non-profit or in local, state, federal government

Some of these may be repeats from answers above, but I hope this is helpful!
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Pam’s Answer

Hello Ray,

Many large organizations have Inclusion and Diversity programs and teams. Positions supporting these programs - including creating, implementing, promoting, communicating and measuring impact - exist to support the effectiveness of these programs. These roles are typically found within Community Relations or Human Resources functions, although it depends on the company.

If you are seeking areas to participate without it being your full time position, many organizations have something called Employee Resource Groups. These groups are organized through an affinity for a particular value, cause, etc. (e.g. Women Leadership, LGBTQ, Veterans). These are typically volunteer-based group driven by involvement of employees. You can be as involved as you want to be and they offer great opportunities for supporting others, advancing the strategic impact of the group and often times even your own professional network and personal career development.
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Rick’s Answer

In addition to what others have posted, you could pursue many jobs and careers in government and law that would further social justice. Government jobs can include working with and for elected officials who are committed to social justice and helping change laws and policies. The type of work includes research, drafting laws, writing policies, public relations and community outreach There are many law firms and organizations that are committed to social justice. They may be looking for paralegals and other positions, not just lawyers.

Best of luck.

Rick
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Clarissa’s Answer

One career that can be related to social justice is journalism. There are many online niche news start-ups that have been popping up in the past few years that are dedicated to many topics including education issues, health issues etc. Investigating issues that you care about and exposing them can make a huge change in the world for those who do not have a voice and can be extremely rewarding.
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Savanna (Savi)’s Answer

Hey Ray,

I may have similar suggestions to other folks. There are a variety of ways to get involved in social justice that don't involve counseling. As a writer, you could look into doing policy work. This would be a way to merge your two interests. Additionally, I may be biased since I'm in healthcare, but there are a lot of opportunities in healthcare to advocate for social justice practices. You could look at community health centers which are focuseed on serving the un- and under-insured populations and can do a variety of different roles. These are just a couple of ideas to start off.

Best of luck!
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DeMecia’s Answer

Good afternoon. Working with either your local, state or federal legislator is a direct way of influencing Policy. I’ve worked for both state and federal legislators, and found that I liked influencing federal legislation more. It’s much broader. I have a Masters in Public Administration and one also on social work with a concentration in Community Organization, Planning and Administration. They compliment what I do well. You might also consider a law degree, focusing on social justice issues. My sister is a civil rights attorney. I would suggest you look into either of those degrees if you’re interested in social justice—especially if you want to influence policy. Hope this is helpful.
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Kim’s Answer

Hi Ray,

People with strong emotions are good at helping people. You can learn to compartmentalize, so you don't take their problems home with you at night. I strongly connected to my clients while they were in the office. Once they left, I pretty much purged them from memory so I could go on to the next client!

I don't really want to address your question. I want to address the reality of "helping people." I have always believed that the more I could empower people to do for themselves, the better all the way around. That way, the next time they encounter difficulties, they may be able to work it out on their own. People taking ownership of their own lives, and problems. But, it's not always that way. For example, when I worked for a state agency helping people find jobs, I honestly believed, how great it would be if they learned to do all of this on their own, and didn't need us. But, my coworkers, and supervisor, believed that too much empowerment was bad, because it would put US out of work!

As you go about your career search, I want you to keep an eye out for agencies and organizations that keep the needy dependent on them. It won't be easy to spot, but listen to how they talk. See if they have any true success stories among their clients.

There are so many different ways you could go with this. There is the broad picture, trying to create change on a national level, then there are things like helping LGBTQ couples to be able to adopt children. "Fighting" for causes is great when you're young, but by the age of 32-35 people often go in a different direction. I did my share of it for about 5 years, while in college and a little beyond. I had a good time and learned a lot, so, don't overlook that experience!

You honestly don't have to literally pick one career. People change jobs every 2-5 years. It's not frowned upon like it used to be. So, you use your experience in one position/company as a stepping stone to the next company. You will learn to capitalize on the "transferable job skills" acquired in each position. You likely should go to college, and, again, five years after you graduate, your major won't really matter. A lot of jobs don't care - so long as you have that degree!

Anyway, let me know if you have questions, happy to help!
Kim
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