Social Justice Sunday – August 27: History, Theme & Observe

In a world that constantly strives for equality and fairness, Social Justice Sunday stands as a powerful reminder of the need to address social issues and create positive change. With its upcoming occurrence on August 27, it’s an opportune moment to delve into the significance, history and ways to observe this important day.

History of Social Justice Sunday

Social Justice Sunday is a day of observance in the Catholic Church in Australia. It is celebrated on the final Sunday of August each year. The day is an opportunity for Catholics to reflect on the Church’s social teaching and to commit to working for justice in the world.

The first Social Justice Sunday was celebrated in 1940. The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) issued a statement on that day, calling on Catholics to “work for the establishment of a just social order”. The statement outlined the Church’s teaching on a number of social issues, including poverty, unemployment, and discrimination.

Since then, the ACBC has issued a Social Justice Statement every year on the eve of Social Justice Sunday. The statements have addressed a wide range of social issues, including climate change, Indigenous rights, and the rights of refugees.

Social Justice Sunday Theme 2023

The theme for Social Justice Sunday 2023 in Australia is “Listen, Learn, Love: A New Engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples“.

The theme is based on the words of Pope Francis, who has said that “the way to build a more just and inclusive society is to listen, learn, and love”. The statement calls on Catholics to listen to the stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, to learn about their history and culture, and to love them as brothers and sisters.

5 Important Facts about Social Justice

Diverse Advocacy:

Social justice encompasses a wide range of issues including racial equality, gender rights, economic disparity, and more. It highlights the interconnectedness of these struggles and emphasizes the need for comprehensive change.

Policy and Legislation:

Beyond awareness, social justice involves advocating for policy changes and legal reforms. These measures aim to rectify historical injustices and create a fairer society for all.

Community Engagement:

Social Justice Sunday encourages community participation. It’s a day for dialogue, workshops, and initiatives that empower individuals to take action and contribute to positive societal shifts.

Global Relevance:

While the focus may vary based on regional disparities, social justice is a global concern. Issues like poverty, discrimination, and unequal access to resources persist across borders.

Long-Term Commitment:

Achieving social justice is an ongoing process. It requires sustained efforts, continuous education, and a commitment to dismantling biases at personal and institutional levels.

How to Observe Social Justice Sunday

Observing Social Justice Sunday can be a powerful way to contribute to positive change. Here are some steps you can take:

1. Educate Yourself

Begin by educating yourself about various social justice issues. Understand the history, root causes, and current challenges faced by marginalized communities.

2. Engage in Conversations

Initiate conversations with friends, family, and colleagues about social justice topics. Sharing perspectives and insights can broaden understanding and raise awareness.

3. Support Advocacy Groups

Identify local or global advocacy groups working towards social justice. Consider volunteering, donating, or participating in their events to show your support.

4. Amplify Voices

Use your platform, whether it’s social media or personal interactions, to amplify the voices of marginalized individuals and communities.

5. Self-Reflection

Regularly assess your own biases and privileges. Actively seek opportunities to challenge and unlearn ingrained prejudices.

Why Social Justice Sunday is Important

Social Justice Sunday holds immense importance in fostering a just and equitable society. It serves as a reminder that progress requires collective efforts, and by addressing systemic issues, we can create a world where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

Social Justice Sunday Quotes, Wishes & Messages

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“The time is always right to do what is right.” – Nelson Mandela

“Equality means more than passing laws. The struggle is really won in the hearts and minds of the community, where it counts.” – Barbara Gittings

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.” – Nelson Mandela

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama

“In the face of injustice, we must take a stand for what is right, not what is easy.” – Unknown

“Our lives matter equally. Our pain matters equally.” – Sonya Renee Taylor

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” – Malala Yousafzai

Social Justice Sunday Dates

Social Justice Sunday is observed annually on the last Sunday of August. This year, it falls on August 27, providing an opportunity for individuals and communities to come together and contribute to meaningful change.

2022August 28Sunday
2023August 27Sunday
2024August 25Sunday
2025August 31Sunday
2026August 30Sunday


What is the purpose of Social Justice Sunday?

Social Justice Sunday aims to raise awareness about social inequalities and promote actions that contribute to a more just and equitable society.

How can I get involved in social justice initiatives?

You can get involved by educating yourself, supporting advocacy groups, engaging in conversations, and using your voice to amplify marginalized voices.

Why is education about social justice important?

Education about social justice is crucial because it helps individuals understand the root causes of inequalities and empowers them to take informed actions.

Are social justice issues only relevant in certain regions?

No, social justice issues are global concerns that transcend borders and impact people from all walks of life.

How can I promote social justice beyond Social Justice Sunday?

Promoting social justice requires ongoing commitment. You can continue engaging in advocacy, supporting organizations, and challenging injustices in your daily life.


Social Justice Sunday on August 27 serves as a powerful reminder of our collective responsibility to address social inequalities and work towards a fairer world. By educating ourselves, engaging in conversations, and supporting advocacy efforts, we can contribute to meaningful change that benefits all of humanity.

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