|To our valued Partners and Supporters:
This is a critical moment for our communities, our region, and our nation. With the arrival of a vaccine that is proving effective and a continued outpouring of generosity aimed at helping our neighbors recover from the economic impacts of Covid-19, a sense of promise is before us. After all we have endured over the last year, there appears a shared determination to seize upon opportunity and make the future bright. And so, I write to you today with a heart filled with hope.
But hope is not always easy to hold onto as we contend with the injustices, violence and hatred breaking out all around us. As we cultivate hope for a better tomorrow, we have to recognize that while Covid-19 has affected us all, its impact has not been equal. It is painful and even frightening to see the rise in violent crime in many of our communities. And while we need to pursue solutions on this critical front, we need to recognize the disturbing rise in violence targeted against Black, Brown, Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities.
Racial injustice persists. The pandemic put strains on all of our families but its impact has ravaged some families more than others – diminished health, employment, and personal safety are reflective of our society’s inability to meaningfully address and in some inexplicable cases, even acknowledge systemic racism. Our shared mission to reduce poverty and expand opportunity can never get traction without committing to dismantling racism.
There is no place in our communities for race or gender-based xenophobia, hate crimes, harassment, violent rhetoric, or discrimination. At United Way, our core values are reflected in an unwavering commitment to building stronger, more equitable communities. To achieve this collective mission, we must acknowledge and speak out against racism. We cannot give space for hate to grow.
As a supporter of United Way, we ask that you stand with us in our unequivocal opposition to division, hate and systemic racism.
Equity will only be achieved when systemic, institutional and historic barriers no longer predict inequitable socioeconomic, education and health outcomes. We must all do our part, as a force united, to fill our communities with the respect and opportunity it deserves.
From our recent work to mitigate the risk of inequitable vaccination distribution to our investments in minority entrepreneurs , we’re reaffirming our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion with an increased emphasis on racial equity. This includes driving investments to minority-led nonprofits focused on underserved populations, building a greater equity lens into our grant-making approach, and convening diverse partnerships across our region to deepen collaboration and mobilize greater impact.
Everyone deserves to live in a safe and thriving community. Together, we can disrupt the cycle of hate and intolerance so that everyone has the resources, opportunities, and support they need to thrive. Equity is possible if we work together.
President & CEO