CINCINNATI, June 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Union Institute & University (UI&U) has officially launched The Institute for Social Justice (TISJ) along with its new website at The Institute was founded to provide innovative and practical solutions for the challenges to social justice around the world.

TISJ is the result of a multi-year initiative and creation of UI&U President Dr. Karen Schuster Webb.  Envisioned in 2018, the Institute is officially open for global engagement after careful planning, development and funding.

“There has never been a time when the call for social justice has been louder or the world has been more ready to commit than today,” Webb said. “We see the opportunity to provide tools to make much-needed changes and we’re answering the call.”

TISJ Programs focus on the theme “One Just World” promoting access to excellence in all areas of society, especially regarding economic, healthcare, educational, and criminal justice disparities.  2021 programs include:

  • One Just World Global Social Justice Certificate
  • One Just Workplace Organizational Resources, Marketplace, and Certification
  • One Just Response First Responder Innovation Lab & Certification
  • One Just Action Community Task Force & Action Board supported by microdonations with current focus on providing “community sinks” washing stations for high traffic homeless areas.

TISJ has brought together thought leaders and experts to formulate, lead and advise on the program development and execution including formation of an Advisory Board and naming Union Alumna, Betsy Martin, as Executive Director.

Ms. Martin is an advocate of women’s and minority entrepreneurship, and is the founder and CEO of Vaya Ventures, which owns, licenses, and consults with high-growth companies that provide a meaningful impact to people and the planet. She has led the creation of digital education strategies for The University of Michigan and West Clermont Local School District and is the founder of REALWellness local and virtual wellness center. An internationally recognized eCommerce leader, Ms. Martin has defined and implemented growth strategies for brands that include Nutrisystem, WebMD/Healtheon, Visa International and many more. Ms. Martin’s giving and community projects include Veterati (Veterans Employment), KD New York (Dance Theatre of Harlem collaboration) and Women in Technology.

“Our program theme of One Just World represents our goal to provide community support and solutions to take Social Justice into action,” said Martin.  “Today, we are learning to look at measures which define access to excellence and structures which support the experience of excellence:  justice, equality, dignity, and safety for all.”

The mission of TISJ is to apply theory to practice through a coalition of thought leaders who are scholar-practitioners, philanthropists, policymakers, community advocates and others who are committed to promoting social justice and equity in the U.S. and globally through research, education and policy. Since its founding in 1964, UI&U has focused on academic excellence, creativity, diversity and integrity. TISJ aims to reach significant and clear progress toward social justice by advocating for equality, valuing diversity and committing to an innovative teaching and learning environment that shrinks economic disparities and eliminates racism.

TISJ connects programs and individuals that are committed to providing “innovative and pragmatic solutions” globally.

Goals include:

  • Researching and proposing public policies and programs that reduce economic disparities while quickening steps to reduce racism.
  • Promoting international policies and programs that increase civic engagement.
  • Fostering policies that advocate economic and social equity.
  • Eliminating social disparities through committed avenues of excellence by way of education, economic policies and programs, housing, health care and criminal justice.

Programs will launch in June 2021 including certification, marketplace, and community action as well as a free community education series featuring online events, podcasts, and creating a platform for voices promoting social justice. 

For media inquiries regarding The Institute for Social Justice, please contact Rita Tennyson at (310) 779-9747 or [email protected].

About Union Institute & University
Founded in 1964, Union Institute & University has been a pioneer in educating adults through distance learning. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Union Institute & University offers undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degree programs and certificates designed for those seeking to make a difference in their own lives and within their communities. The university offers specialized online and low residency degree programs with high-touch faculty attention, designed for students regardless of where they live and work. Union’s flexible delivery models emphasizes relevant and transformative coursework taught by a national faculty of scholar-practitioners. Union graduates, including two dozen college presidents, leaders in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, members of the United States Congress, and the first female prime minister of Jamaica, promote Union’s legacy of utilizing education to transform lives and communities.

To learn more about Union Institute & University, visit or call 1-800-861-6400. 

SOURCE Union Institute & University

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