Stakeholders concerned with developing a strong, sustainable Piedmont Triad economy, including planners, developers, educational and nonprofit representatives, and elected officials, attended Piedmont Together’s second Equity Summit on November 14 at Centennial Station in High Point. This summit follows Piedmont Together’s first, (and perhaps the Piedmont Triad region’s first) regional equity summit on August 7, 2013.
Equity is a lens through which Piedmont Together’s economic development plan-in-progress is focused, and is a key economic asset. According to a Marketplace Morning Report from November 7, 2013, the International Monetary Fund did a study of one hundred nations and found that “for every 10 percent increase in equality, there was a 50 percent sustained, longer period of growth.”
Jocelyn Johnson (Wake Forest Baptist Health) opened the summit with a recap of the prior summit’s discussion, including a definition of the critical components of equity: inclusion, intention, focus and commitment.
Under the leadership of Bob Powell (NC A&T University) and David Allen (Beloved Community Center), discussion during the November 14th summit centered around barriers to equitable development, and potential solutions. For the region to experience equitable development it was noted that:
- Elected officials need to be more involved,
- Capacity in neighborhood advocates should be built,
- Schools should be connected with industry,
- Best practices should be compiled and shared, and
- Metrics for success in equity progress should be determined.