Equity: The Soul of Collective Impact

Michael McAfee, Angela Glover Blackwell and Judith Bell

The long, rich history of community-building work in low-income communities and communities of color provides a foundation of theory and practice on which today’s collective impact framework must build to achieve results commensurate with society’s biggest challenges. That foundation is equity—just and fair inclusion into a society in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. Equity, both racial and economic, must be infused through all aspects of collective impact processes,from the deep engagement of communities to the collection and analysis of data; the design and scale of solutions; and the capacities, point of view, and roles of backbone organizations. 

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