Social Justice

Social justice promotes a just society by challenging injustice and valuing diversity.1Appalachian State University In regards to community health, social justice reflects the two “moral impulses” of public health2Health Affairs: What does Social Justice Require for the Public’s Health?:

  1. To advance human well-being by improving health
  2. To do so by focusing on the needs of the most disadvantaged

Many health problems are rooted in the environment that shape a person’s ability to achieve good health and practice healthy habits.3American Public Health Association Many preventable diseases are often linked to issues of social justice and all elements of a healthy community are affected by the social injustices that may be affecting a community.4American Public Health Association Social justice is thus integral to accessing these elements and consequently achieving better health

What It Means

Ensuring justice is a key aspect of practicing health equity. Health opportunities, barriers, and privileges are all areas where social justice and health equity connect. Because social justice and healthy equity are so connected, communities cannot begin to practice health equity without addressing social justice. By increasing opportunities to address social justice, communities can improve their ability to improve health for all.

Why It Matters

A community that practices social justice is a community that, across the board, has the strengths and capacities needed to respond to adverse situations. By addressing the unfair opportunities and disadvantages that may be plaguing certain residents, communities can strengthen the skills, resources, and systems that affect resilience. Denying civic participation, economic opportunity, education, or other sociocultural rights are acts of injustice and only provide weak spots in our communities, cities, and state.

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Live Well Arizona is a continually evolving website and will grow with your input. Help us identify, lift up, and celebrate efforts that help Arizonans be healthier and live well.

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National Resources: The Big Picture

Look here for statistics, analysis strategies, resources and best practices from across the country.

  • Alliance for Justice

  • American Civil Liberties Union

  • Black Lives Matter

  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

  • Public Allies

  • Southwest Fair Housing Council

Mass Incarceration

  • Critical Resistance

  • JustLeadershipUSA

  • Justice For Us

  • National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

  • Prison Policy Initiative

  • The Marshall Project

  • The Sentencing Project


  • Human Rights Campaign

  • National Center for Transgender Equality

  • National LGBTQ Task Force

  • Transgender Law Center


  • International Rescue Committee

  • Justice Strategies

  • National Immigration Law Center

Arizona Resources: Local Spotlight

Looking to start, or engage in a conversation about Social Justice and how you can contribute? Here are connectors, conveners, advocates and actors to bring to the table.

  • American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona

  • Arizona Center for Disability Law

  • Arizona Legal Women and Youth Services

  • Center for Neighborhood Leadership

  • NAACP Arizona State Conference

  • Puente Human Rights Movement

  • State Bar of Arizona

  • Step Up to Justice

Mass Incarceration

  • Children’s Action Alliance – Juvenile Justice

  • Coconino County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC)

  • David’s Hope – AZ Mental Health Criminal Justice Coalition

  • Justice that Works

  • Reinventing Reentry


  • Equality Arizona

  • Southern Arizona Gender Alliance

  • Trans Queer Pueblo



Connect with Social Justice efforts-in-progress, and the partners who are helping to make them happen:

ASU Human Rights Film Festival: Features documentaries about issues in the United States, such as the struggles of undocumented immigrants, reproductive rights and conflicts over the Dakota Access Pipeline and the history of indigenous struggles over land and resources.

U of A Social Justice Symposium: A day-long event to engage faculty, students, community members, and health professionals in dialogue to raise awareness and foster social change.

Mass Incarceration

American Friends Service Committee: Provides advocacy for incarcerated people and their families. Working to improve prison conditions and reduce the number of incarcerated people in Arizona.

AZ Justice Project: Reviews and assists in cases of Actual Innocence or cases in which a Manifest Injustice has occurred. This non profit helps inmates to overturn wrongful convictions.


Derechos Humanos: A grassroots organization that promotes civil rights of migrants by fighting militarization of the southern border, combating discrimination and human rights abuses and seeking policy change.

Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project: A nonprofit legal service organization providing free legal services to men, women, and unaccompanied children in immigration custody in Arizona.

No More Deaths: Coalition of community and faith groups, dedicated to stepping up efforts to stop the deaths of migrants in the desert.


Signature Projects

Get a bird’s eye view of efforts from around the country that can be an inspiration and reference point for Arizona-based work:

Criminal Justice Debt Reform Builder Project: Brings transparency to this area of significant legal complexity and gives easier access to state laws that govern criminal justice debt and suggests policy solutions.

The Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society Collaborative: Brings together researchers, organizers, stakeholders, communicators, and policymakers to identify and eliminate the barriers to an inclusive, just, and sustainable society and to create transformative change toward a more equitable nation.

Racial Equity Here: A Living Cities initiative that supports five US cities in completing a racial equity assessment of their core government operations. The assessment focuses on young adults of color who are dis-proportionality out of school or work.

Mass Incarceration

Justice Atlas: A corrections data driven, interactive mapping tool designed to show the place-based dimension of incarceration, reentry, and community supervision.


Sylvia Rivera Law Project: Works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination, or violence.

Year of Healthy Communities Event Submission

Add your event to the Year of Healthy Communities calendar.

If you have questions, please contact Emily Kepner ( or 602-774-3446).
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Year of Healthy Communities Event Submission

Add your event to the Year of Healthy Communities calendar.

If you have questions, please contact Emily Kepner ( or 602-774-3446).
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