Feb 20 is the World Day of Social Justice, a day that’s been set aside to promote social justice. Today’s goal is to shed renewed light on issues like poverty, abuse, slavery, homelessness and child marriage. And this is a topic that’s really close to my heart… in fact, it’s connected to the concept of Social Legacy.

What is Social Legacy?

Let’s start with the concept of ‘legacy’. This is simply about leaving something better than we found it. Then, ‘social’ defines the space in which we leave that impact. I believe that when we find the intersection of that injustice which deeply offends us, and what it is we have to offer, we narrow in on our unique opportunity to have an impact and make a meaningful contribution.

The intersection of Offer and Offense

Emily Chang | Social Legacy | Offense and Offer model

We all experience that visceral response to something that offends our sense of justice – the thing that makes us stop in our tracks, thinking: “This cannot go on. Someone has to do something!” I call this the Offense. Similarly, we each have something we’re uniquely positioned to offer. That Offer is a resource we have on hand, which may sit idly by while another person desperately needs just that thing. And it’s when Offer and Offense come together that social legacy is born.

What’s YOUR Social Legacy?

I’ve met many people who can define their Offer – that combination of their resources, experiences, and passions. But fewer are able to clearly articulate their Offense. In The Spare Room book, each chapter ends with a series of self-reflective exercises, intended to help put pen to paper and land on just that degree of specificity.

Chapter One is all about the Offer and Chapter Two helps readers consider their Offense. After considering a number of models, I landed on the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals, because I found it to be the most comprehensive framework. Then, once that was established, I invested eight weeks of research to unpack each SDG in a relevant way that normal people like me could understand!

So today, on the World Day of Social Justice, define your own Offer.

Set your own goals – perhaps they’re learning goals, or take shape as an action plan.

Maybe you start by writing out your Offer and Offense. Or you might already have those nailed, and are ready to define your own social legacy. Whatever you decide, thank you for caring about the world and those around you. Thank you for committing to do something more.

Click here to buy the book. If you’ve just received or downloaded it, flip to pages 83 – 99 for the Offense exercises.

Photo source: UN.org