In any society, the equitable treatment of all regardless of membership in particular social groups is essential to support the democratic process. This is particularly important in the United States with its history of exclusion, and its explosion now in social diversity. Although we declared our right to independence because all men are created equal, we have not treated all men or all groups equally. Our ideals draw us forward as we seek to make the union more perfect, but old issues and old infrastructure linger and new challenges arise. From its initiation in 2000, the Standing Panel on Social Equity of the National Academy of Public Administration has sought to raise the salience of social equity and provide guidance about how to achieve it.