Kalamazoo City Commission Presented With Diversity, Equity And Inclusion Assessment. What Exactly Is Equity?
Last Monday the City of Kalamazoo Diversity, Equity And Inclusion (DEI) Director Dorla Bonner and Ryan Rowe of MPHI gave a presentation to the City of Kalamazoo City Commission.
According to reporting by MLive the report stated:
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) are three interrelated concepts used for ensuring values alignment, health, and success within communities and organizations as reflected in their cultures and systems
Sounds like a lot of great words put together in a sentence. Could you imagine running a company, state, or city and someone coming to you and telling you this is what you must do? I would scratch my head and ask them to slowly explain to me what they are saying.
I have been asking my listeners for a couple of years to please help me understand exactly what “equity” is. I even met with a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director and asked them to simply explain “equity” to me. To this day, I do not fully understand what “equity” truly is if it is not another word for affirmative action.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers:
The term “equity” refers to fairness and justice and is distinguished from equality: Whereas equality means providing the same to all, equity means recognizing that we do not all start from the same place and must acknowledge and make adjustments to imbalances. The process is ongoing, requiring us to identify and overcome intentional and unintentional barriers arising from bias or systemic structures.
According to the United Way of the National Capital Area defines equity and equality this way:
“WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF EQUITY?
Equity, in its simplest terms as it relates to racial and social justice, means meeting communities where they are and allocating resources and opportunities as needed to create equal outcomes for all community members.
WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF EQUALITY?
Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources and opportunities, regardless of their circumstances. In social and racial justice movements, equality can actually increase inequities in communities as not every group of people needs the same resources or opportunities allocated to them in order to thrive.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EQUITY AND EQUALITY?
Equity recognizes each person has different circumstances and needs, and therefore different groups of people need different resources and opportunities allocated to them in order to thrive.
Equality is giving everyone the exact same resources across the board, regardless of individuals’ or groups of people’s actual needs or opportunities/resources already provided to them.”
Okay. Again, I ask what exactly is the definition of “equity” that can be implemented at a company, state or city?
On a separate issue in the MLive article City Commissioner Esteven Juarez stated:
This is hard…I feel like we’re in this day and age and we still deal w some of the crap that’s still there because we as human beings haven’t learned how to take responsibility for our wrongs.”
We then find out that Mr. Juarez has run for mayor of the city and wants to become the first Hispanic mayor. Okay. He then said:
I’m tired of fighting for a spot at the table when I belong at the table
I have one point to make. Mr. Juarez you are an elected city commissioner who is actually sitting at the table on the stage looking over Kalamazoo residents.