111.2 Social justice initiatives: Community development projects

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 12:45 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
W.O. TAYLOR-COLE , Sociology Department, Mount Royal University, Calgary, AB, Canada
The proposed paper will examine the operationalization of social justice through the community intervention strategies by the Canadian Catholic organization for development that operates sustainable development projects in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East and involved with humanitarian crises.

In the past  43 years, the organization provided $575 million dollars to finance 15,800 projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Projects include peace building, human rights, agrarian reform, education and community development. The goal is to work with all peoples and NGOs to improve their dignity and living conditions. The Canadian International Development Agency provides funding to the organization which is also a member of Caritas Internalionalis – a federation of 165 Catholic development organizations in over 200 countries. In 2010 and 2011, the social justice initiatives include bottled water free zone in support of partners in countries with little or no clean fresh water; and compassionate democracy in East Timor Leste as the people struggle to maintain a fragile democracy as a new nation free from colonial oppression.

Actions by members of the organization include

  • Monetary donations and fund raising
  • Volunteering and active participation in democratic causes
  • Letter writing campaigns
  • Partnership with NGOs
  • lobbying of multinationals and government agencies

Questions the paper will answer

  • Is it only religions organizations that can achieve social justice based on  solidarity?
  •  Is the most effective model of development utilized to achieve social justice?

Since the paper is within the context of clinical sociology, Max Weber’s conceptual framework of mechanical and organic solidarity will be put to the test in the qualitative analysis of the projects in developing countries and emerging economies in selected areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America