NDSC's Commitment to Equity

A commitment to equity has been central to the Neighborhood Data for Social Change, and its original home of the USC Price Center for Social Innovation, since its inception. However, following the murder of George Floyd in June of 2020, our staff and affiliated faculty took the opportunity to critically examine the ways we are actively striving for equity in our work and how we identify racism as the root cause of so many intersecting issues in the communities we work with.

During that period, we released a statement from the Price Center for Social Innovation about our commitment to strive for equity and hold ourselves accountable to that task moving forward.

Equity Committee

As a part of our commitment, our staff established an Equity Committee to hold intentional space for building an anti-racist culture and viewing our work and projects through a racial equity lens.

In addition to making space for important conversations around equity, the Committee has spearheaded a number of activities, including:

  • fact finding and establishing a core set of shared values
  • creating a common set of definitions and language to use throughout our work
  • integrating equity frameworks into onboarding materials for new staff and students
  • developing a calendar of seminars and shared learning opportunities for Price Center faculty, staff and students

This is a living page created by the Committee to share our process, learnings and resources that we have found most helpful along the way.

Shared Values

Commitment to Anti-Racism

During the summer of 2020, the Neighborhood Data for Social Change staff and affiliated faculty (re)committed to:

  • Holding ourselves and each other accountable for building an anti-racist culture
  • Working in partnership with community stakeholders to co-design solutions to overcome racist structures and white supremacy
  • Listening to the experts – those on the front lines of protests, leaders of social movements like Black Lives Matter, and the communities of color that have long fought the constant battle against discrimination.

The Equity Committee provides a space to hold ourselves accountable to engaging with and building upon this commitment.

Our Values

  • Equity
  • Collaboration
  • Inclusivity
  • Joy
  • Community

Shared Definitions

Defining Equity

Racial equity as an outcome is when race no longer determines one’s socioeconomic outcomes and everyone has what they need to thrive no matter where they live. Racial equity as a process is when those most impacted by structural racial inequity are meaningfully involved in the creation and implementation of the institutional policies and practices that impact their lives (Race Forward).

Equity Glossary

The Price Center has developed an equity glossary to provide a framework through which we approach our writing. This document seeks to outline some common policy areas, or social classifications, which the Price Center uses most often in writing, in our collaborations with community partners, and within the work we publish. While our philosophy is to defer to the partners with whom we work, we utilize this guide in absence of guidance from partners. We are pleased to share this Equity Glossary with our partners and networks as a resource.

Land Acknowledgement

The Equity Committee recognizes that applying a racial equity lens to the Neighborhood Data for Social Change’s equity work in Los Angeles County includes acknowledging that the region is home to Native Nations on whose land we are living. 

As an initial step in grappling with what it means to live and work on land that was violently stolen from Native Nations by European settlers, the Equity Committee developed a statement acknowledging the Nations who are the traditional caretakers of the land in Los Angeles County. The statement, shared below, is an acknowledgement of the ways that violence and racism has shaped (and continues to shape) the places we are permitted to call home. It is a starting point for continued conversations, partnerships, projects and activities around decolonization and supporting Native self-determination. 

The Neighborhood Data for Social Change acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands), and we acknowledge our presence on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Chumash, Kizh, and Tataviam nations. We recognize and are committed to lifting up their stories, culture, and community. We pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders), and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present, and emerging.

Labor Acknowledgement

The Neighborhood Data for Social Change acknowledges the labor of Black & African-American people—ancestors and descendants. We recognize that the United States’ and global economies historically and currently rest on the ingenuity, cultural treasures and stolen labor of African-Americans and Black people throughout the diaspora. We honor their brilliance and humanity and express our heartfelt gratitude for their infinite contributions. We welcome their wisdom and joy here.

Equity Committee

Cameron Yap, Committee Chair
Data Analyst, Neighborhood Data for Social Change
Saba Mwine
Managing Director, Homelessness Policy Research Institute
Elly Schoen
Systems & Data Manager, Neighborhood Data for Social Change
Caroline Bhalla
Executive Director, Neighborhood Data for Social Change
Nick Weinmeister
Project Specialist, Homelessness Policy Research Institute
Dr. Megan Goulding
Director of Strategic Operations, USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health
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