National Equity Atlas Webinar Archive

The National Equity Atlas team and partners host webinars on a regular basis to share new data, indicators, and functionalities and to highlight ways of using Atlas data to advance inclusive growth. Below are our webinar archives, organized chronologically by year.


Using Data to Support Organizing and Policy Advocacy: 2017 Renter Week of Action (December 7, 2017) This webinar highlights how data supported and amplified 2017 #RenterWeekofAction efforts in which thousands of people in dozens of cities across the country held actions and assemblies to demand better protections for renters. The National Equity Atlas team partnered with Right to the City Alliance to support these local mobilizations by creating 38 fact sheets highlighting renter economic power and what cities gain by ensuring renter affordability.

Targeted Strategies to Reduce Employment Inequality (March 24, 2017) This webinar highlights findings from the policy brief, Race, Place, and Jobs: Reducing Employment Inequality in America’s Metros, paired with example of effective jobs strategies being implemented by the Northside Funders Group in Minneapolis and the Network for Economic Opportunity in New Orleans.

Beyond a People-of-Color Majority: U.S. Demographic Projections to 2050 (February 15, 2017) This webinar looks at the changing demographics of the U.S. beyond 2044, the year in which the nation will be majority people-of-color, providing a live demo of four indicators that include updated demographic projections to 2050: People of color, Race/ethnicity, Population growth rates, and Contribution to growth: People of color.


Exploring New Neighborhood Maps Added to the Atlas (November 2, 2016) This webinar explores new mapping breakdowns by four indicators (People of color, Race/ethnicity, Unemployment, and Disconnected youth); how to create your own custom maps; and how you can use them to advance equitable growth strategies.

Special Preview: Neighborhood Mapping on the Atlas (October 6, 2016)­ This webinar offered a special preview of new maps will allow users to understand how selected equity indicators vary across neighborhoods within a city or region and can help inform targeted strategies and investments.

3 Ways to Use the New Chart Downloads (September 1, 2016)­ Spotlighting new gender breakdowns for three indicators (Working poor, disconnected youth, and Education levels and job requirements), this webinar describes three simple ways you can use chart downloads available in the Atlas to advance equity in your community.

Explore New Data on Immigrants in the National Equity Atlas (August 8, 2016) This webinar offers tips for accessing disaggregated data in the Atlas to assess how immigrants are fairing in your community, and to develop strategies for immigrant integration and inclusion in your community.

Explore New Equity Atlas Indicators on Poverty and Working Poor (July 12, 2016) This webinar reviews two indicators available on the Atlas - Poverty and Working poor- and further explores policy strategies that can advance racial economic inclusion and equitable growth in your community.

Introducing the National Equity Atlas Data and Policy Tool (June 22, 2016) This webinar features a live demonstration of the Atlas for the grantees of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

Exploring New Equity Indicators for Detailed Racial Ethnic Subgroups (May 26, 2016) This webinar reviews detailed racial/ethnic breakdowns to several economic opportunity indicators available on the Atlas, including: Unemployment, Wages: Median, Wages: $15/Hour, Disconnected Youth, Educational Levels, and Homeownership.


Data Tools for Policy Change: Paid Family Leave Policies to Advance Health Equity and Build an Inclusive Economy (December 14, 2015) This webinar was presented by PolicyLink,, and Family Values @ Work, highlighting family and medical leave indicators available on that underscore the intersection of public health and work-family policies as well as the importance of rigorous data on state-level access to family and medical leave.

The National Equity Atlas: New Equity Data for the 100 Largest Cities (September 30, 2015) This webinar highlights the release of data available for the largest 100 cities in the nation to help city leaders champion policies and strategies to counter deepening inequality and build “all-in cities” where all residents—especially those who’ve long been excluded—can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.

Introducing the National Equity Atlas (December 9, 2014)­ This webinar introduces the National Equity Atlas, a first-of-its-kind online resource for data and policy ideas to build an equitable economy in your region, state, and nationwide.

