SSV: Moving Forward with Equity in Our Community

On Zoom: Elizabeth Beasley (left), Putnam Ivey de Cortez and Bob Beard (moderator)

Elizabeth Beasley and Putnam Ivey de Cortez spoke at the February 2022 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia.

Elizabeth Beasley is from the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion where she is director of community partnerships. In addition she is a member of the President’s Council on University-Community Partnerships and co-chair of its Public Health Work Group. She began her presentation answering the question, “What is the difference between “equal” and “equity.” Equal implies that there is a one size fits all resolution to an issue. Equity is an intentional way of equalizing responses according to the needs of the recipients. The goal of the President’s Council is to build partnerships with the community such as using local vendors, improving public health and public housing. Practicing good neighbor ethics, pursuing actions with mutual benefits and building authentic partnerships are ways of achieving equity between The University of Virginia and the local community.

Putnam Ivey de Cortez from Albemarle County’s Office of Equity and Inclusion coordinates programs for the county government. The mission statement of this program is to improve the well being and quality of life for all community members. In order to accomplish this goal, understanding the issue more thoroughly is essential so, the speaker presented several demographic studies. For example, factors affecting health were found to be 20% clinical care, 30% health behaviors, 40% socioeconomic factors and 10% physical environment. These statistics provide the foundation for determining the work the staff is trained to do. Currently the county is revising their comprehensive plan and soliciting a broad selection of its citizens to give their input.

The two spoke at the Wednesday February 9, 2022 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at The Center in Charlottesville and simulcast on Zoom. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Board Member Bob Beard.

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