United Way of the Columbia-Willamette's goal is to advance equitable disaster resilience in Oregon. We believe every person should have a voice in our climate-resilient future at every step, from equitable access to resources to decision-making in policy. We lead with racial equity at the heart of our work, convening the voices of disaster-impacted leaders and community-based organizations working to reimagine how emergency preparedness, recovery, and resilience strategies can best support underserved communities.

We address equitable disaster resilience in our state by centering communities most at risk and recognizing the barriers experienced by people of color. Oregon’s Climate and Health 2022 report highlights the growing health risks of climate change in our state and how climate disasters disproportionately impact working-class communities of color by exacerbating existing racial, socioeconomic and health disparities. These inequalities result in communities of color living in areas with greater risk of harm, having less resources to prepare for and recover from disasters and experiencing challenges accessing recovery services.

Our Disaster Resilience department values a people-centered approach to mitigating the harms of disasters in Oregon. When climate disasters happen, the people living in a community know best how to respond and define local resilience. Through this work, United Way:

  • Builds support statewide by connecting and convening nonprofits, leaders of color, government and funders.
  • Invests in community of color-led innovations to support community-centered solutions.
  • Stewards culturally-rooted practices in disaster resilience, elevating leaders of color and their self-efficacy, mental health and wellbeing as forms of resistance and liberation.
  • Advocates to ensure all people have access to linguistically inclusive, culturally relevant, lifesaving disaster preparedness resources.

Disaster & Crisis Resilience Stories

Disaster & Crisis Resilience

Your Neighbor Next Door

Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023

In 2021, United Way of the Columbia-Willamette developed a pooled fund to support efforts of community partners across Oregon in vaccine advocacy, access and education.

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