So the title of this post basically says it all. Truthfully I’ve sat staring at a blank screen for a while trying to figure out how to take all the thoughts buzzing around in my head and turn them into something that makes sense and can actually do justice to how important equity has become to me. And more than just important to me, but how vital I know it is to the public sector and the world at large.
I have a lot of thoughts and feelings on equity…but I know a simple blog post could never do justice to the topic, because equity is so much more than a single blog post. Equity is more than a training. Equity is more than an elective. Equity is more than a buzzword. Equity is more than an event topic. Equity is more than a single conversation about race, or ability, or gender, or any marginalized community. Equity is more than one person’s, or department’s, or organization’s, or even sector’s responsibility. Equity should be a part of the frame that we use to understand the world around us. Equity should play a role in every decision we all make. Equity is really involved in everything we do. Equity matters.
I am so thankful that the Triangle Community Foundation has decided to prioritize equity within their own organization and the community, and being able to watch conversations around the subject has helped me begin to wrap my head around how to actualize this elusive concept. Last week I was able to participate in the final equity coaching session for the community engagement team, as well as sit in on a webinar on microcultures around race and ethnicity. Then this Monday I had the pleasure of watching Ebony West present this week at our staff meeting about her research on incorporating equity into community foundations. Not to mention our trip to the Race Exhibit earlier this summer and other countless conversations I’ve been a part of around equity specifically since I arrived at the Foundation at the start of the summer. Equity matters at the Triangle Community Foundation.
Basically why I feel so compelled to write a post on this subject is that while I’m unsure of a lot of things, I am absolutely sure that equity matters quite a lot to me. I only hope I can continue to learn and grow and do my part to help in the work of guiding us towards a more equitable world. Following Ebony’s presentation we had a staff discussion where she posed questions such as, “In 20 years, what do you want the community to say about Triangle Community Foundation in regards to equity?” It got me thinking about my own general hopes for equity in this world. In 20 years it’s sadly unrealistic to believe we will have fully achieved equity, but I do hope we’ve made great strides. But more than anything I hope that equity becomes so ingrained in conversations in the public sector, that it is merely an underlying assumption underpinning all decisions and thoughts rather than a conscious add-on. I hope in 20 years we, as public administrators, are all constantly asking “How can I make this more equitable?” for every project, process, outcome, program, and whatever else we’re working on.
But enough of my ramblings on the matter, if you really want to learn more check out some of these resources from real experts who know what they’re talking about. There are an incredible amount of articles, blogs, books, documentaries, TED talks, and everything in between around equity out there worth exploring: