Monday, March 17, 2008

King County Equity and Social Justice Initiative

Jerry Large's column this morning was about King County's Equity and Social Justice Initiative. From the initiative's website:
The King County Equity and Social Justice Initiative takes aim at long-standing and persistent local inequities and injustices. Government and local communities are better prepared than ever before to address these challenges.

"It is unacceptable that the color of your skin or your home address are good predictors of whether you will have a low birth weight baby, die from diabetes or your children will graduate from high school or end up in jail," says King County Executive Ron Sims.

The King County Equity and Social Justice Initiative aims to end persistent local inequities and injustices that result in, among other things, higher rates of disease among low-income populations and disproportionate rates of young black men in jail.

Examples of actions of the new Initiative include

* Developing and testing an equity impact assessment and review tool and incorporating the tool into decision-making.
* Collecting and publishing measures to highlight inequities and to mark progress in correcting them.
* Beginning a community dialogue process, using a new PBS series “Unnatural Causes,” to increase awareness among community members of equity and social determinants of health and to spur action, especially around policies.

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