Equity Budgeting: A Manifesto

Jess Lamar Reece Holler   |   November 25, 2020


The Marion Voices Folklife + Oral History Program has worked, over the past three years, to develop & cultivate a critical model for bringing together economic justice + racial justice organizing in the community-based cultural work sectors. We call this model equity budgeting. True to its name, equity budgeting holds that the chief space of praxis & ethics for any community-based cultural work project is its budget.

We’ve been talking about, presenting on, &, most of all, practicing equity budgeting for years now. We keep getting asked what’s been written on equity budgeting: Where does it come from? Who says? Where can I read more so I can figure out if I want to do this; if y’all are even legit? Bullshit expectations that practices aren’t legitimate or time-tested models if they’re practiced in community & arise from social movements unless they’re written up in peer-reviewed, usually-paywalled (!!!) publications aside, here it is. We wrote it down. We wrote about equity budgeting. It’s here! It’s in words not practices! So attention, all you academic types: yippee, you can (and will now be expected to!) cite this. So, now that you’re reading words on a page: what’s this “equity budgeting” fuss all about? Where does it come from, why does it matter, what is it for, what world does it imagine, how can you learn more?


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