The Difference Between Equity and Equality

The route to achieving equity will not be accomplished through treating everyone equally. It will be achieved by treating everyone justly according to their circumstances.
—Paula Dressel, Race Matters Institute1

Examples of Equality Examples of Equity
A city cutes the budget for 25 community centers by reducing the operational hours for all centers by the same amount at the same times. The city determines which times and how many hours communities actually need to use their community centers and reduces hours for centers that aren’t used as frequently.
A community meeting, where all members of the community are invited, about a local environmental health concern is held in English though English is not the primary language for 25% of the residents. The community leaders hire translators to attend the meeting or offer an additional meeting held in another language.
All public schools in a community have computer labs with the same number of computers and hours of operation during school hours. Computer labs in lower income neighborhoods have more computers and printers, as well as longer hours of operation, as some students don’t have access to computers or internet at home.

Examples 1-3 are pulled from a resource by Just Health Action, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization: http://justhealthaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/JHA-Lesson-Plan-3-How-are-equity-and-equality-different-final.pdf

Sources

1 http://viablefuturescenter.org/racemattersinstitute/2014/04/02/racial-equality-or-racial-equity-the-difference-it-makes/ Return to footnote reference

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