“Social Justice” may feel like a buzzword these days as it can be hard to avoid the term if you’re on the internet or watching the news. However, social justice is extremely important and more than just lip service for corporate boardrooms. If you are someone who cares about making society a better and more equal place for people regardless of their race, class, status or gender then a career in activism may be something you want to pursue professionally.
The best thing about trying to make the world a better place is you do not need a specific degree or really any degree. BUT if you are interested in making a career out of activism you’ll want to find a job that serves society in some beneficial way. Thanks to the great work of Human Rights Careers you can get a jump start with courses, internships and even jobs offered through its website. Here are five jobs in activism to get you started.
1. Food Program Coordinator
A huge problem facing a startling amount of American families is food insecurity. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture 10.2% of all households experienced food insecurity in 2021, that's more than 33 million Americans who were uncertain where their next meal will come from. Organizations that employ Food Program Coordinators are usually looking for leaders who are excellent with project management. Monitoring and organizing food pantries as well as building relationships with vendors are just some of the tasks that could be required. According to Glassdoor the average national salary is around $46,000.
2. Housing Advocate
According to the US Census Bureau, the official poverty rate in 2020 was 11.4%. That means in 2020 there were 37.2 million Americans living in poverty. This marks the first increase in the poverty rate after five consecutive years of decline. Housing coordinators or advocates work directly with low income families/individuals and even people escaping domestic violence, connecting them with temporary and/or permanent housing. According to PayScale, the average national salary is around $35,000.
3. Education Counselor
Insights from Pew Research Center show the overall number of undergraduates at U.S. colleges and universities has increased during the past 20 years, with students of color and those from low-income families making up the majority of that growth. Unfortunately, most of those gains were made by students attending the least-selective institutions, which may decrease their chances of earning a bachelor’s degree. An Education Counselor makes the secondary education process easier and helps to identify possible scholarships and other resources that may make the seemingly impossible highly probable. According to ZipRecruiter the average national salary is around $47,000.
4. Healthcare Advocate
Also known as a patient advocate, this job requires a specific individual who is calm, organized, assertive, and comfortable asking questions. According to Johns Hopkins all patients should have a healthcare advocate but only about 70% actually do. Salary.com says the national range typically falls between $58,781 and $79,334 a year with the actual amount varying widely depending on many other factors, including location, education, certifications and the number of years you have spent in the profession.
5. Human Resources
Thanks to NBC’s The Office a generation of folks might view the HR department as the land of Toby. However, human resources at any company is a great example of social activism at work. Your HR rep is your lifeline when a workplace becomes too hostile or toxic to handle or to stop it before it even becomes a problem. A good HR rep is someone with excellent communication skills and the ability to be discreet with sensitive information. According to salary.com the average national salary of a human resource representative is around $61,000.