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

In the News: Inclusion, Growth, and Epistemic Communities in Utah

Utah’s Salt Lake City metropolitan area has made strides in inclusive economic growth, but why?

To answer this question, the Deseret News featured Chris Benner and Manuel Pastor’s Just Growth work–linking equity with growth–during their 2013 research visit to the region.
“We tried to ask the question, ‘Where are the places in the U.S. where over the last 30 years there’s been an ability to achieve sustainable economic growth and also an ability to, in that process, lift all boats?'” Manuel Pastor, professor of sociology at the University of Southern California, said. ‘It turns out that the Salt Lake metropolitan area is one of those places that’s been able to do that – to do more inclusive growth.'”
One of the key factors Benner and Pastor highlighted were the regional leaders’ ability to have inclusive conversations and share knowledge across religious, race, economic […]

In the News: Just Growth and the Minimum Wage in Silicon Valley

In a June 2014 article Silicon Valley’s minimum wage success story, Amy B. Dean cited Chris Benner and Manuel Pastor’s previous research on linking equity and growth.
“Academic research has backed the idea that Silicon Valley’s experience with minimum wage and living wage measures can be applied broadly. As the University of California at Davis’ Chris Benner and the University of Southern California’s Manuel Pastor report in two of their books – This Could Be the Start of Something Big and Just Growth – there is a robust body of regional economic studies showing a strong correlation between shared prosperity and strong private sector growth. In a 2013 paper for the MacArthur Foundation, Benner and Pastor summarized this research, arguing that lower levels of income inequality are the most reliable predictors for longer periods of growth and greater overall employment levels.”
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By |September 4th, 2015|Categories: Just Growth|Tags: , , |0 Comments

“Just Growth” book made a university leader’s personal reading list

Hey, our “Just Growth” book made the list http://t.co/F0HBxP1TjH Also chk out our next book “Equity Growth & Cmmnty” http://t.co/JaknyszUPe

— Dr. Manuel Pastor (@Prof_MPastor) August 27, 2015

By |August 28th, 2015|Categories: Just Growth|Tags: , , |0 Comments

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