SA2020’s operations ended on March 28, 2024.
Our data, reports, and stories will remain online through September 2024. Read more about our decision to dissolve on our blog.
SA2020 | Achieving the Community Vision Requires Advancing Racial Equity | SA2020

Achieving the Community Vision Requires Advancing Racial Equity

The first decade of progress—like the history of progress in the U.S.—has shown us that achieving the shared Community Vision for everyone who calls San Antonio home requires advancing racial equity.

In recognizing that racial disparities across all indicators are deep and pervasive, we “lead with race” across SA2020’s work. This approach offers the focus and specificity necessary for moving the needle incrementally on Community Results, while creating the processes to address inequities in all forms.

Targeting interventions in this way advances equity, which is both a process and an outcome: the process, for example, of designing policies informed by the needs of the community and the success of improving people’s lives. Racial equity, more specifically, is achieved when race does not determine or predict a person’s outcomes.

Making sense of San Antonio’s progress and inequities requires learning about history. SA2020’s City Council Profiles, data disaggregated by geography, therefore begin with recreating the “residential security maps” or redlining maps created in 1935 by the federal government to subsidize home ownership for White people and deny people of color home ownership. Redlining was outlawed in 1968 through the Fair Housing Act, but its legacy remains oppressive.

In addition to building generational wealth, a safe home is directly tied to people’s life outcomes. The relationship between the value of homes in a neighborhood, property taxes, and school funding, is just one example of the impact of redlining on the racial disparities in education outcomes today.

Without this context, disaggregated data supports harmful narratives that blame individuals for long-standing inequities. The truth reveals the power and responsibility of institutions.

Across our research, storytelling, and practice, SA2020 champions the following agreements:

  • Advancing racial equity uplifts the entire community.
  • Race matters. Race and place (e.g. zip code) affect people’s life outcomes, yet race is often left out of the conversation and the plan. To agree that race matters is to be explicit, not exclusive, about race.
  • Systems change is paramount. While people’s individual behaviors are important to leading change, the large-scale change necessary to reach Community Results requires strengthening the impact of entire institutions and sectors. This comes with acknowledging that institutions have historically perpetuated inequity.
  • We all hold power to lead change.
  • Moving from valuing equity to practicing equity requires continuous learning and improvement.