The Preamble of the United States is an introduction to the values and rights we expect our country to uphold.
You’re probably asking “So what?”
Well, if we look at the Preamble, we’ll see that the foundation of our society is social equity. Social equity is the “fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups.”
The words used to describe the liberties expressed in the Preamble are verbs such as “establish”, “insure”, “provide”, “promote” and “secure”. You see, social equity is not just a noun, but it’s an action; an action that should be a top priority within this country, and within our specific communities. It is crucial to the sustainability of our government, our workplaces, our lives.
Even so, there are institutions that lack in social equity. Because social equity deals with all that is just and fair, without it the Scales of Justice are skewed, leaving many social groups, especially those in marginalized communities with no access to the services they need.
A lack of social equity in any sector can affect the decisions we make. When you think about how many services depend on the success of social equity (services that directly impact the well-being of our lives) such as school funding, and the access to healthcare, it makes us eager to make sure those scales never began to tip.
In the article, “Why Equality and Fairness Matters,” Laura Mahoney looks at Australia’s government and how they deal with equity. She states that a society that actively practices social equity, improves the liveability, productivity, and confidence of the people within that society.
When we are in a society that gives us access to the means to succeed up front, instead of being in “social and economic disadvantage”, as Mahoney puts it, people will feel more comfortable to be involved.
This is when a change will begin.
If diversity is inviting someone to the dinner party, and inclusion is saving them a seat at the table, then equity would be making sure they get the same amount of food as all the party guests.
Quirky, yes, but this is something that we are yet striving for. Without social equity, power and privilege are distributed unevenly, which can lead to communities feeling powerless.
We don’t want anyone within our communities feeling powerless or “hungry” for more food, we want our community members feeling “full”, and powerful to go out and create change!