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
JAGNA PHILOS COMMUNITY RADIO
Empowering Communities to Practice Democracy
Partners: 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.
A RADICALLY DIFFERENT HOW
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.