We would like to survey Adult and Youth citizens of Martha’s Vineyard to assist us in priority setting, collaborative planning and policy development to support our efforts to assure equal treatment of all citizens residing on the island. We want to know, from your perspective, what you perceive as social justice and diversity issues on Martha’s Vineyard. Among the obvious are affordable housing, healthcare access, cost of living, and an increased aging population. We are looking for you to raise awareness of social problems and root causes that could result in practical and ethical problem solving that would benefit the entire community.

Social justice means all citizens are entitled to the same rights and services. Social justice issues occur nationally, regionally, locally and within groups. These issues are often the result of unequal wealth and resource distribution, unfair treatment of individuals with differing traits (race, culture, sexual orientation, religion, etc.) historical prejudice, and laws that support segregation. In the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

The Martha’s Vineyard Social Justice Leadership Foundation is taking the leadership role in conducting this comprehensive assessment. Once completed, we will explore how to inform and educate the public and families about identified diversity and social justice issues; mobilize community partnerships between policymakers, families, the general public, youth and others; and work to plan and prioritize mitigating any issues.