We envision full economic and social justice through the empowerment of underserved communities.


Equitable Communities brings KNOWLEDGE, OPPORTUNITY and most importantly RESPECT to underserved communities. Respect includes the name we use – “underserved communities” – which implies a system rather than a personal problem. Respect also includes guaranteeing empowerment in writing, which has released the expertise, dedication, creativity, and participation that exists in communities, but is often wasted.
Since our programs are locally owned, they fight poverty because increased economic security is the highest priority for our communities, especially for the future of their children.

When we started in 2007, our intention was to bring services to communities to promote citizen participation in their own well-being and to help fight poverty. As was our intention, the two community-owned projects listed below are now highly successful, exceeding our original expectations.


Roberta Davenport, Principal PS 307 Brooklyn, inspired by community-owned financial literacy


Empowering Communities to Practice Democracy

jagna2Partners: Equitable Communities with Philos Health, Bharat Koirala
Location: Jagna, Philippines
Purpose: To use information to support participatory-making and enhance the delivery of quality   healthcare, especially to the impoverished and isolated areas.

New roles for Jagna Community Radio
Addressing Health Needs


Equitable Communities is now collaborating with its local partners, the community and existing organizations to respond to community’s requests for additional services. What unites these two programs is guaranteed local ownership. This form of true empowerment releases expertise, dedication, creativity and participation that exists in communities but is often wasted. This explains why two small, high risk demonstration projects have received national and international attention and created demand for similar programs. The concept of local ownership and participation works just as well in NYC as in rural Philippines where it was first developed.


• The Graduate Center CUNY is supporting us as part of the Public Science Project.
• The demonstration project expansion was funded by JP Morgan Chase and the Council for Economic Education. Both approached us because they believed in our program.
• Presentations at the UN Habitat and at a conference at Windsor Castle on ways that underserved communities can contribute to successful cities and towns of the future.
• The 2014 YANA (Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance) Showdown winner for support, assistance and advice from Yale Alumni.

We are thankful for the support and help of Seth Edwards and JP Morgan Chase who believed in our program and helped expand it. The collaborative effort that has brought additional services would not have been possible without: The Brooklyn Library, the Science Industry and Business Library, NY Public library and the Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance (YANA).


Equitable Communities is dedicated to the memory of Thea Jackson and Jean Torsney Kent. Their beauty, wisdom, and passion have infused and enriched this effort. Those of us touched by their loving kindness and wonderful sense of humor believe that a program of creativity, generosity, empowerment, and fun is a good way for us to honor the joy they brought into our lives.

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Empowering the Community to Practice Democracy

Partners: Equitable Communities with the Philos Health, Bharat Koirala
Location: Jagna, Philippines
Purpose: To use information to support participatory decision-making and enhance the delivery of quality healthcare, especially to the impoverished and isolated areas.

Real Money, Real People, Real Decisions

Partners: Equitable Communities with New York City public schools and Marquis Studios.
Location: 5 New York City public schools.
Purpose: The 4th grade classes engaged the whole school in the culminating project: The Marketplace Fair, which reinforces what was learned during the residency. Learning by doing-using real life situations and real money-engages students, not just the academically-inclined.

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 12.15.36 PMMONEYBOX
Games to Grow Smart Money Managers

Partners: Marquis Studios, PS.15, the Brooklyn Business and Career Public Library
Locations: Homes of families at PS.15 and the PS.15 FLCC
Purpose: To bring the excitement of the Marketplace Project into homes by engaging families with financial literacy themed children’s stories, board games, savings game/plan and fun!

A Place to Learn and Play

Partners: PS.15, Council for Economic Education, the Brooklyn Business Center Public Library and the Marquis Studio.
Location: PS. 15 Library, Red Hook, Brooklyn
Purpose: The FLCC serves as a resource center, a place where information can be gathered, stored and shared. It is also a location for parent-student workshops, volunteers and media training.


  • marquis studios marketplace project
  • Philos Health
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • cee
  • psp
  • dyjp