Data Tools for Change: The Child Opportunity Index (March 18, 2015) This webinar highlights the Child Opportunity Index – a tool from and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity- and how, in conjunction with other neighborhood-level indicators of wellbeing, can arm leaders with data to advance cross-sector efforts centered around child health equity.

Tools for Social Change: The National Equity Atlas (January 28, 2015) This webinar, co-hosted with the National Committee for Responsible Philanthropy, describes the equity framework that undergirds the Atlas, offers a tour of the Atlas, and shares examples of how foundations can employ equity data and policy strategies to foster inclusive growth.

Chart of the Week: Breaking Down Education Data for the API Community in Los Angeles Shows Stark Education Gaps


To add equity data to the national dialogue about growth and prosperity, every week the National Equity Atlas team posts a new chart from the Equity Atlas related to current events and issues.

Disaggregating data to understand the diversity of experiences and outcomes within large populations is critical for crafting policies to build an equitable economy. In honor of the 40th anniversary of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, this week’s chart examines the vast differences in educational attainment among the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community in the Los Angeles metro area.

Asian and Pacific Islanders are a large and growing demographic in the Los Angeles region and make up 15 percent of the population. By 2020, the LA area is projected to have the fourth largest API population among the largest 150 metros in terms of the API share of the total population (after Honolulu, San Jose, and San Francisco). Between 2000 and 2010, the API community had the fastest population growth among all groups, increasing 23 percent to nearly 1.9 million residents (the Latino population had the second largest rate of growth at 11 percent).

With API communities driving growth in the region, ensuring that API workers have the skills and education needed for the jobs of the future is essential for a strong and prepared regional workforce. By common measures of social and economic success, the API community often fares very well. However, looking at the API community as a whole obscures important differences and masks challenges faced by certain subgroups.

By 2020, an estimated 44 percent of jobs in California will require at least an Associate’s degree. Comparable with the national average, 62 percent of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the LA metro area hold at least an Associate’s degree, signaling that overall this community possesses the skills to meet the demands of the changing economy. Although this figure is above average, there are wide disparities in educational attainment: Only 21 percent of working-age people with Samoan ancestry, 27 percent with Cambodian ancestry, 31 percent with Other Pacific Islander ancestry, 34 percent with Laotian ancestry, and 36 percent with Native Hawaiian ancestry hold at least an Associate’s degree. By comparison, 58 percent of White, 37 percent of Native American, 35 percent of Black, and 17 percent of Latino working-age adults in the LA metro area hold at least an Associate’s degree.

America's future jobs will require ever-higher levels of skills and education, but our education and job training systems are not adequately preparing all workers—particularly those growing as a share of the workforce—to succeed in the knowledge-driven economy. Closing wide and persistent racial gaps in educational attainment will be key to building a strong workforce that is prepared for the jobs of the future. Important strategies include creating cradle-to-career pipelines for vulnerable youth and investing in universal pre-K, reforming harsh, “zero tolerance” school discipline policies to keep youth in school and on track to graduate, implementing sector-focused workforce training and placement programs that connect workers to good jobs, ensuring access to higher education for immigrant students by providing in-state tuition rates regardless of immigrant status, and increasing access to financial aid or scholarships. For more on these strategies please visit the National Equity Atlas here.

Additional indicators, analyses, and resources for the API community can be found at AAPI Data, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC), and Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC).




Chart of the Week: Rent Burden and Racial Equity in the Bay Area

To add equity data to the national dialogue about growth and prosperity, every week the National Equity Atlas team posts a new chart from the Equity Atlas related to current events and issues.

When skyrocketing rents force individuals and families to spend an increasingly larger share of their income on housing, it doesn’t just strain household budgets, it can limit growth for the entire region and exacerbate existing racial inequalities. This week, we are highlighting this interplay between housing, economic growth, and racial equity by looking at the Bay Area, where rising housing costs and stagnant wages have hit low-income communities and communities of color hardest, making it difficult for many residents to care for their families, contribute to the local economy, or invest in their future.

