Bringing the Community Together to Work Toward Racial Justice.
What role does a 102-year-old organization play upon discerning its history, acknowledging its complicity, and embracing its accountability?
We know achieving our goals for racial justice depend on understanding where we may have harmed or have caused harm—either through action or inaction. Abhorring injustice is imbedded in our being and our work. We understand that acknowledgment is not enough: We are working to transform communities through racial equity-based programs that address immediate needs, and policy advocacy to undo systemic racism and inequality.
This is our work, even as we encourage others to find ways to be active participants in transforming our community.
Racial Equity in Action
How are we advancing racial equity? The commitment is for it to show in all aspects of our work, including:
Investing in community-based organizations that fight the effects of structural and institutional racism and reduce the inequities we see.
Developing new ways of doing work that puts the decision-making power in the hands of the communities impacted by those funding decisions.
Actively working to change the systems that cause inequities in the first place through programmatic work and our advocacy agenda.
We strive to live into United Way’s racial equity values in meaningful ways and this includes examining and changing our work, both internally and externally. In 2020, United Way committed to an organizational assessment and training with the consulting team at Equity Matters. Following the assessment, we implemented a range of changes to transform our organization to one that is focused on advancing racial equity. Check out this report to learn more about the assessment and racial equity priorities in our organizational roadmap.
To read more about our racial equity work in action, check out our 2023 Strategic Plan.
Join Us in This Work
It’s going to take all of us, working together, to build a community that is equitable and racially just. Please join alongside us.
We’d love to hear from you! Connect with Nadia Gandara, Director of Racial Equity Strategies.
Together, We’re Working Toward a Racially Just Community.
Meet a few United Way of King County employees who are engaged in this work.
Sr. Director, Community & Volunteer Engagement“
I’m energized by our work to increasingly center communities impacted by injustice. Whether it’s co-designing new ways to connect volunteers with BIPOC-led nonprofits or ceding funding decisions to the Black Community Building Collective, we’re putting communities first.”
Community & Volunteer Engagement Manager“
I believe that supporting racial justice work is not just a responsibility but a moral imperative. It’s about creating a more equitable and inclusive society where every individual, regardless of their background, has the opportunity to thrive. Working with organizations like United Way King County allows me to make a tangible impact, addressing systemic inequalities and fostering a more just and compassionate community for all.”
Web Developer & UX Strategist“
I’m grateful to work alongside a team of passionate colleagues who are dedicated and driven to equitable community and resource building. Centering the communities most impacted by racist systems is where transformation begins, and I’m excited to work for an organization that proactively strives to do that.”
Director of Racial Equity Strategies“
I’m grateful and proud to be a part of a team that recognizes how we can use our power and influence to center and resource BIPOC communities in all we do. What motivates me to do my best work is that, individually and collectively, we at United Way are actively working towards dismantling inequitable cultural practices and systems to build a community where everyone thrives.”
I’m proud to work for United Way because they care about two things: supporting communities of color now and working toward a more racially equitable future – all while working side by side with the communities most affected by inequities.”
Associate Major Gifts Officer“
Having a lived experience of being othered, I am proud to be part of United Way, where we Invest in community-based organizations that fight the effects of structural and institutional racism.”
Chief Human Resources Officer“
It’s a privilege to work in an organization where racial justice continues to be a focus in all that we do. As a collective, we have the ability to change systems and create equitable opportunities to benefit historically marginalized communities. I feel fortunate to be a part of the greater good that proactively supports racial equity.”
In Partnership With Community
Thankfully, so many people from so many different communities have helped us on this journey. These are some of the folks who we have learned from, continue to listen to, and are lucky enough to be held accountable by. Communities who receive supports will continue to be listened to, valued, and prioritized.
- Board of Directors Racial Equity Committee
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Committee (DEIAC)
- Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Employee Group
- Queer Employees Group
Board of Directors Racial Equity Committee
This is a standing committee that is tasked with ensuring that racial equity is at the core of policy, programs, and practices at United Way of King County. Their purpose is to:
- Provide oversight and guidance of implementation, delivery, and achievement of the racial equity organizational goals, including the Racial Equity Assessment recommendations and the Racial Equity Theory of Change.
- Lead racial equity-focused, ongoing engagement and education of board members and staff.
- Review racial equity strategies to strengthen internal and external anti-racist practices.
- Cultivate and maintain strong partnerships with key BIPOC stakeholders, internally and externally, to further racial equity practices and systems aimed at advancing racial justice and establishing partnerships.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Committee (DEIAC)
This is a staff-led and staff-driven action committee that supports United Way of King County’s commitment to a work environment which is free from any form of racism, bigotry, harassment, intimidation, threat, or abuse, whether verbal or written, physical or psychological, direct or implied.
DEIAC’s vision for diversity, equity and inclusion at United Way is:
- A racially equitable workplace culture where all staff, volunteers and stakeholders feel valued and supported in all aspects of who they are.
- An organization that is actively committed, internally and externally, to undoing systemic racism and injustice.
- An organization that intentionally lives by the values of equity and racial equity, evidenced in processes, policies and power structures.
Black Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) Employee Group
The BIPOC Employee Group is a call to action by the BIPOC staff of United Way of King County to end systemic and racial inequities. This group’s goal is to support BIPOC staff at United Way by facilitating monthly check-ins and lunches to review internal and external anti-racist practices, ways to take action to achieve racial equity and to support and cultivate community in a shared space.
Queer Employees Group
The Queer Employees Group is for LGBTQIA2S+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Two Spirit) identifying employees to build cross-organizational relationships with one another to provide support, advocacy, and awareness for the Queer community at United Way of King County. Through weekly coffee chats and monthly meetings, we aim to create a safe and loving space where all LGBTQIA2S+ employees can connect and foster community amongst each other.