United Against Racism: A Letter to Our Community

Holding true to our organization’s vision and values, we ask for you to mobilize with us in pursuit of an equitable, respectful, and opportunity-filled community for all.


At United Way of Franklin County, our vision is a community where all individuals and families achieve their human potential through health, education, and financial stability. Though we strive to accomplish this daily, we acknowledge that many individuals’ and families’ path towards these basic building blocks of American prosperity is barricaded by racial inequity and injustice.


The deaths of Daunte Wright, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Dominique Fells, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner and countless others weigh heavily on us, along with the violence against Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities that has risen during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the victims’ families, the Black community, and AAPI communities, not to mention others that have experienced violence or hatred because of their heritage, appearance, or beliefs. But we understand that this is not enough. We must back our sentiments up with action.


"We acknowledge that many individuals’ and families’ path towards these basic building blocks of American prosperity is barricaded by racial inequity and injustice."

These events have exposed our society’s underlying racism, prejudice, and privilege. As a community – as a nation – it is time for us to acknowledge that, historically, systems which were built under the ideals to serve and protect our inalienable rights have often failed at protecting everyone. These inequities impact all of us, preventing too many people from achieving their full potential. We know that change must start in our community.


We at United Way of Franklin County are using one of our social equity projects, the ALICE® Report, to assess the health of our communities and advocate the facts. For example, Black communities face lower wages, higher unemployment, and disproportionately higher incarceration rates. To strive for racial equity, we must acknowledge these shortfalls and advocate for policies and programs that break down the disproportionate lack of access marginalized populations have to services and opportunities.


Advocating for racial equity in policies and programs starts with education. We have and will continue to gather educational resources that point to diverse voices, organizations, and the Black and AAPI communities. We have committed to convening a small and diverse group of citizens to explore a better understanding of issues that affect equity in our community and how we can address them. Our employees and Board of Directors will continually work to educate ourselves and our organization to support the communities we serve. Our predominantly white staff will take the steps to educate ourselves and our organization to be antiracist. We are committed to advancing strategies in our organization to ensure equity in the way we do business. We are committed to listening and learning. We remain steadfast in our commitment to make Franklin County the best it can be for everyone.


Holding true to our organization’s vision and values, we ask for you to mobilize with us in pursuit of an equitable, respectful, and opportunity-filled community for all. We invite you to reach out to get involved in our work and share your voice. It is time for Franklin County to prioritize and expand dialogue on matters that have hindered quality of life for many of our neighbors, including racism and systemic injustices.


We hope you will join us.


To learn more about UWFC's efforts towards this, please view our Equity Work webpage. This includes our Statement of Diversity & Inclusion, Commitment to Equity, and Approach to Cultivate DEI.


Get involved today.

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