EQUITY: Applying an Equity Lens to City Policy


From “Racial Equality or Racial Equity? The Difference It Makes” by Paula Dressel. April 2014. Available at  https://viablefuturescenter.org/racemattersinstitute/2014/04/02/racial-equality-or-racial-equity-the-difference-it-makes/ . Accessed on July 27, 2019.

From “Racial Equality or Racial Equity? The Difference It Makes” by Paula Dressel. April 2014. Available at https://viablefuturescenter.org/racemattersinstitute/2014/04/02/racial-equality-or-racial-equity-the-difference-it-makes/. Accessed on July 27, 2019.

 
From “What’s the Difference Between Equity and Equality?” by Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. April 2018. Available at  https://publichealthonline.gwu.edu/blog/equity-vs-equality/ . Accessed on July 27, 2019.

From “What’s the Difference Between Equity and Equality?” by Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. April 2018. Available at https://publichealthonline.gwu.edu/blog/equity-vs-equality/. Accessed on July 27, 2019.

From The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s “ Race Equity and Inclusion Guid e : 7 Steps to Advance Equity and Embed Race Equity and Inclusion within your Organization,”  2014.   Available at  https://www.aecf.org/resources/race-equity-and-inclusion-action-guide/ .   Accessed July 27, 2019.

From The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s “Race Equity and Inclusion Guide: 7 Steps to Advance Equity and Embed Race Equity and Inclusion within your Organization,” 2014. Available at https://www.aecf.org/resources/race-equity-and-inclusion-action-guide/. Accessed July 27, 2019.


WHAT IS AN “EQUITY LENS?”

“An equity lens is a process for analyzing or diagnosing the impact of the design and implementation of policies on under-served and marginalized individuals and groups, and to identify and potentially eliminate barriers.” [1]

HOW COULD METRO GOVERNMENT APPLY AN EQUITY LENS TO CITY POLICY?

Though there are many different approaches to implementing an equity lens or equity-based approach to public policy, the 7-step “Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide” by the Annie E. Casey Foundation is a great place to start.

For example, before drafting a new ordinance, allocating funds, or selecting a contractor, Metro government could conduct an equity-based “systems analysis,” starting with the following questions:

  1. What are the racial inequities, barriers or negative outcomes involved in the problem being examined? Who is burdened most and who benefits most?

  2. What institutions are involved? What unfair policies and/or practices are involved?

  3. What social conditions or determinants contribute to the problem (such as poverty, housing segregation, education)?

  4. What other compounding dynamics are involved (such as income or gender inequities)?

  5. What cultural norms, myths or popular ideas justify or maintain the problem?

  6. How did things get this way and what are some of the cumulative impacts?

  7. What are the key causes or contributing factors?

  8. What solutions or interventions could eliminate the inequities?

  9. What can be learned from prior efforts to solve the problem or change the system?

  10. What strategies could result in systemic change and advance equitable solutions? [2]

This webinar from PolicyLink provides guidance and illustrative examples about how to use the concept of equity to tailor economic development to the specific needs of different communities:

 
 

EXAMPLES OF AN EQUITY LENS APPROACH IN ACTION:


FOOTNOTES

[1] University of Minnesota, University Policy Library. "Equity Lens." Available at https://policy.umn.edu/equity-lens/. Accessed July 22, 2019.

[2] The Annie E. Casey Foundation, "Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide: 7 Steps to Advance and Embed Race Equity and Inclusion Within Your Organization." Available at https://www.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/AECF_EmbracingEquity7Steps-2014.pdf#page=10. Accessed July 27, 2019.