Polis is hosting a new speaker series focused on the use of data and information technology for equity and social justice called Equity in Data Use. Through the series, we aim to introduce Polis, SoIC faculty and staff, and others to new concepts, promote cross-learning, and spark collaboration.

Example topics include: the role of data in social justice; advancing equity with data – case studies in local government, health, environmental justice, criminal justice, housing, and more; avoiding bias in data collection, visualization, and interpretation; and geographic data in equity.

The series kicked off August 31 with an overview of equitable data practices and how they are being applied for positive social change. Kathryn Pettit, Principal Research Associate and Co-Director of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP), The Urban Institute , and Sonia Torres Rodriguez, Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center Research Analyst, The Urban Institute, shared highlights of NNIP’s process to ensure communities have access to data and skills to use information to advance equity and well-being across neighborhoods.

Specifically, they discussed individual and collective rights and harms to consider in developing approaches to data use to build trust that efforts are transparent and inclusive; three principles to guide equitable data practice: beneficence, respect for persons, and justice; and how the Urban Institute and NNIP partners operationalize these principles to advance racial equity in its work to strengthen communities and improve people’s well-being.

You can watch the recording here.