Who We Are
Established in 1984, the Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ) is a non-profit 501(c)(3), all-volunteer educational center, grassroots think-tank and social action catalyst. CESJ’s mission is to advance liberty and justice for every person through equal opportunity and access to the means to become a capital owner.
CESJ members are part of a growing global network of citizen activists, servant leaders and social entrepreneurs in business, labor, government, religion, and academia. While we come from different backgrounds, countries and faiths, we share a vision of human freedom and empowerment based on universal moral principles. Membership in CESJ is open to all who share our Core Values and Code of Ethics.
Building upon the ideals of the American Revolution — a “New World” revolution to spread political democracy globally — CESJ focuses on extending economic power to every citizen of the world. CESJ is a founding member of the emerging Global Justice Movement, and has helped launch Just Third Way websites in Canada and in Australia.
CESJ has developed a commonsense, comprehensive program of monetary, tax and inheritance reforms called “Capital Homesteading” to liberate every person economically through universal access to significant, direct capital ownership, without redistribution of existing wealth or taxpayer subsidies. To bring together organizations and citizen-activists committed to just, systemic change, to promote the Capital Homestead agenda as national policy, CESJ spearheaded the Coalition for Capital Homesteading.
CESJ believes that many of the problems in the world stem from bad ideas, and that academia, as the main institution for disseminating ideas that affect policy and law, is a major source of bad ideas. To inject a clear understanding of justice and its application within all fields of human understanding, CESJ has launched Justice University as a model global, interactive classroom, and is exploring partnerships with other educational institutions and universities throughout the world.
Together our Just Third Way network is working to build a more free and just global system that enhances the dignity, sovereignty and empowerment of every person — and a world where each person is free to develop his or her fullest human potential, to live in peace with other sovereign persons, and to be a good steward of nature.
Major CESJ Initiatives
• Since the early 1970s, many of the model employee stock ownership plans and the first ESOP laws in the U.S., Egypt, and Central America resulted from the work of CESJ founders and members.
• In 1985, CESJ members initiated the Congressional legislation which created President Ronald Reagan’s Presidential Task Force on Project Economic Justice. This 1986 bipartisan task force offered a bold regional strategy of expanded capital ownership for economic revitalization in Central America and the Caribbean.
• In 1987, CESJ representatives presented the Task Force report, High Road to Economic Justice, to President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II. CESJ’s compilation, Every Worker an Owner, served as the orientation book for the task force. This book was later translated into Polish and 40,000 copies were distributed throughout Solidarity channels in Poland, prior to the collapse of the Soviet system.
• To build equity with efficiency at the workplace, CESJ developed a leadership philosophy and management system for 21st Century corporations, known as “Justice-Based ManagementSM” (which CESJ originally called “Value-Based Management”). In 1991, at a CESJ conference for Vatican scholars hosted by Achille Cardinal Silvestrini, CESJ presented its global award to three ESOP companies — Avis Rent-a-Car, Fastener Industries, and Allied Plywood Corp. — for exemplifying the JBM concept and applying principles of economic and social justice in their corporate ownership structures, governance and operations.
• CESJ has invented the concept of “ownership unions” to go beyond the wage system limitations and conflict orientation of “labor unions.” This institution would serve a broader constituency — today’s non-owners — in organizing and transforming them into worker-owners and citizen-owners.
• In December 2002, CESJ completed a major policy reform proposal under a grant by the William H. Donner Foundation, entitled Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen: A Just Free Market Solution for Saving Social Security. On January 1, 2004, CESJ released to the public the updated and expanded edition of Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen, which is being distributed to policymakers, scholars and the media. The proposals in the book led to the introduction of the first legislation for establishing for-profit Citizen Land Cooperatives (now called “Citizen Land Banks”), by the late Illinois State Rep. Wyvetter Younge in early 2004. Before her death, Rep. Younge managed to get the legislation through the Illinois House of Representatives by a vote of 114-0.
• Since 2005, CESJ has joined with the Coalition for Capital Homesteading and other organizations and activists for an annual “Own the Fed” rally at the Federal Reserve Building in Washington, DC. This protest rally is aimed at changing Federal Reserve monetary policy to stop monetizing U.S. government debt and propping up too-big-to-fail banks, and to return to its original power to create money for industrial, commercial, and agricultural growth needs, while creating new citizen-owners of the new growth.
• CESJ has developed practical strategies and social technologies centered around basic monetary and credit reforms for expanding capital ownership opportunities to every person. Such means include JBM S-Corp Employee Stock Ownership Plans for employees (ESOPs), utilities customers (CSOPs), residents of new and redeveloped communities (Citizen Land Banks/CLBs), and all citizens through leveraged personal Capital Homestead Accounts (CHAs). CESJ also created the Homeowners Equity Corporation (HEC) as a solution to the rampant home foreclusure crisis, and new way of financing home ownership.
• To implement these ownership democratization vehicles, CESJ has worked with local leaders to redevelop communities such as Cleveland, OH, East St. Louis, IL, and Harris Neck, GA, through model Citizens Land Banks. CESJ is seeking to demonstrate in at least six urban and six rural communities Capital Homestead financing for private sector growth through local banks with access to the discount window of the regional Federal Reserves.
For more information on CESJ’s History and Accomplishments, click here >>