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BALLE on Equity

BALLE’s mission is to build healthy, equitable local economies that work for all: to achieve this, we must address how systemic injustice affects people related to race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, geography, and other dimensions of difference.

2016 Local Economy Fellows exploring the many facets of equity in building local economies.

“Equity” is among the latest in a long line of words popular among funders, nonprofits, and businesses signaling that they are aware of chronic systemic challenges, and committed to moving beyond them. Like many other words bearing similar intentions— multicultural, diversity, inclusion — these words can mean everything or nothing, depending on the commitment to understanding what they mean, from all perspectives, and taking meaningful, measurable action as a result.

Working with all of the stakeholders required to build healthy, equitable local economies — from entrepreneurs to foundations, grassroots organizations to investors — the BALLE Leadership Network is creating new playing fields, weaving together local economy development and greater economic health. To be successful we must deeply consider issues of equity, and the ways that race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, geography, and other dimensions of difference are connected to economic and systemic barriers.

In this spirit we have created an Equity Statement, along with a series of Commitments. These represent a snapshot in time, of efforts spanning our history as an organization, and where we stand today, in pursuit of our mission to build local economies that work for all.

We invite feedback of any kind to this humbling, necessary work — positive, critical, or otherwise productive. Please email jess@bealocalist.org with comments.