Irene Kepler Discusses the Biggest Social Justice Issues Affecting People Today

Irene Kepler

September 29, 2021

Irene Kepler Discusses the Biggest Social Justice Issues Affecting People

Irene Kepler looks at the biggest social justice issues affecting the U.S. today


Irene Kepler says access to healthcare is a major issue currently. She explains that healthcare and social work are like Siamese twins; they go together. Although the U.S. adopted the Affordable Care Act in 2010, coverage remains a big problem, says Irene Kepler.


Covid-19 shows that many people in the U.S. have limited access to healthcare. They have difficulties with getting treatment, tests, and mental health specialists. In these challenging times, social workers provide individuals, communities, and groups with support.


Ballooning Refugee Numbers

Another observation that Irene Kepler makes is that the U.S. and many countries are facing a refugee crisis. The UN says that 70.8 million people have become refugees, and more than 50 percent of the world’s refugees are less than 18 years old.


In addition, refugees find it hard to access healthcare, education, and other basic services. Irene Kepler adds that social workers can support displaced people emotionally and mentally.


Injustice Owing to Racism

As Irene Kepler notes, racism has been a big issue in the U.S. for a long time and is evident in all areas of life. It has affected and still influences job opportunities, healthcare, business, even the media, etc. For example, the recent death of George Floyd ignited Black Lives Matter, showing once again deep-seated racism in the U.S.


As social workers, understanding the far-reaching effects of racial injustice on people’s physical and mental health is critical, Irene Kepler says. That’s the reason there’s a call for radical police reform and dealing with systemic racism head-on.


Widening Income Gap

Irene Kepler cites one report by the federal government that says the income gap in 2018 was the biggest compared to five decades ago. Also, the pandemic is widening the gap as people lose jobs and incomes. Because of this, social workers are there to help those who are struggling to make ends meet.


One more notable thing is differences in pay. Irene Kepler explains that pay is based on gender, race, and sexuality. Social workers aren’t an exception as they also experience income inequality; women and men get different salaries for similar jobs.


Increase in Gun Violence

Many people in America agree that gun violence has had a massive impact on society. Suicides, mass shootings, and homicides due to firearms are topping the U. S. news outlets; they seem to be skyrocketing each day, says Irene.


Other social justice matters that deserve social workers’ attention include hunger and food insecurity and equality. Irene Kepler says that food insecurity is an issue that appears to be going nowhere. As Feed America reports, 37 million people in the U.S. go for days on empty stomachs.


Kepler adds that social workers need to ensure equality through fair policies and laws and practical solutions.


“Irene is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has also worked as a teacher. She is an avid traveler and has been to six of the seven continents of the world,”