He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8

~ Micah 6:8

“Justice,” Cornell West says, “is what love looks like in the public sphere.”

Our justice work began at Full Circle School, from which Commonweal grew. A dozen of us built Full Circle from the ground up. We brought in the children no one else wanted fromBay Area juvenile halls. We found that with healthy diets, skilled guidance, individualized learning and true caring the children often thrived..

This led us to pilot the Commonweal Clinic in 1976. At the Clinic, we provided medical services for children with learning and behavior disorders, including the Full Circle children. For decades, we have worked on California juvenile justice reform through our Commonweal Juvenile Justice Program. We succeeded with our partners in closing the California Youth Authority, the largest youth prison system in the world.

Environmental health and justice

Environmental health and justice has been core to our work from the start. Our work is primarily focused on reducing harmful chemical exposures. We’ve done this work through the Collaborative on Health & the Environment, the Biomonitoring Resource Center, the EDC Strategies Working Group, Health Care Without Harm, and our work in Norco, Louisiana, to help a black community move away from a Shell chemical plant. All our chemical work has a strong justice dimension.

What is needed now

Today, Commonweal’s Go Compassion initiative sponsors a Migrant Support Project at a unique church outside Tijuana that provides shelter for 1600 migrants from around the world. Our summer youth camps are deeply diverse. Justice is a central concern of our polycrisis work. In the words of Rainforest Action Network founder Randy Hayes, “there is no justice on a dead planet.”

Justice Articles

Apr 19 2023

Navigating the Polycrisis–Life in Turbulent Times

Dear Friends: How can we explain the explosive emergence of global awareness of the polycrisis over the past year, 2022-2023? Three years ago, almost no one had heard...
Jan 09 2019

Report on Recent Justice System Reform Bills

Dear New School Friends, Health, the environment and justice have been keystones for Commonweal's work for 43 years. Services for at-risk children was the first program...

Angle of Vision Newsletter Signup

Pin It on Pinterest