Handout 3: Racial Equity

Turning the Tide on Poverty
Handout #3
Racial Equity*
The term racial equity means that all people have equal access to resources and opportunities,
plus legal, political, and social power, regardless of racial identity. A state of racial equity exists
when race and/or ethnicity are not predictors of success in any aspect of life, and when public
policies, institutional practices, and social structures no longer favor whites over people of
color. Inequity also shows up in gender, class, sexual orientation and other social differences.
Examples of racial equity:
 Elected officials and other public leaders reflect local and regional demographics.
 Membership of boards and commissions is balanced, racially and ethnically.
 Qualified teachers come from all racial groups.
 Gifted and talented programs are open to students of all races and income levels who
meet the qualifications.
 Parents of all backgrounds participate fully in PTA and other school/parent partnerships.
 All students who meet academic qualifications have equal access to higher education.
 Schools in low-income areas where most residents are people of color are as well
funded and staffed as those in wealthy neighborhoods.
Jobs and Income:
 Salaries for people of color are on a par with salaries of white employees.
 People of color are as likely to be eligible for promotion as whites.
 Qualified professionals from all backgrounds have equal access to promising careers.
Housing/home ownership:
 Lending policies at banks are the same, regardless of clients’ race or cultural origin.
 People of all races who have the means can own homes.
 Realtors treat all clients equally.
 Housing standards are enforced to protect all residents, equally.
Health care:
 All children have access to quality health care.
 People of all races and income levels can expect top-flight medical services.
 There is no difference in infant mortality rates among different racial groups.
Media influence:
 Race and culture do not influence the way newspapers and TV approach reporting.
 Reporters document unfair practices and paint an honest picture of inequities.
 Public transportation is affordable and accessible to people in all parts of the
 Public transportation is safe and meets the needs of all people who depend on it.
Criminal justice:
 All defendants have access to high quality legal counsel.
 Opportunities for rehabilitation, such as education, skill training, and substance abuse
counseling, are provided equally.
 There are no double standards in law enforcement.
*Everyday Democracy’s “working definition,” draw from many expert sources and community experiences. March
2009. (www.everyday-democracy.org)