Illinois Counselors for Social Justice (ICSJ)
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Illinois Counselors for Social Justice (ICSJ)



2020-2021 Officers

President: Jim Keck
President Elect: Hannah Dismer
Secretary/Communication Officer: Dr. Liliana Burciaga
Treasurer: Andre Joachim
Membership/Student Officer: Kimberly Thomas


Website for the National Division of Social Justice

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Illinois Counselors for Social Justice (ICSJ) is a community of counselors and other professionals who recognize that many of the issues and concerns we address in our work result from societal injustice and oppression.

ICSJ was founded March 8th of 2003 as the 11th Division of Illinois Counseling Association by a petition of 43 members of the Illinois Counseling Association. We are also the first official chapter of Counselors for Social Justice.

ICSJ Mission Statement:

The mission of Illinois Counselors for Social Justice is to work to promote social justice in Illinois and our society through the professional development of counselors who confront oppressive systems of power and privilege that affect ourselves, our clientele, and relevant contexts.

We believe that the founding of ICSJ can be a positive response to the Visioning Summary of the ICA Governing Council Meeting in March 8, 2003. We hope to play an active role in providing continuity for a unified counseling association in Illinois, focusing in the realms of advocacy, prevention, and empowerment. We aspire to be a driving force in building traditions of accountability into the work of counselors. ICSJ will continually strive to link the work we do with other organizations in the state that advocate for social issues and to serve as a forbearer of social justice issues for counseling professionals statewide. We will focus energy on strengthening our mentoring role so that new members have important contacts and guides as they enter our profession. We hope to do all we can to build ICA into an even more vital and vibrant association in the state of Illinois.


Finally, we aspire to surpass the words of Walter Reuther, who stated “There is no greater calling than to serve your fellow men. There is no greater contribution than to help the weak. There is no greater satisfaction than to have done it well.”

ICSJ is committed to:

  • Actively promoting individual and collective responsibility and eradication of oppressive systems of power and privilege.
  • Developing and implementing social action strategies through collaborative alliances with other ICA entities, community organizations, and the community-at-large.
  • Developing and disseminating scholarly information about the impact of sociopolitical and economic fairness on counseling and human development.
  • Creating an active support network for counselors and others engaged in social justice activities.
  • Providing professional development to enhance counselor competency in social and political advocacy.
  • Acting as a resource and clearinghouse for individuals and groups involved in social justice work.
  • Functioning as a state chapter of Counselors for Social Justice, a new division of ACA.

Joining ICSJ:

  • You must be a member of ICA to be a member of ICSJ.
  • Cost of Joining ICSJ is 10 dollars for regular members and 5 dollars for student members and retired members.
  • You can join on the web at or by calling ICA at 877-284-1521


 A Definition of Social Justice:

A dynamic virtue focused on common interest, which is taken to include the good of the individual as well as the good of humanity at large. This common good is dependent on a fair and ongoing distribution of benefits and responsibilities in society, and is based on the integrative application of the principals of equity, access, participation, and harmony.


Principles of Social Justice


Equity is fair distribution of common resources to all members of society.


Access is equitable freedom, or the ability for people in society to obtain and make use of power, knowledge, resources and services crucial to a basic quality of life.


Participation includes ongoing opportunity for all people in society to participate genuinely and be consulted regularly on issues that affect them and those within their context.


Harmony has also been defined as ‘the principal of limitation’ (Kelso & Adler, 1961) is a principal of social adjustment wherein the self-interest of any individual or group, when allowed to function on its own, produces results that afford the best possible outcomes for the community as a whole.


In this manner, social justice as applied to counseling refers to active confrontation of injustice and inequality in society (Kiselica & Robinson, 2001; Jackson, 2000; Mays, 2000; Strickland, 2000) as well as empowering clientele and those in their systemic contexts to do the same (Crethar, Bellamy, Bicknell-Hentges, & Giorgis, 2002).

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