Making Racial Equity a Reality

By United Way of King County, on August 5, 2015 | In News

Racial disparities exist in all four United Way of King County focus areas: homelessness, family stability, school readiness and youth development.

At United Way we fund organizations that show they equitably serve people in need. Because we know we cannot achieve our goals while barriers to opportunity exist.

These disparities are why we invest in the Parent-Child Home Program, a home visiting model with proven results for low-income families, especially those of color. A key feature of the program is matching the home visitor to the families’ language/cultural background.

We want to help our grantees do the best possible work with the Parent-Child Home Program’s diverse families. So we started the Racial Equity Technical Assistance project to increase cultural competency. The four agencies who participated in the project were Atlantic Street Center, Chinese Information and Service Center, Kindering and Children’s Home Society of Washington. To mainstream agencies, it provided cultural competency training. And for culturally specific agencies, it supplied organizational capacity technical assistance.

The project has been successful in increasing organizational capacity through activities such as strengthening boards and improving info management systems.

Here’s what it actually looks like—the changes agencies have made because of the project:

  • Physically moving their sites to be closer to communities of color served.
  • Revising 11 policies/procedures to improve equitable program delivery.
  • Hiring bilingual staff.
  • Including racial equity in their strategic plans.

The Racial Equity Technical Assistance project is just one example of our racial equity work. Check out how on page 3 of our new strategic plan. We consider racial equity in our application process and we fund specific projects that address racial and/or economic disparities through our New Solutions grants.

There is still a long way to go to make racial equity a reality. You can help by joining an impact council, joining our Community Building Committee or serving as an application reviewer.

Want to learn more about making your racial equity initiative succeed? Get in touch with me: or 206.461.3754. Or check out these great resources:

Racial equity analysis tools:



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