Organizations host conversation about community ‘equity’

The Republic

By Andy East 4/12/19


Community residents were asked if they really understood why diversity, inclusion, racial justice and equity are important to a community during a session sponsored by The United Way of Bartholomew County, along with several other organizations.

The event, “Understanding and Building Equity in Community,” was at The Commons in downtown Columbus Thursday presented by the National Equity Project, an Oakland, California-based non-profit that seeks to help communities achieve equity for historically under-served populations through education. About 100 community leaders, city officials and local activists attended.

Brett Bradshaw, a senior associate at the National Equity Project who helped lead the conversation, said the idea was for participants to reflect on how “equity” can help communities thrive economically and socially and become places where people feel like they belong.

Bradshaw defined “equity” as “the proactive development and reinforcement of policies, practices, attitudes and actions that produce equitable power, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts and outcomes.”

“Equity is about outcomes,” he said. “It’s about how people feel and how they experience life … One of these things that (communities need to do) is to eliminate the current existing predictability of doing well, not doing well, feeling welcome, feeling ‘othered,’ being successful or failing that currently correlate with some social factors — race, gender, class,” he said.

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