Social justice
Social justice generally refers to the idea of creating a society or institution that is based on the principles of equality
Social equality
Social equality is a social state of affairs in which all people within a specific society or isolated group have the same status in a certain respect. At the very least, social equality includes equal rights under the law, such as security, voting rights, freedom of speech and assembly, and the...

 and solidarity
Solidarity is a Polish trade union federation that emerged on August 31, 1980 at the Gdańsk Shipyard under the leadership of Lech Wałęsa. It was the first non-communist party-controlled trade union in a Warsaw Pact country. Solidarity reached 9.5 million members before its September 1981 congress...

, that understands and values human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being. The term and modern concept of "social justice" was coined by the Jesuit Luigi Taparelli
Luigi Taparelli
Luigi Taparelli D’Azeglio was an Italian Catholic scholar of the Society of Jesus who coined the term social justice. He cofounded the journal Civiltà Cattolica in 1850 and wrote for it for twelve years. He was particularly concerned with the problems arising from the industrial revolution...

 in 1840 based on the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas, O.P. , also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis...

 and given further exposure in 1848 by Antonio Rosmini-Serbati
Antonio Rosmini-Serbati
Blessed Antonio Rosmini-Serbati was an Italian Roman Catholic priest and philosopher. He founded the Rosminians, officially the Institute of Charity or Societas a charitate nuncupata.-Biography:...

. The idea was elaborated by the moral theologian John A. Ryan
John A. Ryan
Monsignor John Augustine Ryan was a leading moral theologian, priest, professor, author, and social justice advocate. Ryan lived during a decisive moment in the development of Catholic social teaching within the United States...

, who initiated the concept of a living wage
Living wage
In public policy, a living wage is the minimum hourly income necessary for a worker to meet basic needs . These needs include shelter and other incidentals such as clothing and nutrition...