Emotional justice means privileging and finding credible a person’s interior life and exterior experience.
Being for emotional justice means to respectfully create space for that life and those experiences. It means to advocate for acknowledgment, healing, and celebration from the realm of the personal to the realm of the public.
For example, taking a stance on emotional justice for social justice means to vocalize how supremacist patriarchal ideologies and enactments hurt and kill people. This callout illuminates the psychological, emotional, and physical damage done by racism, sexism, and ableism, transphobia, xenophobia, and other isms and phobias. This illumination exposes the far reach of supremacist patriarchies. It demands that they be examined in relation to not only public, legal, academic, political arenas. It demands that they be examined, and dismantled, in relation to personal, social, relational, and cultural ones too.
Advocating for emotional justice means listening to the voices and stories of people on the margins of society. It means learning the scope, range, and variation of microaggressions, macroaggressions, and institutional aggressions from the people who endure and triumph over them, suffer and die as a result of them, and reproduce, and gain privilege because of them. (Emotional justice also means listening to the voices and stories of people who are variously positioned and/or centralized in society too; this is necessary listening; it enables deeper understanding even though it may be infuriating.)
Emotional justice happens when both oppressed and oppressive people learn to speak their pain and pleasure (and emotional senses in between) by becoming emotionally conscious, emotionally learned, and emotionally whole both alone and together (see The Revelations of Asher: Toward Supreme Love in Self for more on this).
Emotional justice is for everyone.
I do emotional justice for social justice.
Jeanine Staples is Associate Professor of Literacy and Language & African American Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. Her book, The Revelations of Asher: Toward Supreme Love in Self, is an endarkened, feminist, new literacies event (Peter Lang, spring 2016). In it, she explores Black women’s terror in love. She produces research-based courses and methodologies that enable marginalized girls and women to realize internal revelations that fuel external revolutions.
Dr. Staples’ next book details the evolution of her acclaimed undergraduate course, The Philadelphia Urban Seminar. In it, she explores Supreme Love in schools. She shows how she generates curriculum and methodologies that incite anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-ableist pedagogical stances among teachers interested in urban education and equity for all people in schools and society.