Statement from United Way’s Worldwide Board Chair and CEO on equity and access to justice
United Way believes that every person is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect – this includes equal treatment and access to justice. Recent events involving violence and threats against African Americans expose our society’s underlying racism, prejudice and privilege that prevent too many people from being treated with the humanity and respect they deserve. These incidents are abhorrent and run counter to everything that United Way, its volunteers and professionals value, live and fight for every day.
All people of all backgrounds and identities must call out discrimination and demand its removal from our society; otherwise, we are endorsing the status quo and are complicit in the abuses that follow.
We must all do our part, working United, to make our communities the places that we need them to be – equitable, respectful and opportunity-filled. We, as a society, can and must do better to guarantee that the basic human rights and freedoms of every person in every community are protected.
United Way Worldwide President and CEO
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 (də-ˈvər-sə-tē) 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 (in-ˈklü-zhən) 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.