Equitable Community Development

In the Beloved Community, caring and compassion drive political policies that support the worldwide elimination of poverty and hunger from all forms of bigotry and violence… [I]t is a goal that can be accomplished with courage and determination and through education and training if enough people are willing to make the necessary commitment. — Martin Luther King Jr.

Our Approach

Our approach to equitable community development can help bring about communities that are healthy, just, and equitable with resilience to natural and other disasters. At the core is a sense of community. Communities care about their members; we want fairness for those we care about. We want them to have all the opportunities they need to thrive. Equitable community development promotes opportunity and resilience. Our focus is on the systemic and environmental inequities experienced by historically marginalized people due to their race and ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, disability, and other attributes. We have firsthand experience and expertise in a variety of strategies being used internationally to promote economic, health, justice, and political equity. We believe that changing the systems and conditions that perpetuate or maintain the inequities and injustice they experience will require members of these groups and their advocates to lead, shift power, and drive the solutions.

How We Can Help

  • Evaluate national and local initiatives intended to build and strengthen communities, organize communities, shift power, and advance equity and social justice.
  • Conduct research studies and assessments to uncover a community’s issues, needs, and assets, and to use the findings to inform community development strategies and solutions.
  • Facilitate the development and use of indicators and measures of equitable community change through literature reviews and interviews, and focus groups with people most affected by the work as well as with experts.
  • Synthesize and share lessons learned from the field, including research and write case studies of local and effective equitable community development models.
  • Advise and facilitate the development of equitable community development strategies.
  • Design and conduct workshops to train staff of nonprofits, foundations, and government agencies about state-of-the-art community development practices and how to incorporate inclusion and equity into the practices.
Have questions? We have answers.

Related Projects

The Walton Family Foundation (WFF) Home Region Program’s 2025 strategic plan seeks to make Northwest Arkansas a more vibrant and inclusive region by supporting efforts to advance economic and cultural vibrancy, foster inclusive growth and a sense of belonging, and ...
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The Federal Research Bank of Boston (FRBB), Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), and Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) are partnering to pilot an innovative municipal-level program in Greater Boston. This program—the Racial Equity Municipality Action Plan (REMAP)—is organized ...
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Community Science provided the Center for Community Progress (CCP), a national intermediary focused on transforming vacant and dilapidated properties into community assets, with strategic advising on performance measurement for the organization. We developed a set of performance measures that CCP is using to assess ...
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Community Science is conducting a developmental evaluation of CFLeads’ Economic Mobility Action Network. We have designed and are implementing a collaborative and adaptive evaluation to assess changes in Community Foundations as a result of their participation in the peer-driven Economic ...
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Community Science is partnering with SPARCC (Strong Prosperous and Resilient Communities Challenge - a national effort to ensure that major new infrastructure investments “lead to equitable and healthy opportunities for everyone”) to foster wider use of community ownership models in ...
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Northwest Pennsylvania Job Connect sought to understand local workforce needs, especially the needs of community members that typically experience barriers to employment. Community Science, as a subcontractor to BCT Partners, conducted a survey of local employers, focus groups with providers, ...
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Community Science is authoring commissioned paper on the current environment for the coordinated delivery of post-disaster human services for children and families—particularly services provided by the Administration of Children and Families. This paper is intended to inform the National Academy ...
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Community Science is working in partnership with the Urban Institute to evaluate and support leadership institutes for youth and adult community members in Duck Hill, MS. The leadership institutes are intended to support residents by building individual and community resilience ...
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Community Science assisted the Knight Foundation in developing literature-backed metrics for its community-focused investments in areas that included downtown revitalization and public spaces. These investments are designed to revitalize downtown corridors and neighborhoods, foster equitable development, and increase the residents’ ...
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