Reimagining Future Equity
Editor’s Note: Reimagining Future Equity
By KJ Ward
To me, to “reimagine future equity” has less to do with our understanding of the end game of equity and more to do with taking stock of our approach to equity. Reimagining starts with a look at how much the traditional strategies have moved the needle toward equitable access and equitable opportunity and then considers the ways we might scale existing strategies or implement newer ones.
Sometimes it’s a matter of leveraging a technology that simply didn’t exist in the last go-round. At other times it’s a matter of exploring places we never thought to look before. No matter the answer, the question is about which levers we can pull to get to LGBTQ equity. Just as important is getting to equity equitably – understanding the immense intersectionality of the LGBTQ community and the disparities within the community. In this issue of BEQ Pride Magazine, our articles dive into several new ways of “reimagining” approaches to equity.
In Everywhere is Queer and SHE Mark we’ll look at how technology is enabling a digital reimagining of equity with visibility and transparency at its core. For me, the initiatives driving these articles speak to two things. First, they describe what is possible when consumers have simple yet powerful information at their fingertips – sometimes this information affords consumers an opportunity to be more intentional about how they spend their money; sometimes it quite literally allows them to make choices that will keep them safe. Second, these articles speak to the power of historically-marginalized businesses finally finding platforms to amplify the greatness of the products they offer or the services they deliver. One harnesses the power of geolocation, and the other (along with clear and necessary digital features) offers a nostalgic nod to an analog past.
NASA’s LGBTQ Partnerships takes us into the “final frontier” with the message that when it comes to equitable access and opportunity, not even the sky is the limit. This article is a lesson in both the power of diversity to innovate and the necessity of creativity in accessing diversity as our definition of it expands.
In Social Enterprise we are inspired to reimagine the historical chasm between commercial enterprises on one side and social-services organizations on the other. Closing the gap can help nonprofit organizations more fully build out their service portfolios, diversify their revenue, and connect to their communities in new ways.
Finally, we get a reminder that while innovations and inspirations from nonprofits, entrepreneurs, and government agencies are invaluable instruments of equity, legislating an equal playing field is still a necessary fight. Having the law on your side is a key enabler. The call to action in Equality Act and Active Accomplices describes the importance of a bill before Congress right now and rallies all who would seek justice to do their part to ensure its passage.
We hope your Pride celebrations were festive and motivating, and we hope you enjoy this issue of BEQ Pride Magazine!
KJ Ward is a freedom fighter with a love of language and an appreciation of the power of the written word. Earlier in his career he worked as a case manager for the State of Hawaii Department of Human Services and as the director of Boston GLASS, a supportive services and advocacy program for LGBTQ youth. KJ also worked for several years as a communications specialist for McKinsey & Company in Germany.
Today, KJ partners with a small group of clients in service of their communications strategy and organizational development needs. He is a proud and active member of both the board of directors of Gender Spectrum and the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, and from time to time he publishes his own writing. KJ is also a registered yoga teacher, committed to bringing this practice of individual and community liberation to those whose access to it has been limited.
KJ earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a master’s degree in developmental psychology from Harvard University.