United Way’s Equity Vision
We recognize structural racism and other forms of oppression have contributed to persistent disparities which United Way seeks to dismantle. Our United Way strives to engage community members, especially those whose voices have traditionally been marginalized. We work with residents, local government, and public and private partners to co-create solutions that ensure everyone has the resources, support, opportunities, and networks they need to thrive. We commit to leveraging all of our assets (convening, strategic investments, awareness building, and advocacy) to create more equitable communities for every person in Barry County.
Diversity and Inclusion
United Way strives to be a model of diversity and inclusion. Our Board of Trustees, staff and volunteers reflect the many faces, cultures and walks of life that proudly make up our world.
We respect, value and celebrate the unique attributes, characteristics and perspectives that make each person who they are. We also believe that bringing diverse individuals together allows us to collectively and more effectively address the issues that face our communities. It is our aim, therefore, that our partners, strategies and investments reflect these core values.
- di·ver·si·ty (d-vûrs-t, d-) n.: the quality of being different or unique at the individual or group level. This includes age; ethnicity; gender; gender identity; language differences; nationality; parental status; physical, mental and developmental abilities; race; religion; sexual orientation; skin color; socio-economic status; work and behavioral styles; the perspectives of each individual shaped by their nation, experiences and culture—and more. Even when people appear the same on the outside, they are different!
- in·clu·sion (n-klzhn) n.: a strategy to leverage diversity. Diversity always exists in social systems. Inclusion, on the other hand, must be created. In order to leverage diversity, an environment must be created where people feel supported, listened to and able to do their personal best.
Statement of Principle
More than 125 years ago, the diverse community leaders who founded United Way crossed cultural, religious and economic boundaries to make a difference through collective action. Today, diversity and inclusion remain vital to achieving our mission, living our values and advancing the common good.
United Way fosters and promotes an inclusive environment that leverages the unique contributions of diverse individuals and organizations so that we can collectively and effectively create opportunities for a better life for all.
United Way takes the broadest possible view of diversity, going beyond visible differences to affirm the essence of all individuals including the realities, background, experiences, skills and perspectives that make each person who they are. Engaging the power of diverse talent and partners results in innovative solutions and the community ownership necessary to address complex community issues.
Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of what it means to LIVE UNITED.