About the Project
Norwalk Speaks! and does it matter?
Norwalk Speaks! is a community driven ACTION PLAN to ignite a more welcoming, inclusive, and equitable Norwalk for all. The city of Norwalk recognizes that with population growth, comes a responsibility to enhance the quality of life and opportunities for all Norwalk residents. "Your Voice Matters" The results of Norwalk Speaks! will be reflective of community input and stakeholder engagement for a more vibrant and inclusive city.
Due to various factors, people of diverse ethnic backgrounds are disproportionately impacted by policies and decision making that potentially exclude or demoralize many Norwalkers. This project will assess many areas such as housing needs, access to transportation, health services, job opportunities, entrepreneurship, education, and public services. This is a community effort and everyone's input is valuable in the process. We encourage all residents to come out to events or simply send us a note with your your thoughts.
Equity vs. Equality
If you thought equity and equality were synonyms, you wouldn’t be alone—but you’d also be wrong. In fact, the pursuit of one can sometimes directly contradict the pursuit of the other. How? Equality is the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities. It means that treating everyone the same in the pursuit of equality might not actually be fair.
Equity is a solution for addressing imbalanced social systems. Justice can take equity one step further by fixing the systems in a way that leads to long-term, sustainable, equitable access for generations to come.
Equality has become synonymous with “leveling the playing field.” So let’s make equity synonymous with “more for those who need it.” Equity is a key component of the Norwalk Speaks! project. Issues of gender, race, sexual orientation, language, and disability (to name just a few) require us to be deliberately conscious of equity when creating policies and processes for DEI transformative change. Choices like offering gender-neutral restrooms, ensuring interview panels are diverse, providing accessible workspaces, and offering communications in multiple languages requires more intentional thinking, but the result is worthwhile: An environment that creates equal access and opportunities for all.
*“Racial Equality or Racial Equity? The Difference it Makes,” Race Matters Institute. 2014. Accessed Oct. 15, 2020. http://viablefuturescenter.org/racemattersinstitute/2014/04/02/racial-equality-or-racial-equity-the-difference-it-makes/
“The route to achieving equity will not be accomplished through treating everyone equally. It will be achieved by treating everyone justly according to their circumstances.”—Paula Dressel, Race Matters Institute*