Applying Racial Equity to U.S. Federal Nutrition Assistance Programs - Flipbook - Page 73
Appendix, Tool 1 (Detailed Questions)
*To access the racial equity methodology tool individually, go to: bread.org/racialequitymethodology
Methodology: Applying a Racial Equity Lens
to Anti-Hunger Policies
Our hope is to build on this method for future projects. This methodology is offered as a possible pathway for other
organizations, policymakers, and implementing agencies to use in developing a racial equity lens for their work, whether
inside or outside the nutrition field.
How the Racial Equity Lens was Applied
Achieving racial equity means that all people, regardless of race, have fair
opportunities to enjoy equality. To ensure that the methodology contributed to this
outcome, methods put the needs of communities of color at the center of the analysis.
The process was divided into two steps: first, closing divides based on race so that
programs achieve equal outcomes for participants of all races; and second, ensuring
that communities of color reach optimal outcomes, in our case, around nutrition.
Both steps are integral to realizing racial equality.
Below are the five stages used to apply a racial equity lens, followed by questions
asked at each stage:
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO
“CENTER” THE NEEDS OF
COMMUNITIES OF COLOR?
“Centering” means simply
focusing attention. All
decisions are informed by the
barriers facing communities
of color and solutions aimed
at overcoming those barriers.
Barriers and solutions are at
the center of our thinking
Stage 1: Do not assume that the program or policy did not already apply an
equity lens. Many anti-hunger programs already include an equity lens or
efforts to promote equity in their program design—for example, gender or
class equity. Programs serve lower-income communities, so their overall goal is to help people with fewer resources
achieve equal outcomes. But for many reasons, some within the program’s purview and some outside its control,
equal outcomes are not always the result. Using additional equity lenses, including a racial equity lens, can move the
program closer to its goal.
Stage 2: Analyze the outcomes for each racial and ethnic group. If outcomes are not equal across participants of all races,
then there is room to use a strengthened racial equity lens to adjust the inputs to achieve equal outcomes. The way
to do this is to put the needs of communities of color at the center of the analysis in order to identify whether or
how barriers to equal outcomes are addressed and how these program or policy elements can be improved.
Stage 3. Analyze why and how the outcomes of each racial and ethnic group were different. Once racial and ethnic
disparities are identified, it is important to respond to the history and other factors that created these divides.
Understanding the “why” and “how” behind the data is critical, especially when determining which recommendations
are the most culturally sensitive and appropriate in addressing the historical trauma associated with the disparity.
EQUITABLE ENGAGEMENT: MORE THAN JUST PARTICIPATION
Equitable engagement is different from participation. When experts of color are asked for feedback after
a project has been designed, but before it is finalized (or, in some cases, even after it is finalized), they are
participating. Experts of color do not hold real power in making decisions—for example, about framing how
concepts are communicated. Often, there is no requirement or expectation that the project will include the
feedback that participating experts of color have given in the final product.
Equitable engagement involves experts of color from the beginning and empowers them to drive the conversation at each stage: design/planning, implementation/execution, and evaluation. Experts of color also have
real decision-making power in shaping the narrative, determining who should be at the table, etc. Equitable
engagement also gives them appropriate credit for their ideas and work and compensates them for their time.
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