Social Justice Dinner 2024: a celebration of hope and justice

Each year, PIAC hosts the Social Justice Dinner – a celebration of hope and our commitment to justice and equity. This year more than 400 people from our community came together to reflect on our joint successes, look ahead to upcoming challenges and take inspiration from guest speakers.

Former PIAC CEO and current Director Andrea Durbach AM hosted a conversation with celebrated Australian philosopher Raimond Gaita, focussed on his latest book Justice and Hope. Raimond described how love and hope were entwined – a resonant message for all fighting for social justice.

‘Hope is often conceived of as an attitude towards the future that depends on the future becoming as you hope it to be. Therefore, if your energies to fight for justice are dependent on your hope conceived in this way, then the question is what happens when the future doesn’t become like that?’

‘There is such a thing as a love of the world, which is not conditional upon your assessment of how things go with the world… that’s what I take hope to be. The trust that one can remain faithful to that love of the world,’ Raimond said.

Raimond also spoke of the importance of recognising a person’s ‘full humanity’ as a potent counter to discrimination. As he explained, at the heart of discrimination is ‘incapacity to see any depth or meaning in the lives of people’ being denigrated.
‘[If] you see people as incapable of depth in their inner lives, in their most deep responses to the world, if that’s how you see them – then you see them as less than fully human,’ he said.

For Raimond defeating this attitude is not merely philosophical but key to justice.

‘It’s not just a rhetorical thing to say: “We fail to see their full humanity.” That’s what justice requires. The deepest notion of justice is the recognition of the full humanity of all the peoples of the earth.’

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