Albemarle County's Equity Roadshow: A Report on Findings and Recommendations

Authors:Heaps, Carolyn, AR-Planning DeptUniversity of Virginia Hinkle, Tyler, AR-Planning DeptUniversity of Virginia Kask, Kevin, AR-Planning DeptUniversity of Virginia Woodley, Mikayla, LW-Law School Central PV-Vice Prov-Global AffairsUniversity of Virginia Wittkofski, Nicholas, AR-Landscape DeptUniversity of Virginia

Albemarle County is located in central Virginia. Its partly suburban, partly rural
composition serves a variety of land uses: from residential, to recreational, to
commercial. In 2019, Albemarle County’s Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) launched
an Equity Roadshow to determine the level of access its diverse residents had to various
resources and services in the community. The Equity Roadshow consisted of a short
survey for residents to complete in person with representatives from the county. These
OEI staff and volunteers visited 20 locations throughout the county in 12 weeks,
collecting responses from residents who were interested in participating.

The following report was completed by graduate student consultants at the University of
Virginia (UVA). It provides an analysis of the Equity Roadshow’s results, reviews the
literature on best practices for equity assessments and community engagement, and
presents several recommendations for OEI to implement in future Roadshows. Results
from the Roadshow indicate that respondents value the opportunities, people,
community, and experiences available to them in Albemarle County. However, traffic,
housing, development, and transportation were perceived as negative aspects of the
county. The majority of respondents did not believe the county to be an equitable
place, citing concerns related to community, housing, people, diversity, resources,
opportunities, and segregation.

Based on an examination of the data collected, several case study examples, and
discussions with OEI staff and volunteers, three overarching recommendations are given
for improving future iterations of the Equity Roadshow:
1. Target More Diverse Cross-Sections of County Residents
2. Develop a More Engaging Survey Environment
3. Enhance Survey Tools

A list of sub-objectives are provided underneath each overarching goal to help OEI
accomplish these improvements. Not only does the information included in this report
aim to improve the quality of the data collected, but it also aims to improve the
Roadshow experience for volunteers that help to conduct the survey and the County
residents that participate. This brings OEI one step closer to its goal of creating an
equitable and inclusive Albemarle County.

Equity, Community Engagement, Albemarle County, Office of Equity and Inclusion, PLAN6020
Contributor:Russell, Siri, Office of Equity and InclusionAlbermarle County
University of Virginia
Published Date:
May 8, 2020