Though the Bay Area has never been a low-cost housing market, over the past three years rents have increased precipitously, forcing many households to spend far above the federal standard for affordability: households that spend 30 percent of income on housing are considered “rent burdened.” In the Bay Area, fully half of all renters, and 60 percent of low-income, Black, Latino, and Native American households fall into this category.

If regional, state, and national leaders implemented strategies to promote housing affordability and rising incomes, however, the impact on racial and economic equity would be dramatic. Because rent burdens have increased disproportionately for people of color, rental affordability would translate into substantial increases in disposable income for individuals and families of color, especially those who are economically insecure. For example, a housing burdened low-income family of three would recover $9,000 a year -- enough to cover an entire food budget, all transportations costs, or even a year of tuition at a California state university!

Considering the collective spending power that renters have in the Bay Area, this economic boost to individual households would have ripple effects throughout the region. Renters already contribute $70 billion to the regional economy, but if economically insecure renters paid only what they could afford, their spending power would grow by $4.4 billion -- more than San Jose’s annual budget.

So how can we realize these gains? Rent burdens are a function of stagnant wages and rising costs, so we need a multifaceted approach including comprehensive housing solutions (including protection, preservation, inclusion, and production), efforts to ensure economic security and rising incomes, and building renter and community power. We outline these strategies—and additional analyses—in our latest report, Solving the Housing Crisis Is Key to Inclusive Prosperity in the Bay Area, developed through our Bay Area Equity Atlas partnership with The San Francisco Foundation. And momentum is growing for solutions: advocates are working to repeal California’s Costa-Hawkins law, which restricts local municipalities’ ability to protect residents from exorbitant rent increases. So far, they’ve collected 588,000 signatures to place the repeal on the November ballot—far above the 365,880 needed to qualify the measure.

To see how renter burden affects different members of your community, visit the National Equity Atlas and type in your city or state. You can also download and share these charts on social media, tagging it #equitydata so we can follow along.



National Equity Atlas: April Update

Dear Atlas users:

Happy Spring from the National Equity Atlas team! We are feeling refreshed and inspired by Equity Summit 2018 and were happy to see some of you there. For those who could not join us in Chicago, Atlas team member Ángel Ross of PolicyLink has written a recap of our equity data-related sessions and you can find our livestream archive of the plenaries and more here.

  • New Bay Area Housing and Economic Insecurity Report and Local Analyses
    At the Summit, our team released Solving the Housing Crisis Is Key to Inclusive Prosperity in the Bay Area. This report, produced in partnership with The San Francisco Foundation, presents new data and analyses that illustrate how rising rents and stagnant incomes are straining household budgets and stifling opportunity in the Bay Area, jeopardizing the region's diversity, growth, and prosperity. To show how these dynamics are playing out in two Bay Area cities, we teamed up with Working Partnerships USA in San Jose and the Raise the Roof coalition in Concord to produce localized analyses. Read more about those analyses and how these groups are taking action to address the crisis and protect tenants from displacement here.


  • Partnership Opportunity for Equity Data Projects in Select Communities
    The National Equity Atlas team is accepting proposals from community organizations or collaboratives in the 10 priority communities of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (Albuquerque, NM; Farmington, NM; Las Cruces, NM; Detroit, MI; Battle Creek, MI; Grand Rapids, MI; Jackson, MS; Sunflower County, MS; Biloxi, MS; and New Orleans, LA) to co-develop equity data projects that advance inclusive prosperity. We will work with five community partners on community-owned data projects that empower collective action, undergird advocacy, and inform policy. Applications are due by May 25. Learn more during our informational webinars on May 3 at 12 p.m. PT/ 3 p.m. ET and May 4 at 12 p.m. PT/ 3 p.m. ET.


  • Chart of the Week: Alabama Transit Justice
    In this week's Chart of the Week, James Crowder of PolicyLink highlights one of the major barriers to employment identified in our recent report Advancing Employment Equity in Alabama. In cities and regions across the country, low-income residents and residents of color face limited public transit options as dwindling public transportation resources leads to reduced schedules and fewer service access points. For example, in Alabama the average commute time for Black workers on public transit (47 minutes) is almost 20 minutes longer than it is for White workers (28 minutes).


