Mr. Joseph Abbaleo, Vice Principal
Mr. George Benton, Department Chairperson
Social Justice Academy (SJA) 2020-2021
Theme: Equity, Community, & Personalization
Symbol: Scales of Justice
Pillars: Imperishability: Adaptability, Creativity, & Perseverance
Mission & Vision
- The vision of the Social Justice Academy is for all students to achieve excellence.
- The Social Justice Academy's mission seeks to advance the students ‘knowledge of self’ in order to improve their social and economic condition.
- To provide students with forums that allow for free speech and expression.
- Incorporate the social sciences and humanities through our mentoring program
- Encourage community stewardship and responsible behavior within the school.
- Engage communities outside the school to build civic capacity and involvement
- Address the exceptional opportunities and challenges of the urban environment
- Celebrate our wonder and collective brilliance.
Careers in social justice and human rights are both rewarding and competitive. Throughout the world, the scales of justice are an ever-present symbol of the ideals aspired to in the legal system. They remind attorneys, judges, and juries of the heavy task before them.
Lawyer interested in human rights and social justice issues advocate on behalf of victims of abuse, persecution, civil rights violations, and other violations of people’s rights.
Qualifications: Those wishing to pursue a career as a lawyer in human rights and social justice must obtain a law degree and a certification to practice law in the country in which they wish to work. They should also specialize in human rights, social justice, or a more specific topic under this area of work.
Salary: Salaries for lawyers in human rights and social justice vary and can range from about $45,000 to up to $200,000.
Program Office jobs vary but those focused on social justice will have a role in designing, implementing, and managing programs to bring about social change and equality for vulnerable and marginalized populations in the region in which they work.
Qualifications: Program Office positions typically require a master’s degree in social justice,
Salary: The Program Office salary can range from the low $50,000s to around $110,000.
Researchers focused on social justice issues will focus on gathering information, statistics, and more surrounding issues like racial justice, criminal justice, poverty, LQBTQ issues, gender inequality, and indigenous rights.
Qualifications: Social justice researchers are required to have at least a master’s degree.
Salary: for a social justice researcher can range from about $27,000 to $79,000.
Policy Analysts focusing on social justice issues are often concerned with local and national civil and human rights policies.
Qualifications: Policy Analysts should have at least a master’s degree in political science, international affairs, or public policy.
Salary: Salaries for Policy Analysts vary greatly depending on the workplace, location, and level of job. The average salary for a Policy Analyst is $67,691.
Social Service Worker
Social Service Workers work towards social justice and human rights in the most hands-on approach. They work directly with the people to help them connect to services they need and to help build communities through social and development programs.
Qualifications: 4-year degree / master’s degree and/or a certification. Social Service Workers must have strong communication skills, a background in sociology or human services, and a knowledge of the local systems that directly impact the people with which they work.
Salary: Social Service Workers salaries range from $31,000 to about $66,000.
Advocates work in a variety of capacities, particularly at the local and national levels. Advocates can work in roles similar to Social Service Workers, advocating on behalf of victims and marginalized populations for their rights to services and justice.
Qualifications: A degree in sociology, social work, public policy, social justice, or human rights.
Salary: Lobbyists make an average of about $72,000, depending on the location and their employer.
High School Course Progression
- Intro to Social Justice - Grade – grade 9
- Social Justice and the Media - grade 10
- Political Science AP US Government – grade 11
- Jurisprudence – grade 12
- City of Newark
- NJ Institute for Social Justice
- NJ Amistad Commission
- Essex County College
- Peoples Organization for Progress
City of Newark: The Honorable Mayor Ras J. Baraka is the 40th Mayor of the City of Newark. Mayor Baraka is a recognized thought leader and his status is solidified as one of the country’s most progressive elected officials.
The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice provides racial and social justice advocacy and seeks to empower people of color by building reparative systems that create wealth, transform justice and harness democratic power, from the ground up; in New Jersey. The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice is known for dynamic and independent advocacy aimed at toppling load-bearing walls of structural inequality and helping to create just, vibrant and healthy communities. They are committed to exposing and repairing the cracks of structural racism in communities of color.
The New Jersey Amistad Commission ensures that the Department of Education and public schools of New Jersey implement materials and texts which integrate the history and contributions of African-Americans and the descendants of the African Diaspora. Their goals include infusing the history of Africans and African-Americans into the social studies curriculum in order to provide an accurate, complete and inclusive history. To ensure that New Jersey teachers are equipped to effectively teach, to create and coordinate workshops, seminars, institutes, memorials and events which raise public awareness about the importance of the history of African-Americans to the growth and development of American society in global context.
Essex County College is a Beacon for Education and Knowledge, and attracts people who seek a better life through education. Essex County College transforms lives, broadens learning and empowers students to achieve their full potential creating change agents and leaders who contribute to the health, vitality and advancement of society. The Essex County College mission is to provide an open access community college that serves the diverse needs of students through comprehensive educational programs, training, and continuing education, dedicated to academic excellence and the success of its students. The Essex County College Africana Institute is a center for the exploration and critical examination of the African global experience. They invite all students to join in the development and participation of a wide variety of academic, cultural and social programs, which range from the diverse experiences of people of African descent, the Americas, and the Caribbean Islands. Revitalizing, Reconnecting, and Strengthening African Global Cultural, Social, and Intellectual Heritage.
The Peoples Organization for Progress was formed for the purposes of educating the people about relevant social, economic and political issues. To continuously organize and mobilize the grassroots community so that it can effectively solve its problems and fight for its needs. To improve the social and economic conditions in our community. To work for the total elimination of racism and sexism. To further develop and increase the political power of working and poor people. To strive for a more just and equitable distribution of wealth in our society. To serve as an advocate of human and civil rights. To support the struggles of people at home and abroad against oppression and exploitation and to promote world peace.
Office of the New Jersey Attorney General is a member of the executive cabinet of the state and oversees the Department of Law and Public Safety. Gurbir Grewal was nominated as Attorney General by Governor Phil Murphy and is the first Sikh attorney general in the United States. His support and concern for the students at Central High School and lending an ear to next generation of champions for social justice is meritorious.