About Equity, Growth, and Community


What the Nation Can Learn From America’s Metropolitan Regions

In the last several years, much has been written about growing economic challenges, increasing income inequality, and political polarization in the United States. This new book by Chris Benner and Manuel Pastor argues that lessons for addressing these national challenges are emerging from a new set of realities in America’s metropolitan regions: first, that inequity is, in fact, bad for economic growth; second, that bringing together the concerns of equity and growth requires concerted local action; and, third, that the fundamental building block for doing this is the creation of diverse and dynamic epistemic (or knowledge) communities, which help to overcome political polarization and help regions address the challenges of economic restructuring and social divides.

Benner and Pastor examine how inequality stunts economic growth and how bringing together equity and growth requires concerted local action. Combining data, case studies, and emerging narratives on multi-sector collaborations in 11 metro regions, the book offers a powerful prescription not just for metros but for our national challenges of slow job growth, rising economic inequality, and sharp political polarization.

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As America bolts toward a more multiracial future in the face of skyrocketing inequality, local leaders are desperately seeking strategies to foster more inclusive growth. Chris Benner and Manuel Pastor’s research uncovers a critical ingredient of success: diverse regional leaders coming together to build a foundation of shared knowledge and advance positive change.
Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder and CEO, PolicyLink
This book, the latest fruit of a highly productive collaboration between two first-rate thinkers, is both immensely wise and highly practical—a must-read. Benner and Pastor blow apart simplistic ideas about collaborative problem-solving—which tend to stop at reframing or the magic of dialogue—to show how the locally driven process of generating shared knowledge, risk-taking and even productive conflict can generate real progress on the most urgent challenges our country and our communities face.
Xavier de Souza Briggs, author of Democracy as Problem Solving: Civic Capacity in Communities across the Globe


The conversation doesn’t end when the book is in your collection. Equity, Community, and Growth is a living project that you can be a part of. Follow our Knowing Together, Growing Together blog and be informed when new developments takes place in any of the Metro Regions featured in the book.

Visit our Connect page for more ways to be part of the evolving conversations around the country on equity, growth, and community.

Equity, Community, and Growth Blog

San Jose: The Place Where the Poor Once Thrived

February 24, 2016
The Atlantic
Alana Semuels

If there’s any place in the United States where it seems the American Dream is most attainable, it might be San Jose, according to this article. Citing research from Chris Benner and Manuel Pastor’s most recent book, “Equity, Growth, and Community”, the article discusses the various infrastructural and social factors that contribute to why San Jose is such an uniquely successful city for those seeking social mobility.

Read the article here >>

By |February 25th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Equitable Development and Economic Growth

In Episode 2 of Infinite Earth Radio, a weekly podcast committed to encouraging urban equality and community building, PERE and CSII director Manuel Pastor talks about the multiple crises facing America as well as spatial, political, and intellectual segregation. What implications do they hold for America’s future? Is there a solution? Pastor thinks there is one: epistemic communities. In his own words, “We are in a place where people don’t agree on the basic facts. An epistemic community is about creating opportunities for people to know together so they can grow together.”

Listen to the entire podcast here >>

By |January 29th, 2016|Categories: In the News|0 Comments

Twitter shout outs for “Equity, Growth, and Community”!

We are thrilled for all the positive response and overwhelming support for “Equity, Growth, and Community.”

It was wonderful seeing all of you at the PolicyLink Equity Summit book launch event in October, and again, many thanks to our community partners and allies for making it a memorable night.  Special thanks to our guest panelists Denise Fairchild, Ron Brownstein, and Carrie Cihak.

To close out this month, here is a bonus #WhatWeAreThankfulFor post featuring a sampling of tweets from the Twitterverse about the book.

Wishing all of you a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

By |November 23rd, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |0 Comments

In the News: “What a Metro’s Diversity Means for Economic Success”

Check out a great post by Oscar Perry Abello for NextCity.org on Equity, Growth, and Community: What a Metro’s Diversity Means for Economic Success.  The article widens the perspective on economic planning processes from cities to metropolitan regions, and discusses how Benner and Pastor’s book sheds light on how successful economic development outcomes in these regions can be linked to the diversity of voices at the table and the types of inclusive conversations it fosters.

The economic future of our metros may be tied directly to how we talk about them — and more importantly, who is doing the talking…

…The authors dig into layers of data and find evidence to support what they call “diverse epistemic communities” as the basis for regional economies that are both more equitable and more capable of adapting and evolving to meet the changing demands of […]

By |November 2nd, 2015|Categories: In the News, Just Growth|Tags: , |0 Comments

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