Consequences of Social Justice Interventions


Prints drying after second run through the press


Zora working on spacing of lettering

Zora Martin, Scripps College '18 

interviewed Maria Veronica San Martin 

"Intended and Unintended Consequences of Social Justice Interventions"

The world is an interconnected web of causes and effects…

To end hunger, increase crop yields by using pesticides, killing bees, decreasing crop yields, causing starvation, causing migration, causing wars, decreasing population, increasing food per capita, ending hunger.

Anticipation of environmental effects of social justice interventions can be a difficult puzzle to contemplate.


Walking down the street, one is inundated with posters, flyers, and billboards, each proclaiming a cause. Whether it be to save the bees, stop world hunger, or end gun violence, each proclamation is very clear as to what it wants, but they all lack something vitally important: how? And it is easy to see why- the answer to that deceptively small question would take up all of the billboards on the highway. Yet society cannot move forward without an answer.

            It is true that some of these issues are being debated throughout government extensively, yet the general populous seems only to be outraged at either the motions put into play or the lack of progress, without offering up a viable alternative. One does not need to ponder any issue for very long to find out that there is a reason why congress ties itself regularly into knots. It is almost impossible to solve one problem without creating another.

            This in and of itself would be easily fixed if only people would remain interested in the issue long enough to see a practical solution through. However, it is all too common for someone to be so caught up in their “cause” that they refuse to participate in helping to fix other problems that may arise from addressing theirs. Society has become one of instant gratification. People want to see change now, and cannot fathom that some things simply take time and real nitty gritty work. Thus, when an extended, but also functional solution is presented, interest is lost and people staunchly return to the street corner, waving their signs, but only managing to fan the fire.

            So, what can be done about this issue? The answer unfortunately, but also unsurprisingly, is not simple. It begins with what has been taught since kindergarten, but what no one has seemed yet to learn: working together. It is vital that both party lines and picket lines be abandoned. This action, while largely avoided because it is seen as an abandonment of morals, will actually be the first real step to change. If people agree to work together, not only will there be a more diverse group of people to address a more diverse panel of issues, but there will also be a greater likelihood that efforts are long-term. It is our responsibility, not only to society, but also to the causes that each of us support, to embrace the give-and-take nature of complicated problems and recognize that a true solution is an extended team effort.

Consequences of Social Justice Interventions