United Way Tar River Region Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The United Way Tar River Region exists to unite people and build a stronger community and has done so throughout its long-standing history. We recognize that structural and systemic racism, ethnic discrimination, and other forms of oppression have contributed to racial disparities and inequities experienced in our nation and local community. We understand that the very nature of inequality runs antithetical to our vision and mission. We commit to upholding equity as part of our core values as we engage in our work to fulfil our mission of being champions for all people in the community and in our work of uniting people and resources.
Therefore, we seek to remove structural barriers, dismantle disparities, and eliminate inequities by working collaboratively with public and private partners to create solutions that ensure everyone has the resources, support, opportunities, and networks they need to thrive.
As such, the United Way Tar River Region will continue to champion justice and fairness, and seek to create a more equitable community by:
• Looking introspectively into our own systems of functioning and how we help our community by identifying our own vulnerabilities that may unintentionally perpetuate inequities in our processes, practices, and procedures;
• Continuing to hold a position of respect for all people regardless of race, creed, color, gender, orientation, socio-economic status, etc. To the United Way, respect means that we value all people as being sacred creation, we are inclusive of all in our thought processes and decision making, and we promote policies, practices, and procedures that work to the betterment of all;
• Ensuring that our network of agencies comply with our stance of justice, fairness, and equity for all. Therefore, we call on all of our agencies and partners to stand bold and strong as an ally to those targeted with racist practices, and unjust policies, and those whose voices are marginalized and silenced as a result of not having access to power, privilege, and equal resources in our community.
We see our work as the following:
• To be aware of our privileges and our power and to use that power and privilege to lift up all as we have opportunity;
• To listen before we speak and seek to understand the pain and the plight of others;
• To reflect on what we have heard and why someone may feel unheard;
• To speak up boldly and overtly against racism and all other discriminatory practices that divide and separate.
The United Way Tar River Region recognizes that the work is ongoing, challenging, and tiring, but we are committed to participate in the long journey of change in our community and in the relentless work of demanding justice, equity, fairness, and inclusion for all.
As such, we have formed a working committee that will follow through on our action steps, provide regular updates to our Board of Directors, and ensure that our work is sustained and consistent with our commitment to LIVE UNITED.