Who we are
The Equality Collective is an activist and community-centred law project based in the rural Eastern Cape. It is innovative in the advancement of access to justice, builds the capacity for collective participation and action and shares research and learning to create a more just and caring society.
Our vision is to see thriving rural communities collectively participating in a just and caring society.
Our work centres our rural communities and their lived struggles. It prioritises the needs of marginalised communities, especially women and children.
The Equality Collective is an embedded community organisation. It is an organisation committed to meeting the immediate needs of its community members as well as building the capacity of community members to shape their lives and the world around them. Part of its job is to build and network power in support of campaigns for greater socio-economic equity. The Equality Collective’s campaigns are based on extensive research and expert analysis committed to improving the socio-economic conditions of deep rural communities.
The Equality Collective promotes the rights in our constitution with an understanding that reliable access to quality socio-economic rights will advance greater equity in South Africa.
Many of the problems we are tackling in our communities are ubiquitous (poor service delivery and failing municipalities). What makes the Equality Collective unique is that it seeks to improve the quality of livelihoods in its rural communities by working together with traditional leaders, community leaders, community members, researchers and the government. We help build consensus and understanding of challenges identified, offer well-researched solutions and, most importantly, we support avenues for people to participate in the democratic system.
The Equality Collective began its work in 2020 and today, the Equality Collective runs human rights training workshops, facilitates paralegal services and helps coordinate two sizeable campaigns to advance the rights to early childhood development and the right to water. It is also conducting leading research in both areas.
Values and practices
Respect (deep listening)
Love for our work
Constructive advocacy (build an understanding of the problem; take the time to engage our communities around what approach should be taken to the problem; bolster and support existing democratic structures; build consensus around well-researched solutions; and as far as possible, problem-solve solutions together with government).
Cooperation (over competition) – we build coalitions of power
Equity - we treat people fairly and create and encourage a safe working environment
The way we work:
The Equality Collective believes that through building collective power together with constructive advocacy we can transform systems and build a more equal South Africa. Our way of being requires extensive consultations, relationship building and supporting transformative coalitions of power. We work deeply in a traditionally neglected, defined geography in the Eastern Cape, layering a fabric of organisational support and advocacy across multiple-issues.
What does working at the Equality Collective look like?
At the Equality Collective we believe that:
If you need something, ask for it.
If you have something to share, share it.
We recognise that we all come from different ages and experiences and are at different stages of our lives.
We are committed to helping each other to succeed and thrive.
We want to build an environment based on trust, respect, deep listening and accountability.
We want to create an environment where everyone is committed to self-leadership and can grow and learn from each other.
We celebrate, acknowledge and support each other.