At United Way, we're committed to equity in our work -- from interacting with the public, to engaging with donors, to allocating resources across our community.

United Way Equity Definition 

Equity is the intentional inclusion of everyone in society. Equity is achieved when systemic, institutional, and historical barriers based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and other identities are dismantled and no longer predict socioeconomic, education and health outcomes.

We recognize that structural racism and other forms of oppression have contributed to persistent disparities in our region. We must focus our work on the most marginalized and underserved groups and we know that centering race and ethnicity is critical to ending the historical and social inequities that continue to exist in our region. 


We also know that tremendous assets exist within traditionally underserved communities. Within these communities are our current and future community change-agents and leaders. United Way is committed to working with diverse communities and individuals as partners, donors and volunteers. We can only eliminate disparities when disenfranchised people from our region have the opportunity to create new solutions and reimagine a society free from structural racism. 

With our investments and partnerships, we place priority on culturally specific organizations in order to advance racial equity in our region. Those are organizations in which:

  • The majority of clients served are from a specific cultural community (e.g. African American, African, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American/Alaska Native, Latino/Hispanic, Slavic),
  • There is a predominance of bilingual and/or bicultural staff and board that reflects the community served (e.g. African American, African, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American/Alaska Native, Latino/Hispanic, and Slavic),
  • The organizational environment is culturally focused and identifiable by consumer as such; and,
  • The organization or program is established and successful at community engagement and involvement with the culturally specific communities being served.

Based on the definition in the Coalition of Communities of Color's Philanthropy Report

Internal focus on diversity, equity and inclusion:

We strive to reflect the demographics of the diverse communities that we serve on our board and on our staff. We incorporate equity principles and practices in our hiring, promotion and retention policies and hold ourselves accountable for creating United Way’s culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

UWCW’s Equity Action Team (EAT) is made up of staff of UWCW and serves as an advisory body to ensure continuing progress toward UWCW’s racial equity agenda. The team reviews, advises on, and proposes policies, protocols, and activities to ensure that equity is operationalized in United Way’s daily work. The team also creates learning and engagement opportunities for staff to develop their personal understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion.