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Access to justice as a human right, organizational entitlement and precursor to diversity and inclusion

Quinetta Roberson (Department of Management and Operations, Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania, USA)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Article publication date: 11 August 2020




In the wake of the death of George Floyd in the United States, many corporate leaders have released statements condemning racism and police brutality and committed their organizations to focus on diversity and inclusion. While such statements, intentions, and goals are laudable, they evade the phenomenon at the crux of the current social movement: access to justice.


This essay draws upon theory and research across a variety of disciplines to examine the accessibility of justice for African Americans in society and in work organizations.


As corporate leaders have made statements decrying racism and police brutality and offered their support to civil rights groups and organizations fighting for racial justice, there is a need for that same level of scrutiny and support within their own organizations. As a precursor to diversity and inclusion initiatives, corporate leaders need to take actions to ensure the fairness of outcomes, policies and practices, and treatment by others for African Americans within their organizations.

Practical implications

Strategies for reviewing and revising organizational policies and practices to preserve fairness in the work experiences of African Americans and for creating and maintaining cultures of fairness are offered.


The author integrates historical documents, research, opinion, and literary devices to understand the meaning and practice of justice in society and organizations.



Roberson, Q. (2020), "Access to justice as a human right, organizational entitlement and precursor to diversity and inclusion", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 39 No. 7, pp. 787-791.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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