Photography by Ron Riesterer
The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace, and brotherhood.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Our Mission & approach
The Dellums Institute for Social Justice seeks to apply and adapt strategies used in past social justice efforts to today's greatest challenges to global peace and justice. Our hopes for a sustainable and just future rests with the development of the next generation to have the skills, courage, and perseverance to take up the mantle of social justice. We serve as an Inter-Generational Activist Hub to develop principled and courageous young leaders and advance structural solutions to persistent inequalities.
Our inspiration comes from the legacy of Congressman Ron Dellums. In 1967, Ron's life was forever shaped by Dr. King’s speech at UC Berkeley. For over 50 years, Ron implemented Dr. King’s teaching that the true path of justice is when we work for all peoples and on all issues that define our collective humanity. That is why he took up the mantle early in the peace, anti- apartheid, women’s, HIV/AIDS, immigrants’, environmental, and other movements. He saw the connections between the injustices committed and the commonality of struggles. He has inspired thousands to share a vision of building an inclusive peace and justice movement.
We believe that the world is in severe crisis and trending in wrong directions. Global emissions of greenhouse gases have risen to unprecedented levels, growing more quickly between 2000 and 2010 than in the three previous decades. The divide between haves and have nots has also increased in the past decades. Between 1979 and 2007, the gap in income more than tripled between the top 1 percent of the U.S. population and everyone else. There remains a racial divide in the U.S. and other countries for the attainment of economic security and other human rights. Too many children are growing up without hope of living secure and fulfilling lives.
Despite increasing realization of these threats, there is little urgency to take radical action, and many proposed “solutions” do not rise to the scale of the problems. We believe that strategic coalitions led by smart, courageous, and principled people can create the power necessary to change even deeply entrenched problems.
The Dellums Institute for Social Justice was formed as a vehicle for organizing such non-traditional coalitions, developing the next generation of principled leaders, and drawing upon inter-generational experiences.