Staff Picks

Say What Day?  World Day of Social Justice

Social Justice Starts With Me
In February there are some well known holidays such as Valentine's Day, President's Day and Groundhog's Day.

But have you ever heard of World Day of Social Justice? 

I hadn't. 

I thought it sounded worth investigating. 

The first thing I learned made me feel a little better about not having heard of it before. 

It was established in 2009 by the United Nations (only 13 ears ago, it's a young holiday).

Very loosely defined, social justice is fair treatment of all. 

More specifically, it refers to equity of wealth, basic needs, education, health care, job opportunities, and much more. 

The UN considers this day "an opportunity to remember that social justice is necessary for peace, security, and development around the world." 

World Day of Social Justice | United Nations

The idea of fairness ties right into DEI/EDI (diversity, equity, inclusion/equity, diversity, inclusion).  These acronyms seem to be everywhere lately. 

At the library we, are giving a lot of thought to how to make our collections and services more reflective of EDI standards. 

We want everyone in our community to feel welcome, heard, seen, and valued here.

One way I've found to become more aware of diversity is by learning about new holidays. 

This Calendar of Observances is an excellent resource for that. 

It's from the Anti-Defamation League which in itself is invaluable for how to fight hate, thereby promoting social justice.


There are endless ways we can work towards having a community that is more equitable and diverse for all.   

For caregivers and teachers of children, try Learning for Justice or this short video.

For adults, have a look at the National Conference for Community and Justice website

Or check out one of the movies or books at the end of this post.

There are always ways to take action as well, like volunteering at a food pantry or getting involved in community groups. 

Here are some ideas:

Do Something is a youth led movement that donates jeans to teens and registers young voters.

Volunteer or donate food at the Self-Help Closet & Pantry of Des Plaines

Join the Des Plaines Multicultural Advisory Group

Observing the World Day of Social Justice can be done by all of us regardless of gender, race, income, or ability. 

It doesn't matter how each of us commemorates it as long our goal is to move toward understanding and consideration of each other. 

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Inequality for All  

Examines economics professor and Clinton Administration cabinet member Robert Reich's crusade to expose the problem of income inequality in the United States and how the widening income gap has a devastating impact on the American economy. Reich explains how the massive consolidation of wealth by a few threatens the viability of the American workforce and the foundation of democracy itself.

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Support the Girls

Lisa is the last person some would expect to find in a highway-side 'sports bar with curves,' but as general manager at Double Whammies, she has come to love the place and its customers. An incurable den mother, she nurtures and protects her girls fiercely, but over the course of one trying day, her optimism is battered from every direction.

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Black Experiences BingeBox

Five movies including, Dear White People, If Beale Steet Could Talk, Fruitvale Station, Do the Right Thing, and Get Out


Nickel and Dimed

To discover how others exist on minimum wage, the author leaves her home, takes the cheapest lodgings she can find, and accepts whatever jobs she's offered. Moving from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, she works variously as a waitress, nursing home aide, and a Wal-Mart sales clerk. She learned many things, including the fact that one job is not enough: you need at least two if you intend to live indoors.


Minor Feelings:  An Asian American Reckoning

Poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong ... blends memoir, cultural criticism, and history to expose fresh truths about racialized consciousness in America ... Binding these essays together is Hong's theory of 'minor feelings.'


#Not Your Princess

An eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman. Stories of abuse, humiliation, and stereotyping are countered by the voices of passionate women making themselves heard and demanding change. Sometimes angry, often reflective, but always strong, the women in this book will give teen readers insight into the lives of women who, for so long, have been virtually invisible.

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