Our Mission and Core Values
The mission of Equity Trust is to promote equity in the world by changing the way people think about and hold property.
We carry out this mission by:
- Promoting new ways of understanding property that offer more equitable and sustainable approaches to ownership.
- Developing alternative land tenure models and tools, promoting and supporting their application, and maintaining a dialogue to measure and increase their effectiveness.
- Promoting the exchange of information, ideas and resources to increase the benefits for all in light of wider community needs.
- Empowering people to build and strengthen their communities by providing access to ideas, capital and technical assistance.
- Providing financing to community development and conservation projects, with emphasis on demonstrating alternative land tenure models.
- Providing communities access to wholesome and healthy food by assisting farmers and their communities to find ways to protect agricultural land for long-term affordable agricultural use.
- Offering individuals and institutions a vehicle for the responsible investment and/or divestment of wealth.
Our work is grounded in our values: Economics is not an abstract technical science, not a construction of law or calculations in the marketplace, and it is not impersonal. Rather, economics is fundamentally a web of relationships, the relationship of individuals to one another, the communities that we live within, and the earth that sustains us. Economics is a material manifestation of the spirit, character, and the quality of those relationships, a reflection of basic moral principles.
Faced with human need, all of us are individually and corporately responsible for responding to that need. The more that each of us is perceived to be trying to respond to the needs of others, the more others are moved to respond in kind, creating a ripple effect that can expand far beyond its point of origin.
Individuals are creators but we work with materials not of our own creation. Through our individual efforts, we give property value, but our communities and society as a whole also contribute. Individuals have legitimate financial or equity interests, but there is an equivalent community interest that we define as a ‘social mortgage’ on all property.
We believe that the recognition of the existence and value of this social mortgage is critical to our progressing towards a more just society. We believe that the process of change should be nonviolent and that it should respect all parties. People don’t expect to get everything they might want, but they do want and should be able to expect: a) recognition, to be seen; b) respect, to be heard; c) inclusion, a seat at the table; and d) fair treatment, to be asked to give or take no more (or less) than others. We are committed to working with integrity and to be accountable for our efforts.
We strive to balance the interests of individuals and communities in our work, to empower those with whom we work, and to build cooperation and collaboration-we know that none of us is as smart as all of us. We also believe that injustice is not sustainable. We approach these tasks in the spirit of risk-taking and innovation, and with great hope.