Social Justice: Empowering All for the Good of All

Insights from Leaders
3 min readApr 10, 2022

Social justice — the concept that all of us deserve equal economic, political, and social rights and opportunities — has historically driven many reforms and common-sense solutions to the challenges we face. What does it mean for us today?

We posed the question to Cynthia Plouché, who has a successful career in investment management and a passion for helping organizations devoted to social justice issues.

Cynthia, you’ve talked about how social justice can be a way to move society forward. How do you see that at work? What does social justice mean for us today?

The quest for social justice is at the heart of the critical problems we face in society, from protecting voter rights and fighting climate change to ensuring equitable access to health care and education.

Recent societal challenges have reawakened our need to advocate for just solutions. The coronavirus pandemic brought to light social inequities. The protest sparked by the killing of George Floyd grew into demonstrations against larger issues of racial inequality and systemic racism. Collectively, we can do so much more to expand access to resources and education, and to ensure opportunity is not limited by our personal characteristics.

Along with your career in the financial services industry, you’ve had a parallel career — serving with organizations devoted to supporting youth and young adults and accelerating social change. Tell us about some of these organizations.

I founded and am currently serving as CEO of the Alzenia Project. It’s a non-profit organization focused on helping young women — particularly women of color — to achieve personal and professional success through mentoring, training, and community.

Our initial campaign is “Sisterhood Is Power”, featuring a podcast series. The first sisterhood we highlight is my core support group of Black classmates from my time at Harvard University in the mid- to late ’70s. They share their experiences on a range of topics that resonate with segments of the Gen Z and Millennial generations.

This past year, I also helped launch VILLAGE, a social venture focused on expanding access to after-school education. And I’m serving as chair of the board of ChiArts, Chicago’s first public arts high school supporting opportunities for students in creative pursuits.

More investors are seeking ways to use business and capital markets to bring about social change and opening up more financial resources to the social sector. Advocating for a more socially just world is often as simple as supporting community-based organizations, either through direct participation or financial contribution. A goal of the Alzenia Project, for instance, is to ensure that not-for-profit organizations committed to personal and professional development of young women, especially women of color, receive the recognition and funding they need to continue their missions forward.

We are grateful for your inspiring work, Cynthia.

Cynthia R. Plouché is the founder and CEO of The Alzenia Project, a nonprofit organization that leverages the impact of other nonprofits to help young women of color achieve personal and professional growth. Along with her devotion to advancing diversity, Cynthia is also an inspiring business leader. She has a successful career in investment management, including more than 10 years as co-founder and chief investment officer of a woman-owned firm and culminating in ongoing corporate board leadership within the mutual fund industry.



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