Equity, defined as just and fair inclusion into a society that allows all to participate and prosper, is at the core of the Convergence Partnership's efforts to ensure opportunities for all, particularly low-income communities and communities of color, to participate and thrive.
Not all communities are created equally when it comes to the opportunity to live healthy, prosperous lives. The partners recognize that equity needs to be a central focus of the work to be sure that changes happen where they are needed most and that community engagement is incorporated, as it is a crucial element for sustainable change. The goals of equity must be to create conditions that allow all to reach their full potential. To create healthy, equitable places, barriers must be removed so that every family has access to healthy food, public transportation, good jobs, and safe green space or other places to be active. Equitable approaches and policies bring triple-bottom-line benefits to people, places, and the economy.
The factors that influence the creation of healthy places include education, the built environment, transportation, equitable food systems, community safety, safe and affordable housing, good jobs, and access to physical activity. Equity is a central component both within each individual factor and across all of them — it is the lens by which people are engaged, decisions are made, policies are created, resources are distributed, and outcomes are determined and achieved.