NAACP Offers an Equity Toolkit for Building Projects
With racial equity coming into greater mainstream focus as a sustainability imperative, one question keeps coming up for building professionals, policymakers, and residents of communities affected by development: how do we move forward?
NAACP is offering answers. The group’s first publication in a series called Guidelines for Equitable Community Involvement in Building & Development Projects and Policies is designed to help community members advocate for themselves. This 100-page toolkit is also enlightening reading for building professionals and policymakers who are waking up to the why of racial equity in development but are unclear on the how.
The in-depth report includes “explainers, principles, tips, and tactics for everyone seeking to bring justice and equity to buildings and development,” according to an overview published by NAACP. Some key takeaways:
- Community residents need to be invited to the process during pre-design, before decisions have been made.
- A dedicated budget is needed, for example to provide childcare at meetings and to compensate community members for their time.
- People with decision-making power must engage in meaningful dialogue, not just invite public comment on projects and policies that have already been designed.
- Project teams should use racial equity impact assessments to help identify how different groups will be affected by a building project or policy.
- To avoid “green gentrification,” it’s vital to put frontline communities at the center of collaboration.
In addition to answering questions like “Who makes decisions about development?” and “How does development usually happen?” the guidelines provide advice for building alliances, organizing neighbors, and evaluating the community involvement process. Five case studies provide examples of successes and lessons learned from a variety of project types.
This is the first in a series of reports, with later guidelines in the works that are specifically designed for building professionals and policymakers.
More on equity in green building
Melton, P. (2021, June 24). NAACP Offers an Equity Toolkit for Building Projects. Retrieved from https://www.buildinggreen.com/newsbrief/naacp-offers-equity-toolkit-building-projects