Lots of Reports About Social Equity
Many organizations within and outside of Marin County have done study after study, and produced a myriad of reports, attempting to illuminate and document the realities that people live every day. Income disparity based on gender, race, immigration status, neighborhood, and other factors. Compromised access to food, housing, education, health care. Differences–sometimes dramatic–in life expectancy depending on whether you live in Ross or Marin City, as cited by the most well known report, Portrait of Marin 2012.
Most recently, the Race Counts report profiled Marin County as “the 1st most racially disparate county in California,” (Ref) based on measures in seven areas: crime and justice, democracy, economic opportunity, health access, healthy built environment, housing, and education.
Systems Thinking Marin draws on the Theory U principles, “Helping the system to become conscious of itself,” and “Raising the level of consciousness in the system.” If most residents of Marin don’t know that there are in fact hungry and malnourished people right here in Marin County; if they don’t know that there are significant differences in educational attainment based on race and income level; if they don’t know up-front and intimately what it’s like to try to live on less than self-sufficiency wage…if they don’t know this information and moreover, don’t immediately know where to look to find out more, then I hope that this page will be at least a start in filling that gap.
“Marin Equity Quotient”?
The title of this page indicates that we can and should have a much higher collective awareness about the state of social equity in Marin…and not just among nonprofit and local government staff.
First, even among those whose job it is to be “in the know,” I believe this centralized list of all relevant reports may be helpful for their work.
Second, for the general public, who have little or no sense of what the heck “equity” means or how it’s been defined separate from “equality,” or why they should care, this webpage will be ultimately insufficient, but hopefully, a start.
As for a number, “quotient,” perhaps we could collectively come up with a number that is the product of consolidating existing data. For the moment, I’ll leave the idea open as a future possibility. However, I would suggest that perhaps a local social equity group–under the banner of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goal #10: Reduced Inequalities, consider setting Marin-specific targets to be achieved by 2030.