Anti-Racism and Ethnic Discrimination Statement

United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community.

United Way of Henry County & Martinsville board and staff adopted this statement in April 2021. We acknowledge where our country has been and are committed to dismantling structural racism and other forms of oppression that have historically divided our community. United Way is an advocate for change and hopes you will join us in creating a more equitable and inclusive MHC.

This statement is as follows: 

We recognize structural racism/ethnic discrimination and other forms of oppression have contributed to persistent disparities that exist in our community which United Way of HCM seeks to dismantle.

We understand that these disparities have existed in the past and persist into the present and that equity, inclusion and diversity must be at the forefront of our work to ensure every individual has what they need to be healthy, well-educated, and financially stable.

We acknowledge that these inequities are the result of policies and practices that work to marginalize entire populations of people and the voices of the underrepresented must be heard.

We unequivocally denounce racism/ethnic discrimination because it undermines the well-being and vitality of our community.

We define equity as 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 work with residents and public and private partners to co-create solutions that ensure everyone has the resources, supports, opportunities and networks they need to thrive.

We strive to engage community members, especially those whose voices have traditionally been marginalized and systemically excluded.

We commit to working diligently to bring an equity lens to our programming, community investments and overall decision-making. Through on-going trainings and thoughtful conversations, we understand the pathway to equity is continuous and requires a collective approach with all of our partners, advocates and donors. We are working to address implicit biases internally and externally. We commit to reviewing our progress and assessing where gaps may exist, including our commitment to a diverse board and staff. We commit to leveraging all of our assets (convening, strategic investments, awareness building, advocacy) to create a more equitable community.

(Note: much of the language above is adopted from the United Way’s Equity Vision in United Way’s Equity Framework: Strengthening Our Equity Muscle to Accelerate Impact, developed in collaboration with local United Ways.)