EMOTIONAL JUSTICE is a framework created by AIEJ Executive Director, Esther Armah to identify, explore and interrogate emotions and how they shape the way we learn, lead, work and build.


That framework confronts, explores and works to heal a legacy of untreated trauma due to global histories of systemic brutality and injustice – Colonialism, Enslavement, Apartheid – and their contemporary manifestations that continue to shape our societies, organizations and institutions.  It reimagines our relationship to and understanding of histories of Enslavement, Colonialism and Apartheid in order to transform the work of movements, educational institutions and justice organizations.

Our institutions and organizations revolve around a politics of emotionality that is about power, and which privileges some but punishes others. 


Emotions in the context of race, gender, or culture create a roadmap that leads to systemic and structural inequality.  When emotions take on a colour, a context and a consequence, it becomes a racialized emotionality.  The Emotional Justice framework is used to engage us in a transformative process creating a system that replaces inequality with an emotional justice, where emotions become human and universal for all, not color-coded for some. 

There are 4 Elements of EMOTIONAL JUSTICE.

  1. Racialized Emotionality

  2. Emotional Patriarchy

  3. Emotional Currency

  4. Emotional Economy

Emotional Justice aims to heal by unpacking and dismantling a structure of Emotional Patriarchy that sustains the Emotional Economy; reassigning humanity to the interiority, and lived experience of global Black peoples. Humanizing is activism, a call to action, a process and a practice.


These systems of injustice, their legacies of untreated trauma have created a politics of emotionality.


  • reassigns humanity to the interiority and lived experience of global Black peoples

  • brings justice to the way we learn, lead, work, build, love

  • creates more harmonious institutions, communities and societies

  • reimagines emotions as universal

  • reckons with an emotionality that is harmful 

  • dismantles Emotional Patriarchy

This is our Institute’s call to continuous action.

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