What Is an Equity Action Plan?

An equity action plan is an action plan that seeks to advance equity, fairness, and inclusion by promoting various strategies that effect change in an organization, institution or a community. 

According to an online article published by nonprofit health organization KFF, inequities in healthcare and health services are symptoms of a larger systemic and structural problem of social and economic inequality. According to the data, the social determinants of health are the following: economic stability, neighborhood and physical environment, education, food, community and safety within a social context, and health care system.      

Types Of Inequity In Society  

In a perfect world, there would be no need for discussions on equity, equality, or diversity. Since everyone will be treated fairly and justly, it would be an ideal society where all people are afforded the chance to live with dignity.  However, everyone knows that this is not the case. The reality is far from the ideal. One does not need to look far to see a glaring disparity in equity. Whether it’s in housing, education or health, equity problems continue to plague society even if there is constant progress and development in other areas. The following examples below are some of the most common areas where equity remains an issue.      

Health Inequity. If the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed anything, it has merely confirmed the many struggles people have faced even in the pre-pandemic era. There is an ever growing disparity not just between social classes but even among countries and nations. Some people have access to excellent healthcare and other basic services, while others do not have the same privilege. In poorer nations, competent and reliable healthcare is an elusive dream. It must be noted that health, social, and economic factors are all intertwined. Generally, a higher economic and social standing in society would translate to better access to health services. The severity of the equity problem in healthcare delivery has only been exacerbated by the ongoing health crisis. While most rich nations have already vaccinated a large chunk of their population, a lot of poorer countries are far from meeting their targets due to a myriad of reasons that includes low vaccine supply. Racial Inequity. The issue of race has always been a contentious one. From a historical point of view, the problems faced by colored people have been well-documented over the centuries yet have not been completely eradicated. Whether it’s in part due to colonization, extreme ideologies or simply learned prejudice, the fight for racial equity continues on into the 21st century. Although there has been significant improvements in policy and legislation; and more people today are generally more welcoming and accepting of all races. But there is still much to be done with regard to the economic opportunities of so-called ‘minority races’. Especially in the United States, low-income neighborhoods are still predominantly colored and studies have shown that this profoundly affects an individual’s quality of life and the opportunities open to him or her.Educational Inequity. Just like health, education is a basic service and right that many countries prioritize. A great disparity has been observed in the educational system in recent decades. This does not only apply to rich and poor localities or areas, but even between public and private schools. In order to achieve greater educational equity, there must be an efficient and competitive public school system with enough state support and resources to back it up. Unfortunately, the reality is that there are still many public schools in the United States that lack funding and resources. This creates a clear divide when students that attend private schools have more access and support versus a poorly-run public school. From elementary school, high school, and all the way to university, the ideal goal remains- that every student is given a fair access and opportunity to succeed academically. Gender Inequity. Gender, like race, is a social construct. It is important to differentiate sex from gender. One cannot choose one’s sex at birth, but gender usually is more of how one feels internally. Progressive movements and figures have called on gender equality and equity for decades. Today, the LGBTQ community is a key participant in various social discussions. And just like the issue of race, discrimination and ostracization are hurdles to attaining true gender equity. However, recent milestones in the fight for equality are a step in the right direction. The legalization of same-sex marriage or civil unions is one such milestone. As long as values such as tolerance, respect, justice, and solidarity continue to drive societies and institutions, gender equality and equity are not far from reach.

Ways To Promote Equity

There can be many ways to promote a sense of equity within a community. As an individual, you can do so in your own little ways. As a collective society, there must be a strong commitment to the values of equality and fairness. The following examples are some major ways to promote equity for all.  

