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Equity & Empowerment

Ensure equity, inclusion, and access to opportunity for all residents

The 6 objectives in STAR’s Equity & Empowerment Goal Area promote equity, inclusion, and access to opportunity and community resources for all community members. While equity and empowerment are also addressed in other goal areas and objectives, such as EAC-3, Outcome 3: Equitable Graduation Rate, this goal area delves deeper into key aspects of social equity.

EE-1: Civic Engagement measures process equity through voting, participation on local boards and committees, and community sense of empowerment. EE-2: Civil & Human Rights promotes the respect, protection, and fulfillment of civil and human rights by all members of the community.

EE-3: Environmental Justice addresses neighborhoods and populations overburdened by environmental pollution, which leads to disproportionate environmental, economic, and health impacts. EE-4: Equitable Services & Access evaluates the spatial distribution of foundational community assets, such as public schools, public transit, and healthful food, and rewards communities for reducing disparities in access.

Finally, objectives in the Equity & Empowerment Goal Area enable all residents to lead lives of dignity and address issues related to intergenerational inequity. EE-5: Human Services assures that the most vulnerable community members have timely access to necessary services, while EE-6: Poverty Prevention & Alleviation focuses on the ability of people living in poverty to obtain economic stability, and ensures the local government is working to alleviate the immediate effects of poverty.

Objective Number Objective Title and Purpose


Civic Engagement: Facilitate inclusive civic engagement through the empowerment of all community members to participate in local decision- making 


Civil & Human Rights: Respect, protect, and fulfill the civil and human rights of all members of the community 


Environmental Justice: Ensure no neighborhoods or populations are overburdened by environmental pollution 


Equitable Services & Access: Establish equitable spatial access to foundational community assets within and between neighborhoods and populations 


Human Services: Ensure that essential human services are readily available for the most vulnerable community members to ensure all residents receive supportive services when needed 


Poverty Prevention & Alleviation: Alleviate the impacts of poverty, prevent people from falling into poverty, and proactively enable those who are living in poverty to obtain greater, lasting economic stability and security

Each of the above objectives contains quantitative outcome and qualitative action measures. To see the evaluation measures, view the Equity & Empowerment section of the rating system.

Top Achieving Communities

  • Seattle,WA: 75.8/100, 5-STAR Certified Community
  • Cambridge, MA: 73.8/100, 5-STAR Certified Community
  • Northampton, MA: 70.3/100, 5-STAR Certified Community
  • Iowa City, IA: 57.8/100, 4-STAR Certified Community
  • Evanston, IL: 57.4/100, 4-STAR Certified Community