Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?” – Martin Luther King Jr.
What is “social equity?” One definition of the word equity is “the quality of being fair and impartial,” but the term itself can mean different things to different people. For it to have a meaningful impact, we need to bring this concept to the institutions that serve us and have it affect social policy, such as in education and public administration, so that services can be delivered equitably.
To us, it is about helping marginalized communities have a greater quality of life and allowing Park City to become a more complete community. It is not news that while we live in a sort of mountain utopia, not everyone gets to experience it fully. The barriers that exist are generally not purposefully placed to keep some from accessing resources, but we will have to be intentional about addressing systemic inequities.
Recently, Katie Wright and Diego Zegarra joined elected officials, city staff, and nonprofit leaders on a trip to visit Moab’s Multicultural Center, a place many turn to when looking for answers to a myriad of questions. The center offers translation and interpretation services, referrals, and youth education, among other community services. They seek “to provide a safe, welcoming, and culturally sensitive center where individuals and families can find concrete support in their time of need.” They have been doing this for over a decade and have helped hundreds of people feel more welcome, while connecting them to the resources they need.
We are inspired by them as a possible road map into what could this look like in our own town. We ask questions and listen intently. We gather ideas. We learn. Rhiana Medina, Executive Director at the Multicultural Center, makes us feel welcome every step of the way. Her generosity of spirit is something we would like to bottle and take with us. We come back from the trip energized, determined, and engaged in deep conversations around what Park City needs.
Whatever comes from this moment, it will help define who we want to be as a community. The disparities that exist in our own backyard are by no means impossible to address. We are establishing a framework for the work that will need to take place for us to have a complete community, where all groups come together organically. Will this take time? Absolutely. Is it worth investing in? Now more than ever.
If you’d like to learn more about the visit, check out the article in the Moab Times!