Elevating Human Justice

Human Rights + Human Development = Human Justice

Human Justice is rooted in the idea that every person has the right to live in a healthy and vibrant community, where each person is safe, thriving and able to reach their full human potential. In order to realize this foundational human right, we must ensure opportunities, resources and willpower for human development to take place.  The merger of human rights and human development results in what we call Human Justice.

When we achieve Human Justice we will see community investment, empowerment, creativity, joy and well-being along with healing and accountability for everyone who lives and works in our communities. 


Theory of Change

Our theory of change rests upon philosophical and methodological approaches that attest to the practice of Human Justice as the most effective framework for achieving justice, safety and the well-being of communities as it advances Community Empowerment, System Change and Individual Transformation.


Philosophical Framework for Human Justice

Human Rights

  • Inherent Rights
  • Dignity
  • Legal, Civil Rights
  • Human Rights Protection

Human Development

  • Capability
  • Capacity 
  • Opportunities 
  • Human Potential

Human Justice

  • Community Investment
  • Well-Being
  • Healing and Accountability
  • Individual, Community and System Transformation

CSI Methodological Framework for Human Justice

Staffed by community and youth experts directly impacted by the legacy of criminalization and mass incarceration, CNUS engages in youth and community empowerment to hold decision makers accountable and effective, change systems and bring about the individual transformation of system stakeholders as well as youth and community members. We believe this three-part approach will help us achieve our vision of Human Justice.

Community Empowerment: We believe community members are best placed to know what resources and programs they need to improve their neighborhoods and must be able to participate meaningfully and equitably in decision-making that affects their daily lives.

CNUS empowers community members by listening to their needs, mapping existing assets and innovations and partnering with them to create leadership for change and well-being for the community. We focus on education, economic development, civic leadership and social services. 

System Change: Our criminal justice system is broken by design. The current system does not keep us safe, believe in our humanity or support our full human potential.

CNUS works toward system change and elevates Human Justice to transform the practice of public safety, justice and accountability from criminal to human. We provide training and technical assistance for system stakeholders that engage highly consultative and co-creative process for achieving institutional culture change, meaningful accountability and equitable community partnerships.  

Individual Transformation: Individual transformation places the person—the human being—at the center of any policy, practice or program that results in a youth or community member’s ability to be safe, thrive and fulfill their potential.

CNUS carries out programs and activities that create space for individual transformation and enable youth and community members to bring their full selves to the work of community empowerment and system change.