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Department of Race and Equity

Strategic Planning and Partnerships

Equity Centered Coaching 

people in meeting

What is Equity? Equity is defined as what occurs when we eliminate institutional racism and systemic disparities, providing everyone with equitable access to opportunity and resources to thrive, no matter where they live or how they identify. This work doesn’t happen by happenstance. It takes an intentional, strategic, thoughtful approach. To have equity is to fight racism, inequities, and injustice in all its forms.  

What is Equity-Centered Coaching? Equity Centered Coaching is a strategy and action-driven method that will guide City departments in their advancement of equity within and throughout the City of San Diego. Each City department will be assigned a staff member from the Department of Race and Equity that will serve as their Equity Centered Coach (ECC). ECCs will work directly with their respective department(s) to help apply an equity lens to all current and future operations, procedures, and policies. 

Equity Factors 

Racism is a salient and perversive force that creates racial disparities at the institutional and systemic levels of society. These far-reaching and generational disparities reflect the totality of the injustices and prejudices that are deeply embedded in our society’s policies and practices. At the City of San Diego, institutional and systemic racism disproportionately impact Black/African Americans, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander communities resulting in deterred opportunities and lower quality neighborhood infrastructure.  

Predictive disparities include but are not limited to the following areas and patterns:  

Disproportionately low economic wealth accumulation, housing/ownership opportunities, health care access, quality education, public safety, and employment opportunities. 

Disproportionately high levels of arrest, conviction, and incarceration rates.  

Equity Factors are a strategic approach used for the purpose of applying an equity lens to the City of San Diego’s operations at the departmental and organizational levels. Informed by the consistent and pervasive force of structural racism, Equity Factors appropriately frame policy, practice, and budget decisions with the goal of addressing racial disparities to produce equitable outcomes. Equity Factors provide an effective means to explore how equity currently operates within the context of each department’s operations, and at a comprehensive citywide level to address the impact in the following areas:  

  • Equity in Access: Includes enhancing access to City services or programs like trash and recycling collection, parks and recreational programs, library services, and keeping our communities safe. 
  • Equity in Infrastructure: Includes addressing disparities in our infrastructure, which includes fixing broken streets and sidewalks, repairing miles of levees, fixing broken pipes, and cleaning our water channels. Equity in action includes providing miles of street sweeping annually and ensuring our watersheds and pump stations are working properly. 
  • Equity in Communities of Concern: Includes addressing disparities in Communities of Concern to improve the harmful impact of environmental injustice through a Climate Equity Fund that targets district 4,7,8, and 9 to prevent enduring underinvestment.  
  • Equity in Processes: Includes ensuring our processes like budget decisions and policies are being guided by an inclusive equity lens.   

Equity Factors are used to examine to what degree equity is present from each of these vantage points as we set a path forward to dismantle systemic racism. Equity considerations are never in competition with each other, they co-exist and need to be consciously considered as parts of a whole. The introduction of Equity Factors as a strategic approach to equity is provided to apply an equity lens when analyzing policies, programs, practices, and budget decisions to achieve equitable outcomes. Equity Factors are essential elements for evaluating where equity is present and where it is lacking and informing the process to implement equity and stabilization in how neighborhoods function and thrive. The goal is to achieve equality in each neighborhood, which requires addressing equity to eliminate disparities in systems to provide everyone with access to City services and resources essential to thriving in San Diego.  

As we move toward activating Equity Factors to transform government systems, it’s imperative to also define the term equity and equality. Equality is defined as each individual, family, neighborhood, or community being given the same resources and opportunities without recognition that each person has different circumstances. Equity is defined as what occurs when we eliminate institutional racism and systemic disparities, providing everyone with access to opportunity and resources to thrive, no matter where they live or how they identify.