Centering Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Access
United Way’s work has always focused on social justice and fixing inequities in our systems. Equity and inclusion are foundational principles and values, we are partners in this work – not saviors – and thus seek to lift and center community voice in addressing our key strategies.
We are committed to building an inclusive culture — in our workplace and the community at large — that celebrates the diverse voices of our employees, volunteers, donors, community partners and the individuals and families we serve. We actively make space for ongoing learning, cultural humility and challenging the systems of discrimination, disadvantage and stigma that work against our community members’ well-being.
But we know that we cannot continue this work without addressing the unique and exacerbated inequities in our system for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities specifically.
Additionally, we know that we must focus on accessibility – for those with disabilities as well as those facing the intersectionality of race, gender, sexuality, and other systemic barriers that work much like physical barriers to limit our neighbor’s participation in our community.
We are actively working to address these inequities and create increased engagement in three core areas:
- Education – Amplifying and increasing both internal/external training opportunities for staff, volunteers, and community. Focusing on ways to address micro-aggressions, calling in/out and the use of case studies to fuel dialogue and systems change.
- Communication – Providing opportunities to amplify underrepresented voices, advocating for data systems and talking specifically about our work including what we have done and what’s next.
- Investment – Leveraging our position to provide financial and technical assistance support to reduce barriers and change systems.
By valuing all community members and acknowledging the intersectionality of age, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, ethnicity, citizenship, culture and/or perspective, we strive to create and preserve a universally accessible space to improve our community outcomes. Through these and other efforts, we can do our best work to enhance the quality of life for all of our neighbors.