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Race & Equity Defined
What is social, and specifically, racial equity? How will the department address these issues?
What is Social Equity?
Social Equity is when people have full and equal access to opportunities that enable them to attain their full potential.
When is Social Equity Realized?
Equity is realized when identity—such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation or expression—has no detrimental effect on the distribution of resources, opportunities and outcomes for group members in a society.
What is the difference between Equity and Equality?
Equality focuses on giving everyone the same thing, regardless of outcomes. Equality works when everyone starts from the same place.
Equity is fairness. It's ensuring that people have access to the same opportunities or services we administer or deliver, directly or by contract.
What will the department focus on?
The Department of Race and Equity will focus on tackling 'institutional racism.' This occurs when organizational programs, policies, procedures or practices create inequity along racial lines, usually unintentionally. In Oakland’s not so distant past, housing and employment policies in Oakland, like elsewhere in the U.S., were explicitly racist. The effects of these past institutional policies and practices still influence current public policies or practices, and create race-based inequity across our community. This Department will work to eliminate institutional racism and create a community where equity in opportunity exists for everyone. More simply, equity is realized when one’s identity cannot predict the outcome. In this city, this state and this country, it is clear that one’s identity, certainly one’s race, can absolutely predict the outcome.