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What is Social Equity?

What is social equity?

Social equity is a process. 

Social equity acknowledges that there is or has been unbalanced and inequitable management and distribution of public service and implementation of public policy, and it works to repair that imbalance so everyone in a community has the same opportunities through a commitment to justice. 

Who we are and what we do

The Office of Social Equity is working to ensure the livelihood of all Oregonians is integral to the systems of ODOT as we work to fulfill our agency's mission and values together.
We are working on this by:
  • Building a diverse workforce, supported by equitable operations and policies, and establishing an informed culture that delivers authentic inclusivity. 
  • Promoting economic opportunity for Oregonians through transportation investments, including working with businesses owned by people who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latino/a/x, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native, Tribal, people of color, women, or others who have been marginalized through institutional and structural oppression.
  • Utilizing the viewpoints of those who reside in communities ODOT serves and are likely to be affected by our decisions and investments.
  • Investing in the protection of marginalized communities from environmental hazards.

Committed to serving all Oregonians equitably

ODOT's Strategic Action Plan highlights our commitment to serving all Oregonians. The voices of our customers matter and influence the work we do. A focus on equity ensures we look beyond merely improving the system to improving the quality of life of every Oregonian. We must be mindful of the benefits and burdens created by our work and ensure they are distributed equitably. Equity goals focus ODOT on workforce diversity and opportunities for advancement, expanding economic opportunities for minority groups, climate equity, and creating more representative public engagement processes.

Social equity impact statements

In doing this work as an agency we know that impact is most important. The processes we are putting in place will mean that ODOT looks and operates differently. So, we are working so that the following statements are true by 2030 -
  • ODOT follows policies, processes and procedures that promote a diverse workforce.
  • ODOT has a strong partnership with businesses owned by Black, Indigenous, People of Color, women and others who have been historically and/or are culturally marginalized.
  • All ODOT projects and programs prioritize social equity in their planning and risk assessments.
  • All voices, regardless of social identity or social demographics, in the communities ODOT serves are heard and their views influence agency decisions.
  • Transportation investments benefit neighborhoods and communities that have experienced systematic harm in the past.
  • Industry and program partners are held accountable to outcomes aligned with ODOT's commitment to social equity.

Contact Us

Office of Social Equity