A minimum definition of justice is that all persons have the potential and opportunity to live lives of meaning and purpose, have unfettered access to the basic necessities of life, are free to choose the material and social conditions of their life and have equal power to influence political, and social decision-making processes.
Justice is based upon what some religious traditions call “right relationship.” The idea of right relationship is predicated upon the recognition that all things in the world (and universe) are connected to one another through a complex network of relationships, and the nature of these relationships can either contribute to the well-being of things, or to their detriment. Right relationships are those that are conducive to well-being.
When one speaks of right relationship, one is also by implication speaking of community – and in particular the cohesive health of that community. ConSpiritu will look at this cohesive health in terms of the cultural dynamics of human communities. ConSpiritu will seek to create the cultural forms that promote right and just relationships, and contribute to the well-being of all members of a community. Of course, this extends not only to the human members of a community, but also needs to extend to the non-human members of the larger community as well.
Issues of environmental degradation and social and economic inequities are inter-related. At root of all three issues lies the fact that industrialism reduces the individual into an entity divorced from the “outside world” and reduces the world to a pile of “raw materials” to be consumed and manipulated by the autonomous individual. This leads to an alienation between the members of society as well as alienation of people from the natural world. Whenever anyone or anything is considered to expendable, consumable or whose worth is measured simply in terms of their utility to someone else, then the conditions of right relationship are not being met. It is in this way that the connections between environmental justice and social justice within the human community become transparent.
What the ConSpiritu logo represents: The four interlocked circles symbolize the four intersecting concerns of ConSpiritu – * Earth * Spirit * Arts * Justice
Woven together, the circles symbolize the breathing together and collaboration of those who come together on behalf of the transformation of the world.