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Economic Inclusion and Climate Equity

November 2011

By Sarah Treuhaft, Angela Glover Blackwell, and Manuel Pastor

Please note: reports dated earlier than June 2020 were published under our previous names: the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) or the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII).

In the last year, PolicyLink and USC’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) have been working together to research and write about a simple premise: growing economic inequality is bad for all of us.

We are pleased to announce the first report based on this partnership, America’s Tomorrow: Equity is the Superior Growth Model. Written as the framing paper for the PolicyLink Equity Summit 2011, the report marshals a wide range of literature and data on demographic change and deepening inequality – and argues that we need to re-imagine an economy that is more inclusive and equitable. As the authors from PolicyLink and PERE indicate:

“The nation’s public- and private-sector leaders need to recognize that preparing the changing population for the needs of the modern economy is the key to our future; they must make investments that allow all people to maximize their potential . . . Equity is not only a matter of social justice or morality: It is an economic necessity.”

“By building the capabilities of those who are the furthest behind, America not only begins to solve its most serious challenges, but also creates the conditions that allow all to flourish. This is not a zero-sum game. It is a win-win proposition: the more we invest in each other, the better off we will all be. Equity matters to our economic recovery and our economic future. Equity is the superior growth model.”

With a series of new reports documenting rising income inequality by class, race and age – and with a wave of protests sweeping the nation about exactly these issues – this message of a hopeful alternative could not be more timely.

Read our other publications by research area

    Immigrant Integration & Racial Justice

    Our work on immigrant integration and racial justice brings together three emphases: scholarship that draws on academic theory and rigorous research, data that provides information structured to highlight the process of immigrant integration over time, and engagement that seeks to create new dialogues with government, community organizers, business and civic leaders, immigrants and the voting public to advance immigrant integration and racial equity.

    Economic Inclusion & Climate Equity

    In the area of economic inclusion, we at ERI advance academic theory and practical applications linking economic growth, environmental quality, and civic health with bridging of racial and other gaps; produce accessible and actionable data and analysis through the data tools; and establish research partnerships to deepen and advance the dialogue, planning, and actions around racial equity, environmental justice, and the built environment.

    Social Movements & Governing Power

    ERI’s work in the area of governing power includes: conducting cross-disciplinary studies of today’s social movements, supporting learning and strategizing efforts to advance dialogues among organizers, funders, intermediaries, evaluators, and academics, and developing research-based social change frameworks and tools to inform—and be informed by—real-world, real-time efforts towards a vision of deep change.

    Publications Directory

    In 2020, the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) merged to form the USC Equity Research Institute (ERI).

    The full list of publications published under our previous and current names can be found in our publications directory.

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