  • In the News…
    A reporter for the Winston-Salem Chronicle highlights a new analysis from the North Carolina Justice Center that uses Atlas data on school poverty to show the correlation between the expanding achievement gap between Black and White students in North Carolina and the increasing segregation in local public schools. Similarly, an op-ed that was published in the Atlanta Daily World and the Dallas Examiner uses the school poverty indicator to advocate for investments in majority Black schools and new curriculum models. Finally, "Solving the Housing Crisis Is Key to Inclusive Prosperity in the Bay Area" was featured in Philanthropy News Digest and Planetizen, and World Journal, the largest Chinese newspaper in America.


Thank you!

The National Equity Atlas team at PolicyLink and the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE)

Exploring Equity Data for Change at Equity Summit 2018


From April 11-13, PolicyLink welcomed over 4,000 equity advocates to Chicago for #EquitySummit2018. It was an inspiring and productive convening, and you can (re)watch the three main plenary sessions here. The Atlas team also organized two equity data workshops, including a pre-summit institute and a strategy session. Here is our recap of the sessions.

Data for Racial Economic Inclusion: Make Your Case

It was a packed house at the pre-summit equity data institute, with more than 100 attendees gathered to learn the opportunities and limitations of local disaggregated data, where they can find publically available local data, and how to build the case for racial equity and inclusion using detailed demographic and economic data.

We began with some education on using disaggregated data. Justin Scoggins, Data Manager at the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE), shared his list of top ten considerations when it comes to working with local and disaggregated data. They include:

  • When calculating percentages, try swapping rows with columns (i.e. within the white population in the U.S., only 10 percent are poor. But 44 percent of the poor are white.)
  • Showing disproportionality by comparing statistics to a relevant broader population (i.e. If we were looking instead at the share of voters that are people of color, then the more relevant broader population would be all people who are eligible to vote, or perhaps registered voters.)
  • Use common sense and intuition. A famous PERE saying: “If you find something interesting/surprising, you are probably wrong!”

Sarah Treuhaft, Senior Director at PolicyLink, welcoming participants to the pre-Summit Equity Data Institute

Jamila Henderson, Senior Associate at PolicyLink, followed Justin’s presentation with a live walk-through of the Atlas, highlighting unemployment maps of the Chicago region. She showed how even among majority white neighborhoods with relatively low overall unemployment rates, people of color face unemployment rates greater than 20 percent in over two dozen of these neighborhoods.

Following a small group activity, we heard presentations from Adrian Dominguez at the Urban Indian Health Institute and Dolores Acevedo-Garcia from the Institute for Child Youth and Family Policy at Brandeis University. Adrian shared how there are nearly 1.3 million American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States today and 71 percent live in urban areas. He also shared an overview of the recently released Urban Indian Health Dashboard. Dolores shared about, underscoring how neighborhoods, which are highly segregated by race/ethnicity, are an integral developmental context for children. And a growing body of research suggests that neighborhood environments (e.g., poverty) influence children’s long-term outcomes (e.g., future earnings, college attendance, etc.).

We closed the session in five breakout groups. Dolores led a session on, Adrian led a session on the new dashboard, and we also had a few guest facilitators. Jessica Mindnich and Sepi Aghdaee from The San Francisco Foundation shared about a new project with PolicyLink and USC PERE to build an online Bay Area Equity Atlas covering the nine-county Bay Area region. Karen Shaban and Karla Bruce from Fairfax County, Virginia discussed building the economic case for equity inside county government and their work to get the Board of Supervisors and the School Board to jointly adopt One Fairfax, a racial and social equity policy that applies to all publicly delivered services. Ángel Ross, Program Associate at PolicyLink, shared the Renter Week of Action analysis and how data can support efforts to build renter power in cities across the country.