Education. One of the most basic ways of promoting the value of equity is through education and information. By making people aware of the systemic problems that enable injustice and inequity, it may help them understand the need for solutions and change. Information is not only important, but spreading accurate and truthful information ought to be the goal. For students and young children, their formative years are critical years where their ideas and personalities take shape. Teaching them the value of equity while they are still in school is absolutely vital. As the saying goes, you need to start them young. But even for adults and professionals, education is still one of the best tools in promoting equity within communities. Legislation. The reality today is that education can sometimes not be enough. Concrete action must be taken to truly promote equity in a long-term and sustainable way. And what better way to do that than by going to the very root of society? Societies and civilizations, or at least traditional ones, are built upon laws and social norms. By influencing legislature and policy-making, people are able to assert their values and effect more sustainable change as opposed to simply applying short-term solutions. If the value of equity and equality are reflected in a country’s laws and charter, it stands a greater chance of impacting the lives of more people. By enacting into law various systems and regulations that promote equity, it also helps empower the people who are most affected by social inequities. Institutional Improvement. Apart from legislation, political and cultural institutions are also important in perpetuating the values of inclusivity and equity. Society is built upon various institutions- from basic social units such as the family to long-standing complex institutions such as the state to prominent pillars of society such as the media. It is important to see these different institutions as vessels or vehicles that have the capacity to affect long-lasting change. Thus, it is only by strengthening these institutions that equity and other values can have the chance to thrive and flourish. By building their capacity and fortifying their internal systems as well as external partnerships, these institutions will be better equipped to sustain equity and enact policies that will espouse it.

How to Create an Equity Action Plan

To create an effective equity action plan, you must plan your approach carefully. If it is convenience and ease you are looking for, using a predesigned template can save you a lot of time. Simply browse and select a suitable template from above and follow the basic steps found below. 

Step 1: Establish Goals

The first step in creating any action plan is setting the objectives. What goals do you want to achieve with your equity plan? Ideally, you want to limit your objectives to a couple of items. Having too many and too general goals may backfire. Since you want to keep your action plan focused, two or three major objectives should suffice. The goals you list serve as your ‘North star’ as you continue the process of planning and implementing your equity action plan. When obstacles or unexpected roadblocks come up, your goals can help redirect your focus and stay on course despite problems.    

Step 2: Give a Proper Background

After establishing the objectives, the next step is to offer a comprehensive background behind the purpose and goal of your equity action plan. It is important to provide some context in order for your readers and audience to better grasp the ideas and plans. How you frame your background will depend entirely on you. For example, you can explain the benefits of equity or share a little history surrounding the initiative. You can also describe the current situation pertaining to equity in the community. Whatever background you provide, it should be able to connect to the ideas and goals in the previous section. 

Step 3: Propose Activities and Projects

Since it is an action plan, the meat or primary content of your plan should be laced with concrete action. Draft and outline several action items that directly address your equity goals and objectives. Try to be as specific and concrete as possible. It shouldn’t only be the goals that ought to be realistic and attainable, the plans and strategies must be feasible as well. Depending on the nature or type of equity you are striving for, action can come in different forms including projects, events or even policies. For instance, if you are seeking greater social equity within your neighborhood, you need to ask yourself which aspects lack equity and what various programs can help counter the lack.         

Step 4: Establish Metrics For Monitoring    

Lastly, your equity plan should not just end with action. It must be a sustainable and long-term type of action. Follow through is almost as important as the execution itself. After determining the kind of action to take, you need to have metrics put in place in order to sufficiently monitor the plans and strategies. A plan can either succeed or fail. In either scenario, it must be subject to objective evaluation and analysis. A couple of success indicators or even just a simple rubric for measuring the plan’s outcome should be enough. At the end of the day, what matters is that all plans are sufficiently monitored and any progress is duly recorded.     


What is a school equity plan?

A school equity plan is a comprehensive written plan that outlines various strategies and actions that promote equity, inclusion, and diversity within an academic community. Most plans pertain to school policies such as diverse or anti-discriminatory hiring and admissions processes, etc.

What is the purpose of an equity plan?

The purpose of an equity plan is to promote just practices and encourage fairness and inclusion within an institution or community. And in most cases, a significant amount of structural and behavioral change must take place in order for the plan to succeed.

What is a racial equity plan?

A racial equity plan is a comprehensive plan that envisions greater equity and equality among races.

Equity, along with diversity and inclusion, are core values that are essential for a harmonious and tolerant society. Whether it’s social, educational or racial, equity action plans have the potential to help steer a community or organization to greater heights. Download a free sample template from the collection above to start creating your own action plan now!