New Research Addresses the Defining Challenge of Our Time: Equity

Regions are equitable when all residents – regardless of their race/ethnicity and nativity, gender, or neighborhood of residence – are fully able to participate in the region’s economic vitality, contribute to the region’s readiness for the future, and connect to the region’s assets and resources.

Across the country, regional planning organizations, local governments, community organizations and residents, funders, and policymakers are striving to put plans, policies, and programs in place that build healthier, more vibrant, more sustainable, and more equitable regions. Knowing how a region stands in terms of equity is a critical first step in planning for greater equity.

This Five-County San Francisco Bay Area Equity Profile adds to the growing body of research that finds that greater economic and racial inclusion fosters stronger economic growth and a more equitable region.

Why Equity Matters Now

The face of America is changing.

Our country’s population is rapidly diversifying. Already, more than half of all babies born in the United States are people of color. By 2030, the majority of young workers will be people of color. And by 2044, the United States will be a majority people of color nation.

Yet racial and income inequality is high and persistent.

Over the past several decades, long-standing inequities in income, wealth, health, and opportunity have reached unprecedented levels. Wages have stagnated for the majority of workers, inequality has skyrocketed, and many people of color face racial and geographic barriers to accessing economic opportunities.

Racial and economic equity is necessary for economic growth and prosperity.

Equity is an economic imperative as well as a moral one. Research shows that inclusion and diversity are win-win propositions for nations, regions, communities, and firms.

The way forward is with an equity-driven growth model.

To secure America’s health and prosperity, the nation must implement a new economic model based on equity, fairness, and opportunity. Leaders across all sectors must remove barriers to full participation, connect more people to opportunity, and invest in human potential.

Regions play a critical role in shifting to inclusive growth.

Local communities are where strategies are being incubated to foster equitable growth: growing good jobs and new businesses while ensuring that all – including low-income people and people of color – can fully participate as workers, consumers, entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders.

Learn more and see the results of the 2017 Five-County San Francisco Bay Area Equity Profile at http://nationalequityatlas.org/reports/equity-profiles. For similar data on the nine-county Bay Area, please see the Nine-County San Francisco Bay Area Equity Profile.

 

Excerpt from “An Equity Profile of the Five-County San Francisco Bay Area Region.” It was developed to help The San Francisco Foundation effectively address equity issues through its grantmaking for a more integrated and sustainable region. PolicyLink and PERE also hope this will be a useful tool for advocacy groups, elected officials, planners, and others.

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