Statement on Racial Equity
United Way of the Capital Region Statement on Racial Equity
United Way of the Capital Region Board of Directors and staff condemn the systematic racism, injustice, and inequality that continue to exist in our community.
The past few weeks have been incredibly challenging. A blinding spotlight is being shone on the tremendously difficult issues of race and equity across our country. For too long, inequity, violence and racism have been allowed to go unchecked, violating the lives of people of color. This grief is on full display here in our community.
We know from the data that COVID-19 has hit our communities of color harder than others. While this pandemic has shone a spotlight on inequity, these inequities are not new — they’ve always existed. Lack of access to healthcare, educational disparities and workforce barriers in communities of color are symptoms of the social and economic realities born of historical and systematic racism, as these communities have not been cared for, protected, or invested in the same way as others. This is why United Way has dedicated its work to helping people in need in the areas of education, health, income and basic needs.
Many of us have been sad, mad, tired, enraged and depressed. Many in our community have expressed that they want to do something about these issues but do not know how to make a difference. At United Way of the Capital Region, we know we must act and help the community act. But how we act matters.
Our work is to listen to those who have been harmed by systemic racism. Our work is to know when it is time to follow community leadership and when it is time for us to lead.
This is a path we’ve already started at our United Way, and it is the work that we promise to continue to do. But none of us can do this work alone and more needs to be done.
Here are the goals and actions we plan to take in the short, mid and long term:
- Become more diverse, inclusive and equitable as an organization so that we are more credible addressing these same issues in the community. United Way of the Capital Region will only partner with and/or fund organizations that align with our values on racial equity.
- Leverage expertise within and outside our United Way to provide the strategies, best practice examples and success measures to help create more equitable communities and close disparities wherever they exist. We will look to partner with organizations and individuals in the community successfully leading efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Deepen business and community leaders’ understanding of community issues and data. United Way will leverage our ability to provide opportunities for business and community leaders to convene, strategically invest their resources and build awareness for a more equitable community.
Our collective future requires that all of us — as individuals and families, neighborhood groups and faith communities, small businesses and large companies, schools and governments — commit to fighting racism in all its forms. Please join us in this very important work and choose to truly LIVE UNITED.
United Way of the Capital Region Board of Directors and Staff