What is an Equity Atlas?
An equity atlas is a tool that helps to visualize information about inequity and opportunity by mapping data and information. Examples of existing equity atlases include the Denver Regional Equity Atlas and the Durham Neighborhood Compass.
The goal of this grant is not to replicate the work of other regions– rather, it is to build the foundation for a collaborative tool that is inclusive of the voices, work, and expertise of our regional community. We believe that our role is to catalyze– to foster connections, support ongoing work, and share our expertise in ways that move our community closer to an environment in which equity data and information are shared for the benefit of all.

What is the plan?
The IMLS grant will support work in five areas:

  1. Listening. We have a lot to learn about the incredible work that happens every day in our community around equity. We know that there is expertise throughout our region. We want to know your priorities for this project. We want to know who is passionate about issues and activities that might enhance an equity atlas. We want to know your concerns and hopes and ideas. We want to be better collaborators than the University has been in the past
  2. The establishment of partnerships and coalitions that can work to share existing data and collaborate to generate new information.
  3. The provision of support to agencies and individuals who are actively collecting data about inequity throughout our region. Through this grant, we will channel finances, labor, and expertise to the community to strengthen our regional capacity to share data openly.
  4. Increased sharing of UVA-authored information. We recognize that UVA frequently relies on regional partners to reach research and curricular goals, without providing access to research findings back to our community. We are committed to creating and promoting channels for UVA researchers to openly share their work, and to advocate for this as an essential part of our role as a Public Institution.
  5. We will build an iteration of an Equity Atlas in consultation with our community. We will invite community input throughout the process, and work to create a resource that is collaboratively owned and maintained– a tool that belongs to our community.

What’s Next?
We’ll be adding information in the coming weeks to this site about things we’re working on and the amazing people we’re working with. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to us at equityatlas@virginia.edu