Editor's Note by Michelle Devereaux

Social justice can be defined as "The way in which human rights are manifested in the everyday lives of people at every level of society," (Kilpatrick, 2010). Despite this definition, the term social justice has a malleable quality to it. Social justice to a child in Uganda might carry a different meaning than social justice would to a North African immigrant living in Paris. Each of the pieces included in USF's Fall 2013 issue of the International Affairs Review incorporates the authors' individual interpretations of social justice in an ever-changing world. With articles detailing the experiences of individuals from such diverse places as Paris, Yemen, Uganda, Mexico, and Palestine, this issue of the IAR gives the reader a look into what social justice means in various cultural and political contexts. In "Paris: A Global City and its Immigrants," the underpaid and underrepresented immigrant population in Paris is profiled, ultimately showing the need for a more equitable Parisian society. "The Eye in the Sky" looks at how drones, the United States' newest military technology, has compromised the welfare of civilians overseas. In "Children and the Theatre of the Oppressed," the author shows how an artistic outlet of expression is an invaluable tool for oppressed people to seek change and justice in their world, as well as cope with the injustices they have faced. In "Border Patrol's Not-So-Secret: TheNormalized Abuse of Migrant Women on the U.S.-Mexico Border" social justice means giving a voice to the countless Mexican women who have been exploited by those in positions of power. Lastly, "Eight Letters," captures the experience of living in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon.

In "Paris: A Global City and its Immigrants," author Lucy Lyford explores the importance of Paris's multicultural population, both culturally and economically. Lyford identifies the discrepancy between Paris's ranking as the third-most global city in the world and the marginalization of its immigrant population. Though the immigrants, mainly North Africans, play a crucial role in the success of Parisian infrastructure, they are often paid under-the-table and outside the protection of the law. The immigrant population is often denied the same luxuries that are afforded to native French citizens. They are confined to run-down neighborhoods, or banlieues, which lack the public facilities that qualify Paris to be a global city in the first place. Lyford zeroes in on the unequal experience of immigrants in comparison to that of native French citizens, and the city's negligence of its global population – all while it reaps the benefits of the immigrants' low-wage and labor-intensive jobs to boost the country's economic status. In the piece, Lyford seeks societal justice by advocating for more equal treatment of Paris's immigrant population in a globalized world.

"The Eye in the Sky," by Tyler Cole, is both an informational piece on drones and a discussion of the tangible human impacts of the United States' new military technology. Cole defines and explains what drones are and how they operate, as many Americans are still unsure what, precisely, a drone is. Various models of drones are discussed in detail, giving the reader a look into the technical side of drone warfare before delving into their moral ambiguities. Cole shows the evolution of military technology and how the U.S. government has developed weapons to adapt to the new, technologically connected world. He also analyzes civilian casualty data in relation to the number of high value targets that have been killed by drones to show the true cost of drone warfare's "collateral damage," as the U.S. government refers it to. By including both hard data and the deeply personal testimony given by Farea al-Muslimi in front of Congress, the author allows the reader to see the impact of drone usage from a statistical perspective and from a human one. By putting a human face on all the data and technical advantages associated with drones, the author raises the question of whether the death of hundreds of innocent civilians is acceptable if it leads to the death of one high value terrorist target.

In Children and the Theatre of the Oppressed, Maija Rivenburg uses her own experience working at a school in Uganda as a lens through which to examine the role theater can play in overcoming social injustices. Rivenburg discusses the history of the Theatre of the Oppressed model, originally started in Brazil in 1971. Theater of the Oppressed's process of utilizing a creative space to foster trust and openness has allowed many communities around the world to address concerns and seek social change. Rivenburg sought to bring this model to a school in Uganda, where she noticed that the use of corporal punishment was negatively impacting the children's behavior. The author details her efforts in a case study, in which her personal account of creating a production with the students is included. Throughout the process, the author noticed a change in the students. As an exercise, Rivenburg asked each student to remember a time in which she felt her rights were abused; these personal experiences were then included in the final production. In her piece, Rivenburg interprets social justice from a small-scale, grassroots perspective. By focusing on one individual classroom, as opposed to a country, or even community-wide initiative, the author allows the reader to see social justice and personal transformation from an individual perspective. After reading "Children and the Theatre of the Oppressed," the audience will be able to tell what an important role the safe, creative space Rivenburg created plays in the lives of these children.

In "Border Patrol's Not-So-Secret: the Normalized Abuse of Migrant Women on the U.S.-Mexico Border," author Valeria Vera discusses the militarization of the U.S.-Mexican border, as well as the hidden reality of crossing it as a Mexican woman. For many women, the risks of crossing the border go beyond legal prosecution and deportation: they become vulnerable targets of sexualized abuse. The author argues that as the border has become more heavily patrolled and weaponized, these instances of abuse have increased. However, militarization isn't the only explanation provided. Vera also asserts that the patriarchal and power-driven nature of our society allows this kind of exploitation to occur, and she successfully ties these ideas to theories of gender, sex, and power relations. To inform the reader further, the author includes a graphic case study to demonstrate the brutality and violative nature of these all-too-common incidents. "Border Patrol" is not only about education, but advocation as well. In the piece, Vera seeks to attain a transformative kind of social justice, one she states will be achieved when people take the time to listen and understand the narratives of these abused women.

"Eight Letters," by Julia Pereira, is a photo series that gives the viewer a glimpse into life in a Palestinian refugee camp. During her experience teaching English and art to students in Rashidieh, Lebanon, Periera was inspired to showcase the everyday struggles and resilience of the Palestinian people. The photographer focused on capturing the symbolism in common objects and structures that show both the physical and metaphorical separation of the Palestinian refugees from their land, such as walls, fences, and power structures. The series shows the injustice of being separated from one's homeland.

Each of the pieces included in the Fall 2013 issue of International Affairs Review capture the variable nature of social justice, as well as the importance of seeking fairness and equality. The first step to righting these injustices is spreading the word, so thank you for taking the time to read these amazing stories. Please enjoy!


Source Cited

Kilpatrick, Jimmy. "The Roots of Social Justice." Education News. 2 Jul 2010: n. page. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.