Equity and Opportunity Overview
What do the words “equity” and “opportunity” mean to you? Some people have never had to think twice about whether they’ve had a fair shot at attaining their goals. But a growing number of people are feeling as though they're losing ground when it comes to the possibility of economic advancement. Others say the lack of resources in schools, on the job front and in the community have been lifelong barriers for them and their neighbors.
A Multi-Platform Project
Our second topic in our ongoing THINK! initiative is “Equity and Opportunity.” The multiplatform project started with the public and local organizations choosing the issue. From there, a social media and web component helped spread the word and garnered additional input. The THINK website featured On-line forums that served as “virtual town squares” to collect the experiences and concerns of users. Website visitors were also invited to participate in a survey designed to gather opinions on ways to improve equity and opportunity in our region. Neighborhood community forums came next, with attendees sharing their stories and providing valuable insight. During our discussions, we examined the roles bias, fear and lack of understanding play in denying people personal and professional growth. How do these challenges impact the general population’s ability to advance and prosper? We expanded the dialogue to include the broader implications on society.
- What can be done to empower those who feel disenfranchised?
- How can broad coalitions be built to transcend differences?
- What options exist to increase economic stability and mobility for all?
Live Broadcast Event
Betty Cruz, Director, Change Agency
James Guffey, Executive Director, South Hills Interfaith Movement
Dr. Jamil Bey, Executive Director, UrbanKind Institute
Angela Allie, Director of Equity, Pittsburgh Public Schools
Wasi Mohamed, Executive Director, Islamic Center of Pittsburgh
Tay Waltenbaugh, CEO, Westmoreland Community Action
Majestic Lane, Deputy Chief of Neighborhood Empowerment, Office of the Mayor
On April 6, 2017 WQED continued the THINK! initiative with a special town hall event - televised and live-streamed. This forum on Equity and Opportunity examined ways to promote equity, empowerment and inclusion for all in Southwestern PA. The program was hosted by Chris Moore, and social media host Lisa Washington and included a panel of experts and community leaders in their respective fields.
Along with participation from our live studio audience, viewers were also able to shape the conversation during the live broadcast by tweeting, emailing and posting questions to Facebook that were channeled to the THINK hosts and panelists allowing them to respond in real time.