The Equity Lab logo

A project-based reporting lab focused on accountability, solutions-focused and representative journalism.

About the lab

Almost 20 years ago, Sacramento was named the most diverse city in the U.S. by The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University. Time Magazine featured the report, which celebrated Village Park and noted more than half of William Land Elementary’s students spoke a language other than English at home.

But we weren’t talking about equity — or how far Sacramento had come and how far it had to go.

Today, the stories you are reading and the photos and videos you’re viewing reflect a community that’s evolving — and that is working for an inclusive future.

If history is our guide, we stand a good chance of making more of the kind of decisions that have long favored people and interests with outsized resources.

We know our community wants a different outcome.

Help us understand equity and power in Sacramento Sign up for our newsletter The Community Voices project

The Sacramento Region Community Foundation has established a fund for local journalism and education. The Impact Media Fund is continuing to take contributions for the Equity Lab. Click on the button below to donate.

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What we'll do

We'll understand, illuminate and disrupt the systems that prevent all residents full and equal access to the institutions of Sacramento on both a macro and a micro level.

Statement of Purpose

The Equity Lab has two pillars. The first, accountability journalism, seeks to assess the levels of access and influence Sacramento’s diverse demographics have on the governing systems, practices and decisions in regards to housing, education, economic opportunity and the environment.

The second, representative journalism, seeks to reflect the everyday lives, cultures and concerns of communities being underserved by mainstream media and news outlets. Both pillars seek to offer sophisticated solutions to disrupting the status quo and imagining a better Sacramento.

We’ve asked ourselves: Where is Sacramento heading and who is the city taking along for the ride? Who is being left out and who benefits from this exclusion? What systems are in place to ensure equitable access to housing, education, economic opportunity and environmental safety? What systems should we have in place?

We will provide a blueprint for the Equity Lab and an example on how representative coverage can and should be done.

FAQ

DO FOUNDATIONS AND DONORS HAVE ANY CONTROL OVER WHAT IS REPORTED?
Editorial independence has been a core value at The Sacramento Bee for more than 160 years. We strive to deliver high-impact journalism in the public interest. While we value the support of our funding partners, outside funders have no editorial oversight, approval or influence over the content produced by lab reporters or other members of the Sacramento Bee newsroom.

WHAT OTHER NEWS ORGANIZATIONS HAVE RECEIVED FOUNDATION FUNDING?
The Seattle Times launched an Education Lab years ago that is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and City University of Seattle. The Miami Herald received support from the Rockefeller Foundation to cover Puerto Rico’s recovery from Maria. The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and public media such as NPR and PBS have all accepted foundation funding.

WILL THIS EFFORT REPLACE THE SACRAMENTO BEE’S REGULAR REPORTING ON KEY ISSUES IN THE COMMUNITY?
No, these are new positions. We will continue to cover breaking news, education, housing, transportation and more across the Sacramento region.

Statement of Editorial Independence

Editorial independence has been a core value at The Sacramento Bee for more than 160 years. We strive to deliver high-impact journalism in the public interest. While we value the support and partnership of our funding partners, outside funders will not have any editorial oversight, approval or influence over the content produced by the fellow or other members of The Sacramento Bee newsroom.

Support The Equity Lab

The Sacramento Region Community Foundation has established a fund for local journalism and education. Donors to the Impact Media Fund at the foundation include James Irvine Foundation, The James B. McClatchy Foundation and the Sierra Health Foundation, as well as individual donors.

The Impact Media Fund is continuing to take contributions. Click here to help fund the Equity Lab.