Statement of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
River Region United Way (RRUW) values and seeks diversity by respecting the knowledge, abilities and experience of all individuals in a nondiscriminatory manner, without regard to background. Our commitment is to support an equitable and inclusive environment reflecting our local communities.
Diversity is about representation and inclusion is about involvement.
As a champion and catalyst for building strong and healthy communities, RRUW believes all people should have an opportunity to make an impact in society. It is through the collective efforts of individuals within our communities that we create a responsible and vibrant society, one that respects, honors and thrives on the unique attributes of its members.
RRUW seeks to represent the broadest possible constituency, including people from a range of backgrounds and points of view and as such, fosters and promotes an inclusive environment that leverages the unique contributions of diverse individuals and organizations in all aspects of our work. We know that by bringing diverse individuals and viewpoints together, we can collectively and more effectively create opportunities for a better life for all. RRUW opposes any form of discrimination against any individual or organization. RRUW values, champions and embraces diversity in all aspects of RRUW activities and respects others without regard to race, color, religion, creed, age, sex, national origin or ancestry, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, or status as a qualified disabled or handicapped individual.
RRUW takes the broadest possible view of diversity, going beyond visible differences, to affirm the spirit 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 necessary to address complex community issues.
Diversity, equity and inclusion are at the heart and core of what it means to LIVE UNITED. In our daily operations, RRUW will continue to provide funding to programs that target underserved populations as identified through continuous community assessment. River Region United Way expects the active participation and support of all members of the organization, regardless of their form of association, and full compliance with this statement.
Reviewed by members of the Board of Directors – Approved 02/24/2021
Statement of Anti-Racism
We recognize structural racism, ethnic discrimination and other forms of oppression have contributed to racial disparities that have existed in the past and persist in the present. We acknowledge those inequities are the result of policies and practices that work to marginalize entire populations of people. We unequivocally denounce racism/ethnic discrimination because it undermines the well-bring and vitality of our communities. Our United Way seeks to dismantle disparities and strives to engage residents and community members especially those whose voices have traditionally been marginalized, in the shared work of fortifying equity and empowerment. We work with 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 (e.g., convening, strategic investments, awareness building, advocacy) to create more equitable communities.
Equity is the foundation of our work, from our engagement with donors to our investment of community resources to our interactions with the public. We define equity as the presence of justice and fairness within the procedures, processes and distribution of resources by institutions or systems. We commit to equity as a core value and practice to advance our mission of connecting people, resources and organizations to create a thriving community for everyone. Our mission compels us to prioritize historically marginalized and systematically excluded people. It is necessary to focus on race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status, as well as other intersectional identities, to end the historical, social and systemic inequities that persist in our country.
We acknowledge that we can only be successful if we recognize, raise up and support leaders from underrepresented neighborhoods. United Way is committed to engaging these leaders as partners, donors and volunteers. Further, we commit to intentionally creating pathways for them to be included in decision-making and leadership roles within our own and other organizations. We can only eliminate inequity when all individuals reach their fullest human potential. We maintain that building and sustaining equity in our region requires an ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion that is fully expressed in our organizational culture, values, norms and behaviors and hose of our partners.