Leveraging Data to Move Equity Campaigns in an Era of “Alternative Facts”

In this strategy session, we highlighted the work of local leaders crafting data-driven narratives and campaigns despite general hostility towards equity data efforts at the federal level. Participants gathered to strategize on how to better use data to strengthen their work to advance equity and share examples of how they have used data to frame an issue.

We began by sharing our 2017 report on 10 design principles for online health equity data tools. They include the importance of making data actionable through policy and systems change, emphasizing assets and opportunities not just disparities, and honoring indigenous data sovereignty.

Vicki Quaites-Ferris, from the Empowerment Network, presented on how they used the Equitable Growth Profile to inform the Heartland 2050 regional plan in the Omaha-Council Bluffs region. They also created the STEP-UP Omaha initiative, a summer training employment pathway, to reduce unemployment, which was correlated with a decline in gun violence. Go to for more on the Empowerment Network, including the upcoming release of an updated profile on June 6.

Later, Neeraj Mehta, from the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), shared about how their research approach flips the traditional research approach on its head. Rather than focusing on concentrated poverty, they focus on concentrated White wealth. And rather than relying on research questions generated within the academy, they rely on research questions posed by community members outside the university. Neeraj also shared about a new gentrification analysis in Minneapolis and St. Paul, which found that gentrified census tracts tended to be located along transit corridors. For more on CURA, visit To view Neeraj’s slides, click here.

Jihoon Woo, a producer, writer, and artist from New Jersey, opened the session with a powerful piece on truth and facts. Also pictured: Neeraj Mehta and Vicki Quaites-Ferris.


Co-Develop Community Data Tools with the National Equity Atlas

A Request for Letters of Interest to Partner with the National Equity Atlas to Co-Develop Community Data Projects (PDF)

Across the country, local organizations are leading collaborative, cross-sector efforts to advance equity-driven strategies for inclusive prosperity. Data disaggregated by race, geography, and other demographics is foundational to their efforts, both to build a shared narrative about how and why equity matters to their community’s future and to inform community action and measure progress toward results. When informed by the voice, wisdom, and experience of those most impacted by structural racism and systemic bias, data projects can empower collective action, guide decision-making, undergird advocacy, and inform policy development and investment.

The National Equity Atlas team at PolicyLink and the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at the University of Southern California (PERE) invite local partners working in the ten priority communities of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to submit proposals to work with our team on data projects to inform their equity initiatives.[1] This opportunity builds on the series of community equity profiles we produced in 2017 and focuses on supporting local leaders in developing more effective data-driven narratives, community-owned data projects, and knowledge products that strengthen and accelerate their equity efforts.

Over the next two years, we will partner with five community organizations or collaboratives to co-develop data projects that advance equitable growth strategies locally. We can support three types of data projects.

  • Customized online equitable growth data dashboards. These interactive dashboards would include a set of 5-7 locally-prioritized indicators for monitoring progress on equitable growth, along with a narrative framing the data and solutions being advanced by the community partners. They would include indicators of demographic change, economic equity, transportation justice, housing, education, or other indicators for which data are available via the National Equity Atlas/our equity indicators database (see the “Data and Methods” page). We could possibly include 1-2 indicators from local sources depending on availability and need. Example: Data Summaries page on the National Equity Atlas.


  • Responsive data analyses to support policy campaigns related to housing, health equity, equitable development, and economic security. These analyses could be a series of short and sharable fact sheets or infographics that frame an issue with local data in support of a campaign. They might include data for a series of geographies ranging from the county or regional-level down to the neighborhood or provide data across a set of issues like housing affordability or employment equity. Example: Renter Week of Action fact sheets.


  • Data-driven narratives to make the case for racial and economic equity. This could be a short report or a web page detailing the economic imperative of racial equity, providing key indicators, and highlighting effective strategies and policies to achieve equity. Example: California’s Tomorrow.


Prospective applicants are encouraged to propose tools that support efforts to drive policy and systems changes that advance racial equity and inclusive growth in their communities. For more examples of existing tools developed in partnership with community organizations, please visit the National Equity Atlas at Also see our report presenting 10 design principles for health equity data tools.

