About the
Equitable Development Data Insight Training Initiative

The Equitable Development Data Insight Training initiative offers free data analysis and storytelling training to help non-profit, community, and government organizations working towards urban equity to fully leverage their data to realize new resources, opportunities, and political support. Our mission is to support equitable development in small and mid-sized cities in the U.S. and Canada by building capacity in change makers. Equitable development projects have significant positive impacts on the quality of life of all communities and the economic growth of the city.

Why Storytelling?

Storytelling is a powerful tool to share important and complex data in an approachable way to policymakers, researchers, and the wider community. A story can call people into action, or it can induce fear and drive people away. Effective storytelling through data and narrative analysis will help practitioners document, reflect, and evaluate the impacts of their work. Through our program, organizations will learn data and storytelling skills that can be transferred throughout their organization.

Why small and mid-sized cities?

Often, organizations working in equitable development collect robust datasets, but do not have the capacity to perform meaningful analysis. This is especially true for organizations in small and mid-sized cities. We are dedicated to providing resources and support to organizations in order to showcase the benefits of equitable development to funders, policymakers, and the public.

Our Goals

  • Showcase the benefits of equity-based approaches to economic development.
  • Provide practitioners with the tools and skills needed to develop meaningful metrics.
  • Develop a repository of equitable development projects.
  • Develop a new curriculum on data analysis for equitable development projects.
  • Build awareness and understanding of the practice of equitable development in the larger community.

Partner Organizations

The School of Cities

The School of Cities is a world-leading, interdisciplinary center for urban research, education, and engagement at the University of Toronto, dedicated to uncovering new ways for cities and their residents to thrive.

Urban Displacement

The Urban Displacement Project is a research and action initiative of the University of California Berkeley and the University of Toronto. UDP conducts community-centered, data-driven, applied research toward more equitable and inclusive futures for cities.

The CaseMade

The CaseMade helps everyday heroes emerge as leaders through the power of storytelling, or Strategic Case Making™. They train leaders how to persuade stakeholders and the public to throw their support behind deeply transformational systems change.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

This project is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

RWJF works with others to identify, understand, confront, and remove the structural barriers to health and well-being, including racism, powerlessness, discrimination, and their consequences. RWJF supports research, programs, policies, and practices aimed at bringing about meaningful change and improving the lives of everyone in our nation now and for generations to come.

The EDDIT Team

Project Leads

Karen Chapple

Faculty Director

Karen Chapple, Ph.D., is the Director of the School of Cities at the University of Toronto, where she also serves as Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning. She is Professor Emerita of City & Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where she served as department chair and held the Carmel P. Friesen Chair in Urban Studies. Chapple studies inequalities in the planning, development, and governance of regions in the U.S. and Latin America, with a focus on economic development and housing.

Dr. Tiffany Manuel

Urban Change Coach

DrT (as she prefers to be called) (she/her) is a dynamic speaker, bestselling author and the President and CEO of TheCaseMade, an organization dedicated to helping leaders powerfully and intentionally make the case for systems change. In her role at TheCaseMade, DrT works with hundreds of passionate social changemakers, innovators and adaptive leaders around the United States who are building better, stronger communities that are diverse, equitable and inclusive. By aligning their community stakeholders around the kind of deep systems changes that can improve population outcomes, these leaders are able to grow their impact, scale their programs, and harness the investments they need to improve their communities.

Evelyne St-Louis

Project Manager

Evelyne St-Louis (she/her) is an urban planning professional passionate about advancing equitable urban policy & development. She is especially interested in affordable housing, land use, and transportation issues. In prior roles, Evelyne has worked as a planner for the City of Hartford, CT, and as a consultant with Strategic Economics, an urban economics firm based in Berkeley, CA. Evelyne St-Louis holds a Master of City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. in Geography from McGill University.

Michelle Zhang

Program Coordinator

Michelle Zhang holds a Master of Science in Planning and a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies; Peace, Conflict and Justice; and Human Geography from the University of Toronto. To bring together her interests in both global and local scales, Michelle is particularly invested in exploring how collaborative governance and partnerships can support the development of community spaces and places.

Julia Greenberg

Research Manager

Julia Greenberg is interested in using geospatial and data analysis to understand the impacts of land use, housing policy, and climate change on housing vulnerability and displacement. Julia is committed to collaborating with community-based organizations, governments, and other stakeholders to promote strategies that increase equitable access to affordable housing.

Sara O’Connor

Postdoctoral Fellow

Sara O’Connor, Ph.D., a postdoctoral scholar in the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley, holds a Ph.D. in Planning, Policy and Design from the University of California, Irvine, a Masters of Urban Planning from New York University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology with a concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies from Bryn Mawr College. O’Connor studies urban political participation, civic activism, and governance focusing on achieving representation in development.

Student Team

Angel Yang

Graduate Student Researcher

Angel Yang is interested in community-based development and how collaborations between planners and community members can create equitable outcomes. Angel is pursuing her Master in City Planning at UC Berkeley and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Geography and Urban Studies from the University of Toronto.

Kathryn Exon Smith

Graduate Student Researcher

Kathryn Exon Smith is passionate about creating opportunities for people to form meaningful connections with each other and with big, complicated ideas. Originally from Canada, Kathryn has been living in the Bay Area since 2013. She has worked with a variety of organizations, including the urban planning policy group SPUR, Leadership San Jose, and the Digital Moose Lounge, a Canadian community bridging group. Kathryn holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s in History from the University of Toronto, and is currently completing a Master of City Planning at UC Berkeley.

Sandra Romero

Graduate Student Researcher

Sandra is a Master of City Planning candidate at the University of California Berkeley. She is interested in the intersection of transportation, environmental justice, and community driven research with communities of color in Southern California. Sandra was born and raised in Southeast Los Angeles and received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Anthropology from University of California Santa Barbara.

Nima Ashtari

Undergraduate Student Researcher

Nima Ashtari is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto who is currently studying political science and urban planning. He will complete his Bachelor’s degree in 2024. Although his interests span law, public policy, and civil rights, Nima is especially passionate about harnessing the power of municipal government to create more affordable and equitable housing and transportation.

Ready to get started?

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  • Wondering if your organization or project is a good fit?
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