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There’s equality, equity … and then there’s justice

Last month, we looked at the concepts of equality and equity and how they compare. This month, we want to add the concept of justice, or social justice, to that conversation. As a review, equality is the equal sharing and…

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Last month, we looked at the concepts of equality and equity and how they compare. This month, we want to add the concept of justice, or social justice, to that conversation.

As a review, equality is the equal sharing and division, keeping everyone at the same level. It gives the same thing to all people, regardless of their needs. A good example of equality is the opportunity for all children to attend public school.

Equity goes a step further. It means fair treatment, access, advancement and opportunity for all people. It strives to identify and eliminate barriers that prevent the full participation of some groups or individuals. Promoting equity requires an understanding of the causes of outcomes of disparities within our society. For example, adding a wheelchair ramp next to the steps at the public library aims for equity.

Justice, or social justice, is the view that everyone deserves to enjoy the same economic, political and social rights, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, gender and other characteristics.

As the illustration above shows, justice requires us to remove some of the barriers that cause inequity. An example at Asante of justice might be when we added a field in Epic for our patients to include their preferred name and gender identification. We are respecting their rights by not forcing them to identify according to societal norms, but rather by what is authentic to them. We’ll talk more about this next month when we explore the difference between sex and gender.

WHAT IS EDI?

After the civil unrest in summer 2020, it became apparent that America — and Asante — must do more to promote social justice and try to eliminate biases. The result was the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee.

The team of employees and leaders is focusing on employee engagement, patient engagement, community outreach, policy management, employee and leadership development, and communications

The intent of the work not only is to embrace diversity at Asante, but to recognize our commonalities. If you are interested in the work of equity, diversity and inclusion, email us with your comments and suggestions.

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