Social Justice Poetry

advocacy poems

How I Became a Hater | A Social Justice Poem by Eliza Mimski

I’ve always pretty much been a gentle soul, mild-mannered,
the kind of person who easily forgives, doesn’t hold grudges.
That is, except for certain situations that have happened to me in the past.

When was the past reopened? Was it with his talk about building a wall, or later with the registry? No. I felt others’ pain but didn’t experience it as sharply until the lewd language about women, bragging about groping them.

It was then that I felt personally threatened, my past abuses reopened like an old wound with salt sprinkled, no poured, on all its surfaces.
Suddenly, my perpetrator was the president-elect and my country was no longer mine.

My country slid away, my past rising from its coffins.
The time when I was six and cornered in the garage, told to take off my clothes –
The president elect became that person.
The time when I was ten and Mr. Aberle pushed his tongue down my throat –
The president elect became that person.
The time when I traveled to Mexico and men followed me and grabbed my butt –
The president elect became that person.
The time when I was date-raped on a deserted road.
The president elect became that person.

I became a hater,
my gentleness gone.
I hated him in my heart.
I slammed him on Twitter.
I ridiculed him on Facebook, bullied him just like he bullied others.
I hated him with the same determination that I once reserved for my abusers.
All their faces melted into the same face.
They shape-shifted into the same person.

And now, as a hater, I channel my hate into marching.
Now I protest.
I have a voice.
Now I write poems.

Visit Eliza at

America Is Singing | A Social Justice Poem by Diane Woodward Dorff

“I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,….
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,…
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.”
– Walt Whitman

Our nation is filled with people
who have learned how to sing,
who have discovered raw power in their lungs,
who have opened their mouths and heard amazing melodies,
who have moved their legs and discovered electric motion,
who have looked at one another and said “I know you still.”
And we will rise together.
And we will overcome.

Compassionate Radical | A Social Justice Poem by Guy Farmer

Power warps the ordinary
Human mind to such a degree that
It’s rare to find someone who
Ascends to great heights
Yet remains able to feel
The suffering of millions
Who desperately need help,
A compassionate radical who
Understands their plight and
Possesses the courage to
Help level the playing field.
It’s easy to enjoy the trappings
Of privilege, quite another to
Use your position to make the
World a better place.

Everything in His Power | A Social Justice Poem by Guy Farmer

He grew up in a
Horribly abusive family,
Passed around from
One ghastly relative to
Another, surrounded by
Chaos and violence
No matter where he went.

Eventually channeled into
The foster care system,
He lived with several
Families that seemed to
Have other things in mind
Other than really loving and
Caring for children like him.

Now in his forties,
He’s successful beyond
His wildest dreams, and
Does everything in
His power to make sure
No one has to go through
What he did.

World Poetic Domination | A Social Justice Poem by G. Louis Heath

World poetic domination
sounds like an oxymoron to many
but it’s what poetry’s about.
Entice every mind to love verse,
embrace the art of the poem over
the art of war. Sow golden fields of
poppies, not battlefields of poppies,
move hips to the beat of poetry,
not swagger them to martial music,
and I guarantee you, poetry will
prosper all.

This may sound preachy. I guess
it does. Forgive me if I have strayed
from the poignant images and
nuanced diction that poetry extols.
We must now release the white doves
we keep for our best poems, the ones
that need writing, and let them fly to the
A-Bomb Dome in Hiroshima, skeletonized
by that evil new-age blast. Let our doves
wing to the carnage in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan,
and the Gaza Strip, to wherever blood is spilled.
Cut olive twigs for them to quell the violence
in the hearts of all of us that stains our
neighborhoods, homes, and workplaces
with tensions and recriminations, and floods
our world with rivers of blood.

Let’s not read more news about a
young girl felled by a gang bullet.
Let’s read our poems at her next birthday,
and release our white doves as we sing
happy birthday and many happy returns.