Equitable rights came into play when money was not enough to repair a harm. So equity meant something more than money. But equity as justice is on many levels also about money. The way we allocate resources — funding education or health care for instance — has a lot to do with how we value each other and our shared access to opportunities. Equity as money and equity as justice do overlap.

Having equity in the financial sense is not an equally shared experience. Our capitalist culture accepts that ownership is not available to everyone. Equity in the justice and fairness sense is also not the same as equality. Equal or same rights are important in many settings. Marriage equality argues for the same treatment and benefits of marriage for same-sex couples that heterosexual couples enjoy. Equity, on the other hand, could mean different rights and opportunities to get people to a more level playing field. We spend a lot of money on special education because students with special needs require that investment to enjoy the benefits of learning. We set hiring goals so that public spending mitigates the history of discrimination and inequitable access to education and employment opportunities for women and people of color.

Equality of opportunity vs equality of outcomes.

Equity Means Money and So Much More