Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

In an effort to answer your questions, we developed a comprehensive list below. If you have a question that is not answered by this list, please email us.

What & Why

 What is Equity Alliance of the North Coast (Equity Alliance) aiming to achieve?

  • To encourage a community-wide understanding of how to involve groups of people who have been excluded from opportunities due to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and/or social or economic status;
  • To help interested institutions, organizations, and businesses become more inclusive of marginalized groups, who currently experience exclusion when it comes to access;
  • To help individuals and organizations understand the information and methods used to create a society where we can all actively and fully participate, regardless of status.

Why is this important here and why now?

  • For several years, researchers, the Humboldt Area Foundation, and other partners have watched the growth in diversity of our schools, public spaces, and institutions of higher education, and have heard concerns and requests for assistance from individuals, governments, nonprofits, and businesses to help these sectors adjust their understanding, attitudes, policies and practices to welcome and better support these growing populations.

Why is there an emphasis on race?

  • In Professor john powell and Haas’ analysis, “racialization”, the process of placing importance on racial associations or categories, is the ultimate and most prevalent way exclusion happens. When our institutions exclude others based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, or disability; structurally they are generally similar to the exclusions that happen when using racial categories. Equity Alliance trainings and workshops also recognize the experiences of other outgroups, and prioritize a clear focus on the region’s demographic representation of Native American and Latinx populations.

Since the focus is on inclusion, how will the voices of marginalized groups be part of this process?

  • This is an essential element of the process. We will work with local community organizing efforts to intentionally engage marginalized voices. We are in the process of supplementing strategies with our contacts in racial and ethnic minority communities, LGBT, and houseless communities, as well as communities of students and religious minorities.

 

Common Terms & Definitions

 Common terms and their definitions (e.g. belonging/othering, implicit bias):

  • Equality vs. Equity: Equality refers to treating everyone the same way, while equity emphasizes the importance of giving everyone what they need to be successful. The distinction between these two concepts is well represented by an image of the three people of varying heights trying to see a baseball game over a fence.  Equality is the equivalent of giving them all the same height box, while equity would give the shortest one more boxes to be able to achieve the desired outcome of everyone seeing the game.
  • Implicit Bias: Unlike explicit bias (which reflects the attitudes or beliefs that one endorses at a conscious level), implicit bias is the bias in judgment and/or behavior that results from subtle cognitive processes (e.g., implicit attitudes and implicit stereotypes) that often operate at a level below conscious awareness and without intentional control.
  • Institutional racism: Unfair policies and discriminatory practices of particular institutions (schools, workplaces, etc.) that routinely produce racially inequitable outcomes for people of color and advantages for white people. 
  • Structural racism: how history, public policies, institutional practices, and cultural representations interact to maintain racially inequitable outcomes.
  • Racial Anxiety: Refers to discomfort about the experience and potential consequences of inter-racial interactions. It is important to distinguish this definition of racial anxiety from what social scientists refer to as “racial threat,” which includes the anger, frustration, uncertainty, feelings of deprivation and other emotions associated with concern over loss of resources or dominance.
  • Othering and Belonging: Terms Prof. john powell coined to include all the ways different groups are either included in, or excluded from, full participation in shaping our social and economic structures.

Learning Opportunities

What events does the Equity Alliance host?

Equity Alliance of the North Coast is an umbrella for a variety of community efforts addressing issues of race, gender and social equity. Among these are:

  • A public speaking and events series that began in May, 2016 and will continue through early 2018 aimed at informing the general public about the latest research and conceptual thinking on issues of inclusion and race;
  • A coaching series for committed institutions and collaboratives led by the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE, a joint project of the Center for Social Inclusion (CSI) and the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society). This series culminated in November 2017; and
  • A series of trainings and workshops hosted by local and national partners that allows for local trainers to gain the skills and tools to continue structured learning opportunities.

Will the Equity Alliance provide coaching to my organization to help us change our practices and policies to be more inclusive of marginalized groups?

  • Yes. For larger institutions and collaboratives, this is provided through the quarterly cohort training and coaching process.
  • We are currently designing training and coaching processes for smaller organizations, businesses and community members.

How can I get involved?

  • We offer trainings and workshops to learn about racial equity and provide tools to apply that knowledge in a wide variety of situations and contexts.

Equity in the News

For more information about Equity Alliance activities and updates on action on race and equity in our communities, check out the links below: 

A Work in Progress: a campus, a community and an uphill climb

The Race Beat: McKinleyville Advisory Committee Talks About Race

Meeting on Racism and Safety Unites Arcata

County Takes Aim at Racism 

New White Identity Deemed Vital in Changing Society 

 

Past Event Information & Additional Resources

Were you unable to make it to a past event hosted by Equity Alliance of the North Coast? Below are links to video footage of our free past public events, the presentation slides used for the talks, and additional information about our partners and guest speakers

Inclusion is characterized by a society’s widely shared social experience and active participation, by a broad equality of opportunities and life chances for individuals and by the achievement of a basic level of well-being for all citizens. - Amartya Sen

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SPONSORS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH HUMBOLDT AREA FOUNDATION:

The California Endowment • The Patricia D. and William B. Smullin Foundation • Humboldt State University • Footprint Foundation • St. Joseph Health • First 5 Humboldt •

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