New Article: Using Data to Disrupt Systemic Inequity

Posted by Stanford Social Innovation Review on December 21, 2021

On the road to economic mobility in the United States, inequitable education, health, and employment systems, designed to benefit the few, leave many children and families of color behind, stuck in deep ruts along the lines of race, wealth, and zip codes. To really have an impact, we must look below the surface to understand the factors that contribute to inequities. Data enables us to get at the root causes and work upstream to create equitable pathways for those hindered by structural racism.

Equipping communities with tools to identify, collect, and report “systems data” that perpetuates racial disparities in education and employment outcomes can help change this. Communities can use data to engage the people most impacted by systemic inequities—including Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian youth and families, and people experiencing poverty—and then disrupt those systems. Quantitative and qualitative data informs strategy, guiding communities in identifying, testing, and improving strategies to address the root causes of inequities. Data fuels an equity-centered collaborative improvement approach to getting better results. By working toward fundamental and institutional shifts in policies, practices, resources, and power structures, we can eliminate structural racism and advance equitable outcomes.

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