Equity Compensation in Building Community

Casey Fenton

June 12, 2023

Equity Compensation in Building Community

June 19, 2023

Equity Compensation in Building Community

Equity compensation is a powerful tool that can help build better and more equitable communities. In this article, we will explore what equity compensation is and how it can be used to promote power building, support health justice, and achieve racial equity.

The Role of Equity Compensation in Building Community

Equity compensation refers to the practice of offering employees or community members ownership in a company or organization. Equity can be granted in the form of stocks, options, or other forms of ownership. As compensation, equity is often used as a way to incentivize and retain talented employees, but it can also be used to promote community ownership and engagement.

Equity compensation can be a valuable tool for community power building organizations (CPBOs) that seek to build power in their local communities. By offering equity to community members, CPBOs can create a sense of ownership and investment in the organization. This can lead to increased engagement, collaboration, and a shared commitment to achieving community goals.

Equity for Community Power Building Organizations (CPBOs)

Community power building is a concept representing social change where members cultivate ongoing relationships and play a role in developing community leadership. Equity compensation plans, in turn, can be instrumental in building community power wherein they help center community interests and harness local power.

Ideally, CPBOs raise political consciousness through equity compensation awards and lead local efforts to address racial and health equity, racial justice, and other pressing community issues. By involving community members in decision-making and giving them a sense of ownership and investment in the organization, CBOs can ultimately build strong, healthy and equitable communities.

Equity and Racial Justice

Equity compensation can also play a crucial role in advancing health equity that impacts racial injustice. Historic and ongoing injustices that have created deeply entrenched power defend that it continues to reproduce community power and lead to poorer healthcare outcomes for marginalized communities. As such. equity compensation can be used as a tool to center racial equality and build community power among communities that have historically been excluded from decision-making and receiving poorer health care. 

By offering equity to members of the community and centering their needs and priorities, organizations can achieve racial and health equity and transform harmful systems.

Equity Compensation in Sectors Grassroots Community Organizations

Grassroots community organizations are often at the forefront of community power building efforts, working to address a range of issues from pollution and climate impacts to political and economic contexts that impact the community’s health.

Equity compensation can support the work of grassroots community organizations and similar community organizing groups by creating more and stronger partnerships between members of the community, organizations, and more health institutions. By offering equity to community members and centering their needs and priorities, organizations can achieve greater collaboration, alignment of goals, and more mutual and interdependent models of community development.

Communicating Equity Compensation to Community Members

Effective communication is critical when it comes time to pay equity compensation. CPBOs must be transparent about how equity compensation works, who is eligible for it, and what it means for the organization and community members.

CPBOs should also communicate the benefits of equity compensation, such as the sense of ownership and investment it provides, the alignment of goals and collaboration it fosters, and the potential for building community power and achieving health justice and racial equity.

Decisions Affect Community Health

The decisions made by various organizations and individuals can have a significant impact on the health of communities. From city health officials to myriad health system actors, every decision-maker needs to consider the health implications of their actions. Equity compensation can play a vital role in ensuring that decisions are made with the community's health in mind. When community members are given a stake in decision-making processes through equity compensation, they are more likely to consider the broader impact of their decisions on the community's health.

Inequities That Equity Compensation Can Help Improve

Racial and health inequities are deeply entrenched in our society, and they continue to have a significant impact on the community’s health. Equity compensation can help address these inequities by providing a pathway to greater economic and social power for marginalized communities. By centering racial equity in compensation strategies, community building organizations can work towards more equitable and healthy communities.

Advancing Health Equity

To advance health equity, it will require a multi-faceted approach that involves many stakeholders, including federal government agencies, local officials, and community organizing groups. Hence, equity compensation can be a powerful tool in this effort, as it allows community members to take ownership of the work needed to achieve health equity. This can include developing community capacity, raising community consciousness, and facilitating effective and authentic partnering between community members and other stakeholders.

Equity compensation can also help to address pay equity, which is an important aspect of achieving health equity. When community members are compensated fairly for their work, they are better able to support their own health and well-being. This, in turn, can contribute to the overall health of the community.

Ultimately, equity compensation is just one strategy in the broader effort to build community power and achieve health equity. It must be implemented in the context of larger structural changes that address the underlying power imbalance that perpetuates poor health outcomes. By partnering with organizations like the American Public Health Association and Human Impact Partners, community building organizations can develop strategic campaigns that prioritize a community power building approach and center racial equity in all aspects of their work.

Equity Starts with Corporate-Community Collaborations

Equity compensation is a powerful tool that can help build healthier, more equitable communities. By centering community power where organizations can harness local power, and supporting community power building efforts, equity compensation can help create a more just and equitable society. Effective communication backed by authentic community collaboration and transparency is key to ensuring that equity compensation is used in ways that promote community empowerment and positive social change.

As a global, remote-first company, we at Upstock also believe in this philosophy. Hence, we advocate for innovative solutions that are mutually beneficial for your corporate goals and the immediate community. Talk to us for more information about how our equity platform helps bridge the gaps in underrepresented sectors.

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