The National Equity Atlas team will work with a lead community-based organization or collaborative in five of the priority communities over a six-month period during 2018-2019 to co-design a data product and engage other community partners in the process. We seek local partners who are interesting in producing this tool or analysis to inform their policy work and raise their profile on equity policy issues. During the tool development process, community partners would be asked to:

  • Offer an initial vision for a data tool or product (through this application);
  • Co-develop the tool or analysis with the National Equity Atlas team;
  • Convene other local organizations, leaders, and residents to inform the design and development of the tool;
  • Regularly communicate with the National Equity Atlas team via email, phone, and videoconference;
  • Lead the planning of a local release event to share the produce more broadly with community leaders, policymakers, business leaders, and the media; and
  • Participate in two brief survey assessments to help gauge the effectiveness of the project, shortly after the tool’s release and one year after the release.


About the National Equity Atlas

The National Equity Atlas ( is a comprehensive online resource that shares indicators of demographic change and economic equity for 301 different U.S. geographies (the 100 largest cities, 150 largest regions, all 50 states, and nationwide). Maintained through a partnership between PolicyLink and the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE), the Atlas draws on a unique indicators database that incorporates hundreds of data points from public and private data sources and includes historical data as well as demographic projections through 2050. Through timely analyses, reports, and blog posts, the Atlas provides local leaders with data to track, measure, and make the case for inclusive prosperity.

Submission Deadline and Selection Process

There will be two informational webinars about the project, where interested partners can learn more about the types of tools and analyses that the Atlas team has produced and ask any questions related to the project.  These webinars will take place on Thursday, May 3 at 12pm PT/3 pm ET and Friday, May 4 at 12pm PT/3 pm ET. The Atlas team is also available to vet project ideas with community partners.

Organizations interested in this opportunity should complete the online application by May 25, 2018 to be considered. Please direct all questions to James ( via email, specifying “Data Tool LOI Question” in the subject line.

PolicyLink and PERE will review and evaluate all applications and select two projects to work on in mid-2018 and three projects to work on in early 2019. All applicants will be notified if they are selected by June 8, 2018.

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Potential to support community-driven policy and systems change to advance racial and economic equity. We are looking for data projects that aim to leverage data to influence public policy, resource allocation, and decisionmaking. This includes all points in the policy process from informing and framing the debate to monitoring progress toward equity results. We seek partners that have a track record of building inclusive coalitions that advance equity solutions.
  2. Potential to build community power and capacity. We are looking for data projects that engage impacted communities in the tool development process and increase community capacity to influence the policy debate by strengthening their use of data to track, measure, and make the case for equity solutions. We believe that communities that bear the brunt of inequities should be at the forefront when creating data tools, both to inform tools with community knowledge and ensure tools meet community needs and aspirations. We are looking for projects and partners that will undertake this data project in a way that engages communities of color, low-income communities, and other vulnerable populations, such as the transgender and/or disabled community, in the process

In addition, we will consider the diversity of places, projects, populations of focus, and levels of community data capacity across the five projects.

Download this request for letters of interest as a PDF.

[1] The ten priority communities are: Albuquerque, NM; Farmington, NM; Las Cruces, NM; Detroit, MI; Battle Creek, MI; Grand Rapids, MI; Jackson, MS; Sunflower County, MS; Biloxi, MS; and New Orleans, LA

Is Any Bay Area Neighborhood Affordable to Low-Income Families? A Look at San Jose and Concord (Hint: No)


On April 10, we released “Solving the Housing Crisis Is Key to Inclusive Prosperity in the Bay Area” in partnership with The San Francisco Foundation. The report underscores the relationship between housing and economic insecurity, and the threat that the housing affordability crisis poses to the region’s economic sustainability. The central analysis draws on neighborhood-level Zillow rent data and shows that a family of two full-time workers making $15/hour can afford the median market rent in only 5 percent of the 9-county Bay Area’s 1,500-plus neighborhoods. The vast majority (92 percent) of these affordable neighborhoods are rated “very low” in opportunity on a comprehensive index of neighborhood opportunity from

To show how these dynamics are playing out in two Bay Area cities, we teamed up with Working Partnerships USA in San Jose and the Raise the Roof coalition in Concord.

