The Equality Indicators is a comprehensive tool developed by the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance (ISLG) that helps cities understand and measure equality or equity in their city. It works across multiple areas (e.g., education, housing, justice) and measures the disparities faced by disadvantaged groups (those most vulnerable to inequality, such as racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants, or individuals living in poverty) across those domains on a regular basis, tracking change over time.
Equality Indicators tools can be used as frameworks to support policy development, demonstrating the effectiveness of current policies and initiatives, and highlighting areas where new policies and initiatives may be needed. By making data publicly available, they increase transparency and accountability, allowing the local community an inside view into the disparities in their city and where progress is—and is not—being made.
There are currently six Equality Indicators cities. Click on a city to learn more!
Who can use Equality Indicators tools
Government can use the findings from Equality Indicators tools to see how disparities are changing in areas where they have targeted efforts, what efforts need to be explored more closely, and the key areas that need to be targeted in developing new initiatives and policies aimed at reducing disparities. The findings can also help to guide additional work to understand root causes of inequality.
Communities can use the findings from Equality Indicators tools to learn about the conditions for disadvantaged groups in their city, the disparities influencing their members, and whether those disparities are improving. They can also use the findings to create and maintain demand for the government to target its efforts where disparities are the greatest.
Non-profits and service providers can use the findings from Equality Indicators tools to learn about the conditions of the groups they serve, provide support for advocacy efforts aimed at reducing disparities, and as evidence to support funding applications. The findings may also help them to identify where they want to focus their efforts and services – both in terms of key areas and of particular groups on which to focus.
How the first six cities were selected
The Equality Indicators tool was initially piloted in New York City with funding from The Rockefeller Foundation (Rockefeller). Once the tool was up and running in New York City, Rockefeller provided additional funding to develop tools in five new cities. In the spring of 2017, ISLG released a Request for Interest to select U.S. cities, including those part of Rockefeller’s 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) network. Interested cities were asked to submit an application describing their commitment to furthering equality, what efforts were currently underway, and how an Equality Indicators tool would fit in with those efforts, as well as potential areas of focus and sources of data. ISLG thoroughly reviewed all submitted applications, consulted with Rockefeller and 100RC, and followed up with additional questions as needed. In the end, the decision was made to select five 100RC cities, each looking to build equality or equity into their thinking about the resilience of their cities.
The Rockefeller Foundation provided funding for the development of the Equality Indicators methodology, piloting and implementing the tool in New York City, and developing and implementing local tools in five additional cities.
100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation, was a key partner in developing and implementing tools in Dallas, Oakland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Tulsa.
The City of New York funded community engagement in New York City.
- Interested in learning more or developing a local tool?