The Internet only Needs a Millisecond or Two to Come up With an Even Newer take

REINTERPRETATIONSNot satisfied with manipulating my images and words, many have gone on to create their own versions out of whole cloth. In June 2014, blogger Mary Quant adapted the concept into a multi-part lesson, which was then reblogged last year.

Mary Quandt

My only complaint about this otherwise Redditlol charming rendition is that the equity side has more boxes than the equality side, making it inherently more resource-intensive. That seems like an unfair criticism of equity, which is why I made sure to simply reallocate the boxes in my original rather than introducing more.

This version with apple trees first appeared, as far as I can tell, in a 2014 Saskatoon report in an effort to illustrate how equity/fairness can be useful in ensuring health and wellness for everyone. And yes, again, there are now more boxes on the equity side, sigh.

From a report distributed by the Saskatoon Health Region: June 2014

That same image was then reused on several other sites, such as this article on equality and equity using fantasy football (!?) as a metaphor.

And here is United Way Twin Cities’ reuse of this graphic.

In 2014, the Annie E. Casey Foundation published its “Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide,” which included a variation on the original graphic. The Annie E. Casey Foundation describes itself as “a private philanthropy that creates brighter futures for the nation’s children by developing solutions to strengthen families, building paths to economic opportunity and transforming struggling communities into safer and healthier places to live, work and grow.” If I was able to help them advance that mission even a tiny amount, I’m overjoyed.

In yet another reimagining, an Australian feminist magazine used the equality/equity difference as a way of differentiating egalitarianism from feminism. It’s amazing how many ways there are to reinterpret this core concept, and apparently there are nearly as many labels for it.

Jacob Komesaroff

The Association of American Colleges and Universities used still another variation in a slideshow:

UNICEF in Australia came up with yet another adaptation, this time with two kids hoping to see a sunrise (or maybe a sunset). Once again, though, additional boxes magically appear.

Posted to UNICEF Australia’s blog: November 2015

Original source unknown

The La Crosse Tribune (in Wisconsin) posted this version on December 31, 2015, drawn by Mike Tighe, the paper’s in-house artist. I find the description a bit shocking: “This graphic and variations of it commonly are used by health educators.” Commonly?!? Holy cow, this image was only about three years old at this point. In this version, the stepstools magically reproduce:

Original source unknown

An Oregon literacy program cleverly employed two kids reaching for books in an adapted version of the graphic.

Posted to Oregon literacy program SMART’s website

Original source unknown

Earlier this year, the Interaction Institute for Social Change hired an artist to redraw my original image, with the stunning results below:

Posted to Interaction Institute for Social Change’s website: January 13, 2016

Angus Maguire

Equality, Equity, Reality

Indeed. Or this one:


Artist Angus Maguire collaborated with the Center for Story-Based Strategy to add a fourth box to the graphic as part of a learning exercise.

Bernard Tyson, the chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, one of the nation’s largest healthcare organizations, posted this minimalist variant on LinkedIn:

Posted to LinkedIn by Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson: November 18, 2015

CRITIQUESBut, as with anything, the graphic was not universally appreciated. There were more than a few critiques of my original image and its variations.

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