Social (In)justice shapes development while driving both mental illness and mental health inequities in youth. Just as children and adolescents' personal and family history is needed in order to understand and then address mental health symptoms, those who serve black youth also must learn (or, more accurately, relearn) our society’s history and structural injustices to effectively transform its systems. Substantial progress toward mental health equity will not come overnight or without struggle, but in the absence of knowledge about social injustice, it certainly will not come at all.
1. Identify the relevance of social justice in children's mental health in order to re-examine psychological development, health, and illness in the context of U.S. society
2. Discuss the impact of social hierarchies on diagnostic processes and classifications in order to better serve and support black youth
3. Self-evaluate the concept of social justice advocacy in order to identify action steps that can be taken to advance justice and, in turn, black youth mental health.