In Urban innovator week we will talk about Angela Glover Blackwell. She is a prominent figure in the world of urban innovation, continuously leading the way in reshaping communities and driving meaningful progress. She is a visionary leader who is committed to promoting equity. Her efforts have rightfully made her a prominent figure in urban development. Let us learn about her more!
What is meant by Equity?
Policy Link’s Equity Manifesto defines equity as “just and fair inclusion into a society in which all can participate, flourish, and attain their full potential.” In today’s Urban innovator week Angela Glover Blackwell, we will discover about the key to realizing America’s potential lies inside every one of us.
With racial tensions at an all-time high during this heated presidential campaign and seemingly endless reports of Black lives being cut short, this phrase is constantly in the news.
What does Equity Imply for Us in terms of Living Our Lives? How do We Get there, exactly?
Policy Link has been investigating all these issues since 1999. Angela Glover Blackwell, the President, and CEO of Policy Link, notes that the term “equity” was not being used to discuss social justice in the context of the United States in January 1999. We worked very hard to elevate the status of the word “equity.” We consolidated everything under one roof and provided clarity on advocacy in the United States for academics and others in the field.
Policy Link is an organization that works to improve economic and social advocacy by being in tune with grassroots organizing and making effective use of information and communication technology. Blackwell claims, “You don’t have excellent policy without good advocacy.”
This group has its main headquarters in Oakland, California, and also maintains locations in New York City, Los Angeles, and the nation’s capital. Using policy work and by bringing together those currently conducting such work on the ground, this national research and action institute promotes economic and social fairness.
Approach of Policy Link
Blackwell explains that the most responsible approach to policy work is “being responsible to people doing work on the ground. Advocacy must be rooted in a shared knowledge of the significance of place and its influence on individual lives. When we first established Policy Link, location wasn’t even a concept.”
Policy Link’s motto is “Lifting Up What Works,” a call to action to highlight the ways in which communities are successfully utilizing local, state, and federal policy to improve the lives of all citizens, but particularly those living in poverty and communities of color.
“We believe there are instances of what works all around this country and we need to shine a light on these things to ensure triumph in our effort to establish a fully inclusive society that includes a focus on racial fairness,” as Blackwell argues.
The research and analysis conducted by Policy Link are disseminated to state and federal officials through a variety of channels, including print and online publications, conferences, summits, and briefings. At their Equity Summit 2015, which drew an audience of 3,000, they screened a video called “Our Moment,” in which they espoused the notion that a movement is not a momentary occurrence but rather a torch that is handed on from one generation to the next.
Supporting Social Movements
Policy Link views social movements like Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street as more than a passing fad; they are part of a larger cultural transformation that is far from complete.
Occupy was a monumental movement that brought injustice into the spotlight, and subsequent movements like Black Lives Matter and [those who were killed] have further heightened awareness of the issue. Excessive, poisonous inequality cannot be maintained. To combat unfairness, use Policy Link.
Because of these factors, there was a critical juncture at which citizens and their political leaders sought a new approach, making the work that Policy Link has been doing suddenly relevant and interesting to everyone. For a period of ten years, nobody paid attention to us. In other words, the time for social transformation has never been better than right now.
Community investment agreements that might include local hiring, making sure apprenticeship programmes are available, and making affordable housing part of the development deal when a new convention centre or stadium is built are some examples of the types of issues that Policy Link investigates. Blackwell states, “Our aim is to incorporate equitable issues within government structures.”
The Practical Need
In addition to being a moral obligation, fostering a welcoming environment has become a practical need. We can expect a majority of people of colour by the year 2044. There will be no middle class unless minorities join it, either as employees or business owners. Further, she stresses that discussions of equity must include discussions of race.
Racial analysis and tailored racial tactics are necessary for advancing toward equity. Integral to the concept of racial fairness. It’s safe to say that nobody was interested in having that conversation seventeen years ago. It’s become ubiquitous at this point.
Blackwell claims, “There is no question we are headed in the right path, despite the gloomy impression of the current social situation in the United States. We’re heading in the direction of the idea that a nation’s amazing diversity is a great strength in a rapidly evolving global environment.” To be truly proud of our democracy, it must be robust in the face of such diversity.”
Blackwell warns that “the last gasp can be deadly, strident, and lengthy,” but she believes that the time has come for it despite the anxiety, worry, and instability that the current societal upheaval is bringing.
“Equity is the superior growth model for the nation, not simply in a moral agenda of what people ‘ought’ to do, given the changing demographics and how the fate of the nation is related to what happens to people of color going forward. Things will turn out fine, I just know it,” she added.
So, in Urban innovator week Angela Glover Blackwell, we discovered how she is raising her voice for what is right for the citizens.
Source Policy Link: Our Work