Developing Equity Measures and Standards
A key piece of the Institute’s work, if you will, is found at the fifty-thousand foot level. We work with a number of local, regional, and national groups to explore how issues of equity and justice can be measured and tracked, and how those measures might best be used to stimulate change. These projects cover a wide array of topic areas, but central to them are the issues of equity in quality of life. In 2006, the Institute launched the Wholeness Index, a comprehensive measurement of community equity that scores a city from 0 to 100. We are now pursuing the Wholeness Index with other communities across the nation. As an example of our national policy partnerships, we were recruited to join a team led by ICLEI, U.S. Green Building Council, and the Center for American Progress to build the STAR Community Index. Designed to measure a community’s triple bottom line sustainability (social, environmental, and economic), the Institute was recruited to work specifically on ensuring that the measure reflects the equity with which that triple bottom line is achieved. The Institute is also committed to building a community of practice around the measurement and assessment of quality of life. To that end, in 2005 the Institute joined the Urban Institute’s National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, a now 30-city consortium of like-minded organizations dedicated to the democratization of data and sparking social change. Dr. Bray now serves on NNIP’s executive committee.