Equitable Development and Economic Growth


Intertwined Crises in America


2:48 Manuel talks about his background and motivation

4:05 Spatial, political and intellectual segregation in America

5:57 Manuel talks about the three big crises in the US

9:23 Diverse, Dynamic Epistemic Communities

11:58 Examples of where these communities have come together

17:02 The key to economic growth

23:28 One change that would lead to better communities

24:08 One action listeners can take to build a better future

24:17 What does the world look like 30 years from now?


Dr. Manuel Pastor is Professor of Sociology and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California (USC), where he also serves as the Director of USC’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and Co-Director of USC’s Center for the Study on Immigration Integration. He is the author of multiple books, including most recently, Equity, Growth, and Community: What the Nation Can Learn from America’s Metro Areas, which he co-authored with Chris Benner from UC Santa Cruz.


“We are in a place where people don’t agree on the basic facts. An epistemic communities are about creating opportunities for people to know together so they can grow together. The thing that we sort of left out in this book is that it’s important for them to be diverse and dynamic. You can’t be surrounded simply by like-minded or like-raced people. You need to make sure that who is at the table is coming from different sectors, different communities, et cetera to be able to understand what it is that weaves us together and where our mutual interests lie.”

“It’s basically a nerd fest. We consider ourselves to be nerds for social justice and we did this for a couple of different reasons. Essentially, it was born when Angela Glover Blackwell and I—she’s the head of PolicyLink—were at a meeting at the White House and we realized that while we had pretty good ideas about what to do, few people were paying attention because we didn’t have the kind of data that we needed behind the ideas. This created a way to sort of democratize data.”

“Making sure that people understand that there is more than one leverage point; that we need to move the needle on multiple things at the same time; that we need to make sure that people are reentering from the criminal justice system successfully; that we are dealing with immigration reform. We are dealing with gender inequality. We need to get away from the idea that there is a silver bullet for our problems.”


Infinite Earth Radio Ep. 011 Affordable Housing and Employment Patterns in the San Francisco Bay Area with Dr. Chris Benner

USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE)

USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII)

National Equity Atlas Tool

Local Government Commission


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