Introduction: Taking an Equity Lens

Equity is when people’s race, gender, economic status, sexual orientation, etc. do not determine their economic, social, or political opportunities. Distinct from equality, equity looks at leveling the playing field, ensuring the starting line does not determine where one finishes. Approaching work through an equity lens requires analyzing the impact of internal and external processes, as well as foundational assumptions and interpersonal engagement, on marginalized and under-served individuals and communities.

There are many excellent resources that more fully explain equity, give examples of inequities and processes used to achieve greater equity, and explore the impact of inequities on people’s lives.


  • PolicyLink uses community engagement to “create sustainable communities of opportunity”. The site provides information on equity issues, as well as tools, resources, news, and ways to get involved.
  • Racial Equity Tools has tools, research, curricula, and ideas for individuals and groups looking to increase their understanding of equity, as well as to take action to achieve social justice.
  • Race Forward is an online hub for research, tools, and information on advancing racial justice.
  • The Local and Regional Government Alliance on Race and Equity is a national network of governments working to achieve racial equity. Their tools and resources page  provides resource guides and actionable tools for eliminating disparities.