More than half of renters in San Jose today pay too much for housing, defined as paying more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs. Not a single neighborhood in the city has a median market rent affordable to a family with two $15/hour workers. In fact, it would take an annual income of at least $70,000 to be able to afford market rent. To view the full fact sheet from Working Partnerships, click here.

Sixty miles north of San Jose is the city of Concord. Located in East Contra Costa County, Concord is a more suburban city with a median household income lower than San Jose but higher than Oakland. Renters make up 41 percent of households and most renter households have annual incomes below $50,000. Yet no Concord neighborhoods have a median market rent affordable to families with an annual income less than $50,000. And only six neighborhoods in the city are affordable to families with incomes up to $75,000. The majority of Concord neighborhoods require an annual income greater than $75,000. For more information about the Raise the Roof campaign, click here and visit their Facebook page.

Solving this crisis won’t be easy, but we recommend comprehensive housing solutions (including protection, preservation, inclusion, and production), building renter and community power, and increasing economic security. In San Jose, Working Partnerships are working to stop illegal utility charges by preventing landlords from using Ratio Utility Billing Services (RUBS) to increase rents, to add protections for immigrants under just cause eviction, and to stop unfair evictions and harassment of tenants by opposing a redundant and discriminatory “criminal activity” policy. In Concord, Raise the Roof is ramping up efforts on a campaign for more tenant protections. Follow their Facebook page for the latest announcements.

For the full report on the Bay Area housing crisis, visit or



Chart of the Week: Alabama Transit Justice

To add equity data to the national dialogue about growth and prosperity, every week the National Equity Atlas team posts a new chart from the Equity Atlas related to current events and issues.

This week we are highlighting the importance of public transportation in connecting low-income residents and people of color to quality jobs. In cities and regions across the country, rapidly increasing housing costs and stagnant wages have forced many residents to move further away from the urban core in order to find affordable housing options. As a result, these residents must navigate a “spatial mismatch,” or making choices between neighborhoods with affordable housing or with employment opportunities that pay family-sustaining wages. This spatial mismatch can be a barrier to employment for many, particularly those reliant on public transit.

Over the last year, PolicyLink and PERE have been working with nonprofit partners in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, and Louisiana as part of a project to advance employment equity in southern states. The disparities in commute time in Alabama illustrate how important access to public transportation is in leveling the playing field for having access to quality jobs. Alabamians who travel to work in a private vehicle have comparable commute times regardless of race. However, those residents that get to work on public transit have a markedly different commute. The commute time for Black Alabamians is almost 20 minutes longer than that of their White counterparts.

Alabama is one of only five states that provide no state funding to supplement federal and local transportation funding. Without any state investment in the public transportation infrastructure, transit operators have been forced to cut service to certain neighborhoods and steadily increase fares in order to make necessary repairs. This lack of connectivity also further isolates rural residents and hinders their ability to access employment centers. Given that people of color are more likely to rely on public transit to get around in Alabama, disinvestment and underfunding of the state’s bus systems creates an additional barrier to employment and achieving economic security.   

Thankfully, there are policy alternatives that could enhance the public transit infrastructure in Alabama. Advocates there are promoting a public transportation trust fund to supplement the federal allocation that the state receives. The legislation recently passed the state house of representatives and is currently pending approval in the state senate.

To see the average commute time for your community, visit the National Equity Atlas and type in your city or state. Download and share the chart on social media.

National Equity Atlas: February Update

Dear Atlas users:

Greetings from the National Equity Atlas team! We have been busy updating all of our indicators and are excited to share this new data with you. We are also relaunching our Chart of the Week series adding equity data to the discussion about current events and issues. And we welcomed two new staff to our team: Jamila Henderson, a senior associate at PolicyLink, and Edward Muna, a data analyst at PERE, who you can expect to hear more from in the coming weeks.

