STANDING UNITED FOR
At United Way, we are challenging ourselves and others to create a community free of institutional racism, bias, and discrimination. As we continue our work to end poverty in greater Greensboro, we are committed to creating systemic change so that everyone has equal opportunity to thrive.
From June to August 2020, United Way of Greater Greensboro hosted a series of public conversations and met with local leaders concerned about racial equity. Watch the following:
- Video recording of the June 5 2020 Community Conversation on Equity, Justice and Economic Mobility
- Video recording of the July 17 2020 Community Conversation hosted by African American Leadership on Equity and Justice
- Video recording of August 21, 2020 Community Conversation on Race and Equity
Additionally, various UWGG groups have hosted sessions of End Poverty: The Lunch & Learn and many incorporate a racial equity lens.
While we thought our work had always been inclusive, we responded by first looking internally. We instantly knew we had to be better and that as a community organization we needed to do what we could to promote positive conversations and systematic change.
We brought local leaders together to discuss appropriate next steps and then we launched a virtual series of open community conversations (linked above). Hundreds of people attended those discussions, and thanks to their honesty and open dialogue, United Way was able to identify several short-term and long-term actions that the community wanted to address.
We shared those results with everyone who attended and with the initial group of community leaders we met with. We identified people who were interested in particular topics and connected them with community leaders who were the experts in those spaces.
Internally, United Way choose to immediately respond to the identified issues of:
- promoting race and equity cultural sensitivity
- workforce development
- and grant-making to more diverse grassroots organizations.
The first step we took was to examine and update our organization’s diversity and inclusion statement and bylaws. Thanks to a progressive staff and board of directors, we updated our statement and bylaws to be more equity-focused and intentional. Click here to view a video recording of the historic October 27, 2020 Bylaw Amendment meeting.
To further promote race and equity cultural sensitivity, we now require our board of directors and staff to attend equity training on an annual basis.
To promote workforce development, we challenged local businesses to ban the box, ban pay history, set up apprenticeships, and hire and promote people of color. Internally, we backed that up by banning the box and pay history in our own hiring process.
To increase grant-making to more grassroots organizations, we are taking steps to make sure that the people and organizations with whom we partner are diverse and are making efforts to address inequities internally and externally.
Additionally, we are taking continued steps to increase the diversity of our board of directors and volunteer-led committees.
And, we know that we must continue learning and we must continue to challenge our community to learn so we launched an email-based 21-Day Equity Challenge. 600 people participated in that challenge and we plan to relaunch it a few more times in 2021.
UWGG’s Updated Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Statement
On October 27, 2020 United Way of Greater Greensboro hosted a public meeting to vote on Bylaw Amendments related to diversity and equity. The amendment unanimously passed. During this meeting, UWGG unveiled the organization’s new diversity, inclusion and equity statement. To read the statement, please click here. To view a video recording of the historic October 27, 2020 Bylaw Amendment meeting, please click here.