The energy to create a movement was palpable in New Orleans, just over three months ago when nearly 2,000 people participated in Regional Equity '08: The Third National Summit on Equitable Development, Social Justice, and Smart Growth. Held March 5–7, the event was marked by insightful conversation around economic and social equity issues facing our nation, and characterized by a determination to build a movement for change that would make all communities across the nation communities of opportunity for everyone.
Attendees came from urban, suburban, and rural communities across the country and reflected its racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity as well as a range of professional backgrounds and experience levels. Regional Equity ‘08 brought together smart growth, environmental justice, and equity advocates; labor leaders, community organizers, and civil rights champions; scholars, researchers, developers, funders, government, and business leaders; and members of the faith-based community to share important information and goals of how to advance equity. Speakers and participants traveled from 36 states, 120 cities, and from countries such as Canada, France, Uganda, and England to join in a riveting three-day discussion.
Through plenaries, workshops, caucuses, and site visits with examples of rebuilding efforts in New Orleans, attendees had the opportunity to share their insights about how to truly create a more equitable society. Participant comments and evaluations made it evident that they left the summit with a clearer vision about their individual role in the greater equity movement.
PolicyLink is pleased to make information from the summit available online: