Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Health, Human Services and Public Policy


The Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County, Inc. (CAB) is a non-profit organization that aids low-income clients with emergency, sustaining, and self-sufficiency services through their specialized program areas. Through a micro-level assessment of the County, research indicates a growing rate of poverty among marginalized communities, particularly in the Latinx population. Inequities relating to the low-wage occupational outlook in highly populated Latinx communities coupled with a high unemployment rate in Santa Cruz County only exacerbate the cyclical issue of poverty. Among marginalized community members who are most affected, they are also faced with housing insecurity and lack of health insurance. This project is centered around CAB’s commitment to equity. As service providers tasked with dismantling inequities with culturally grounded and relevant interventions to the diverse community, cultural competency is essential. The project implementation of an intern co-facilitated Equity Academy for staff along with an Equity Library shelved with literature recommendations from the community will help supplement staff's knowledge of equity, social justice, and cultural competence when working with vulnerable populations in the County. Findings concluded positive participant feedback from the Equity Academy with new perspectives on the term “equity” and what it means for the community they serve. Recommendations for the future include: a continued facilitation of Equity Academy classes with an increased number of participants and adding additional literature and materials that relate to CAB’s core value of equity to their new library.