It is difficult to come up with a clear-cut definition of Social Justice poetry. So, to approach this idea, here are some definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary about what Social Justice and Social Action itself means, outside of the realm of poetry:
“social justice n. chiefly Polit. and Philos. justice at the level of a society or state as regards the possession of wealth, commodities, opportunities, and privileges. Much of the debate surrounding social justice has been concerned with the precise nature of fair distribution, and to what extent this may conflict with individual rights of acquisition and ownership.”
“social action n. (a) deliberate action that results or is intended to result in a change in the institutions or conditions of social life; an instance of this; (b) (Sociol.) action that takes place in a social context; action involving or oriented towards one or more other individuals; an instance of this.”
From these definitions, the poetry’s background is set. Social Justice/Action poetry then refers to poetry that pays special attention to individuality, rights, and ownership.