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EDRA49 Oklahoma City
June 6, 2018 - June 9, 2018
What is social equity? And how do EDRA members promote social equity through their daily engagement with built environment research and practice? Community Shares of Cincinnati defines it as making sure everyone has equal access to community resources and opportunities such as housing, medical treatment, education, policing and transportation.
A simple way to assess social equity in our communities and institutions is to ask these three questions:
- Is there fairness and equal treatment?
- Is there equal distribution of resources to reduce inequalities?
- Are we creating equal opportunity through targeted initiatives, programs or services?
Organizations that work for social equity strive to help level the playing field for those who are at a disadvantage for any number of reasons such as poverty, discrimination or disability. While not guaranteeing equality of outcome, helping mitigate the effects of inequality through targeted social equity efforts can help us strive to ensure equality of opportunity.
Social equity is the least defined and understood part of the sustainable development agenda. In 2016, the United Nations recognized among the 17 most important goals for the next 15 years the need to promote greater peace, reduce hunger, improve inclusiveness and reduce inequalities across all sectors of society in addition to balancing economic and environmental costs and promoting smart, eco-friendly environments (UN, 2016).
Social equality is a multifaceted concept that deals with the idea of “biological equality” of all human beings regardless of race or gender, and supports the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “Social equity includes universal fulfillment of the most fundamental human needs along with broad access to meaningful work, while respecting the enormous range of life circumstances and personal goals which may drive people to seek different kinds of livelihood.”
Social equity is also the cornerstone of healthy and successful social capital, i.e., the construction of communities whose well-being cannot be maintained for the few at the expense of the many. Yet the road toward a socially equitable city is fraught with conflicts between stakeholders and the values they embrace. What kinds of equitable environments do we want to create together in the end?
EDRA49 will be held in Oklahoma City, home to an attractive variety of historic buildings. Eye-catching religious buildings, and magnificent structures of great architectural and historic significance.