Social Justice

Across the country, communities are coping with the consequences of social injustice: poverty, racism, inequity, violence, isolation, and economic segregation. These challenges undermine the capacity and well-being of our nation’s most precious resource, our children. Indeed, there is no more important endeavor than helping our children and youth become positive, productive, valued citizens. We start by making their well-being and opportunity to grow an unequivocal priority no matter where they learn, play, and live. We must be advocates for the systems and services that lower barriers and create genuine, sustained equity and opportunity.

As parents, caregivers, and educators, we also have a critical responsibility to help children and youth see adults as keeping them safe, understand the challenges at hand within a problem-solving context, and see themselves as active participants in our collective national commitment to liberty and justice for all.

Front and center is the need to address in a meaningful way the issues of race, privilege, prejudice, and power. NASP has developed and/or identified these resources to help schools and families engage in constructive dialogue about these issues and the ways that all of us can work together to shift the conversation from hate and violence toward understanding and respect to ultimately bring about positive change and unity to our communities. We will be adding to these resources over time.

Social Justice Definition for School Psychologists

Social justice is both a process and a goal that requires action. School psychologists work to ensure the protection of the educational rights, opportunities, and well-being of all children, especially those whose voices have been muted, identities obscured, or needs ignored. Social justice requires promoting non-discriminatory practices and the empowerment of families and communities. School psychologists enact social justice through culturally-responsive professional practice and advocacy to create schools, communities, and systems that ensure equity and fairness for all children and youth.

Adopted by the NASP Board of Directors, April 2017.

Resources on Understanding Bias and Privilege

Social Justice Resource List (Excel)

Implicit Bias: A Foundation for School Psychologists (PDF)

Understanding Race and Privilege (PDF)

Talking About Race and Privilege: Lesson Plan for Middle and High School Students (PDF)

Viewpoint: Seeing Privilege in a Different Light

“Racism, Prejudice, and Discrimination,” NASP Position Statement

NASP Statement Regarding Recent Acts of Violence

Supporting Marginalized Students in Stressful Times: Tips for Educators

Resources to Support Refugee Youth and Families

Supporting Refugee Children & Youth: Tips for Educators

Understanding the Plight of Immigrant and Refugee Students

Engaging Refugee Families as Partners in Their Children’s Education

Promoting the Educational Success of Refugee Newcomer Students and Families

Resources to Support Students in Stressful Times

Supporting Marginalized Students in Stressful Times: Tips for Educators

Supporting Vulnerable Students in Stressful Times: Tips for Parents

NASP Guidance for Reinforcing Safe, Supportive and Positive School Environments for All Students

Other Resources

“White privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” (monograph by Peggy McIntosh) 

“Confronting White Privilege,” Teaching Tolerance article 

“10 Children’s Books That Help White Kids Understand What Children of Color are Up Against,” Romper blog post