World Day of Social Justice
Promoting Social Justice with Love and Conscience
One year after the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19, many nations are still deeply affected by the social and economic consequences brought on by the unprecedented event. Now more than ever, the world needs more kindness and empathy to reduce inequalities and achieve social justice for all. In support of the UN’s World Day of Social Justice, the Federation of World Peace and Love (FOWPAL) held a virtual forum on February 20, 2021, where leaders and scholars shared important messages on how to break down the dividing barriers and construct a better world together.
FOWPAL received New Year wishes or congratulatory messages for the event from many world leaders and visionaries, including the Prime Minister of Barbados, the King and Prime Minister of Belgium, the Director of the Cabinet of the Prime Minister of Cameroon, the President of Colombia, the President of Cyprus, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, the President of the European Council, the Prime Minister of Finland, the President of France, the Prime Minister of Guyana, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, the President of India, the President of Ireland, the Prince of Monaco, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, the Secretary-General of OECD, the King and Queen of the Netherlands, the President of Palau, the President and Prime Minister of Portugal, the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the UN, the President of Swiss Confederation, and Justice Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona, former President of Trinidad and Tobago. The online event received over 6,800 views.
The event took place during Lunar New Year. Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, president of FOWPAL, extended his gratitude to the world leaders and visionaries that sent their New Year wishes to FOWPAL and their recognition of FOWPAL’s continued efforts in spreading love, peace, and conscience globally. He stated that “FOWPAL has been dedicated to promoting harmony among people and among countries through dialogues of love and peace and exchanges of conscience-driven cultures to advance human rights and social justice.”
Dr. Hong also stressed, “We should keep an open mind, raise awareness of social justice, work to make conscience education take root, and respect human rights while promoting and safeguarding social equality, fairness, and justice with conscience. The causes for social inequality and injustice may differ. They do have one thing in common: actions not guided by conscience. Therefore, promoting a culture of conscience is at the core of upholding social justice. Let a culture of conscience nourish people’s hearts, allowing them to exercise their conscience while conducting themselves in their daily lives.”
Yolanda Lana Conaway, assistant superintendent of Palo Alto Unified School District, California, acknowledged the injustices in communities and the world and urged everyone to speak up and take action to promote social justice: “I call on our collective humanity to be a part of the solution. We have the power to see and to be a global force for equality. We must all hear the call to action and become allies and co-conspirators for change.”
“We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, ethnicity, religion and belief, sexual orientation, and citizenship,” said Prof. Rene Wadlow, president of the Association of World Citizens, adding that “In addition to removing barriers, social justice requires developing institutions such as cooperatives, trade unions, neighborhood groups, and humanitarian development associations. The World Day of Social Justice is a call to all who believe in building rather than destroying and who embrace diversity as a means of progress rather than as a threat.”
Dr. Ramesh Kumar, head and associate professor of political science of S.D. College in India, highlighted the importance of fostering social justice. He encouraged everyone to find solutions for the existing problems in all possible manners, and said, “It becomes our duty to create awareness and coordination between organizations from local, regional to international levels. The same will enhance the applicability of policies and boost a culture for people to become open-minded and act decent to others.”
“Can you imagine the world where social justice, unity, love, peace is here?” asked Nina Goncharova, president of the Siberian Centre for Eurasian Projects. She believes we can create such a world “by melting hatred and violence within! It leads to social justice and one humanity – learning to live together in the nature as one family. The Key is within everybody and all of us!”
“Everyone deserves equal economic, political and social rights and opportunities,” said Dr. Djuwari SarKawi, director of Language Laboratory at STIE Perbanas Surabaya, Indonesia, adding that social justice encompasses economic justice because we want to enhance equality for all.
Hafizul Ahmad, chairman of World Philosophical Forum Malaysia National Branch, highlighted the importance of providing everyone with equal opportunity for education and wealth, adding that, "I am excited today that our gathering and the event today will be able to discuss further deeply, and provide solutions and guidelines to the world and add value as social movements of the world."
Other social justice advocates also shared their messages in support of the event, including Dr. Lori A. Watson, founder and CEO of Race-Work; Madame Chantal Ntima, co-founder of Beehive Childhood and Education Africa; Aaron Gomez and Violeta Martin from the U.S.-based Worldwide Youth Congress; and Musawar Tanoli, a student at National University of Modern Languages in Pakistan.
Dr. Mary Shuttleworth, president of Youth for Human Rights International in the U.S., shared a powerful video message, advocating that when united, people of conscience can effect positive changes in society and that kindness can transform a bully into a friend.
FOWPAL presented an interactive calendar, featuring fun games that reinforce the important values of conscience, love, and peace, which are essential for social justice. As the pandemic is still raging around the world, a video of disease prevention and health protection was presented during the event to encourage people to practice the five do’s, three don’ts, and six tips to stay safe and healthy.
Since the second International Day of Conscience (April 5) is just around the corner, FOWPAL invites everyone to share his/her inspirational stories of being guided by conscience on ICDAY’s social media platforms. Everyone is welcome to submit stories of conscience to ICDAY@fowpal.org through writing, video, original art, original music, or animation. FOWPAL firmly believes that with conscience, social justice can be realized!