Access 2015 Data for Your Community
In September, $201 billion: That's the potential economic boost that the Houston metro economy could have gained in 2015 if there were racial equity, up from $165 billion in 2010. Go to the Atlas to get this data point - and many more - for your community. Most of our 34 indicators are now updated to reflect the latest Census microdata release (the 2011-2015 pooled data from the American Community Survey), and in many case you can see change over time between 2000, 2010, and 2015. Visit

Join Our Team this Summer!
PolicyLink is accepting applications from current graduate students for a full-time Equity Atlas summer internship in our Oakland office. Help us produce new equity analyses and build new community equity data tools with partners in the Bay Area, Buffalo, Louisiana, or elsewhere. Apply here by March 9 and share this opportunity with your networks.

Equity Data Informing Community Action in Battle Creek
Last week, the Atlas team was in Battle Creek, Michigan presenting the findings from the Battle Creek Equity Profile to leaders of the BC Vision initiative during their steering committee retreat. We were happy to share data insights and support the group as they worked with the Kellogg Community College Center for Diversity and Innovation to more deeply embed an equity approach throughout its efforts to build an equitable, thriving city.

Chart of the Week: #BlackFuturesMonth
For the final week of Black History Month/Black Futures Month, Atlas team member Ángel Ross of PolicyLink analyzed the gains in Black income nationally and in Oakland, California if the vision of racial equity were achieved—if we lived in a society where all Black people can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.

In the News…
In an article for Los Angeles Times, L.A. Tenants Union member Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal uses "An Equity Profile of Los Angeles Region" in her opinion piece arguing that planning for transit and affordable housing should focus on the needs of low-income tenants of color, not the production of units, writing, "Without adequate protections to keep low-income tenants in their homes, transit-oriented development might as well be called transit-rider displacement."

Thank you!

The National Equity Atlas team at PolicyLink and the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE)

Chart of the Week: #BlackFuturesMonth

To add equity data to the national dialogue about growth and prosperity, every week the National Equity Atlas team posts a new chart from the Equity Atlas related to current events and issues.

Just in time to celebrate the culmination of Black History Month and Black Futures Month, the National Equity Atlas team is thrilled to relaunch the Chart of the Week series. This week, we are honoring the reality of Black existence and Black joy. Our vision of equity is a society where all Black people can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. To put a dollar amount to the potential gains for the Black population if this vision of equity were achieved, we compared actual Black income to a scenario of racial equity in income for the population ages 16 and older.

Nationally, average Black income was $24,928 in 2015 (as the chart below details). But if Black people had the same age-adjusted income distribution as non-Hispanic Whites, average Black income would be nearly $41,000, an increase of 64 percent. In the City of Oakland, California, average Black income was $30,072 in 2015. But with racial equity, this number would have been over $71,000, a staggering 137 percent increase. The potential gains in Oakland are substantially higher than the national gains because average White income in Oakland is nearly double the average White income nationally. But average Black income in Oakland is just $6,000 more than average Black income nationally, despite being in one of the most expensive metro areas in the country.

Closing racial gaps in wage and employment can be achieved by eliminating discrimination in pay and hiring, boosting educational attainment, and ensuring strong and rising wages for low-wage workers. Policies that focus on these goals are good for families, good for communities, and good for the economy. National Equity Atlas data show that in Oakland, income gains for the Black population are evenly split between an increase in wages and employment, which we measure by the number of hours worked. Strategies that address both factors include ending wage theft and strengthening workers’ rights to organize as well as helping Black entrepreneurs start and scale-up their businesses. With racial equity in wages and employment, Black families would have more money to not just survive, but thrive and plan for the future.

To see the newly updated gains in Black income with racial equity for your community (we just released the 2015 data!), visit the National Equity Atlas and type in your city or state. Download and share the chart on social media using#BlackFuturesMonth and #equitydata.