Responding to Injustice
There is no doubt that pain and despair fill our country. We are deeply saddened by the murder of George Floyd and too many others that preceded him in senseless death, and recognize the continued pain in the Black community. We all seek to share words that will inspire hope and drive empathy and action. These words can comfort us, guide further action, and express our shared humanity. Words matter. Two words we use quite often are LIVE UNITED. It is at the core of who we are, why we exist, and what we stand for. To LIVE UNITED is to seek justice. It is to work alongside one another, acknowledging that we come from different places, experience the world in different ways, yet are committed to a shared justice.
LIVE UNITED is not an out for accepting injustice, simply because someone else thinks it is okay. To LIVE UNITED means we must reject injustice. We must reject racism.
But while words are important, words alone are not enough. It is how we live out and learn from those words that allow progress and equity to prevail.
On June 24th, we will participate in the Great Community Give and we are using this day to be more intentional about our commitment to racial and social justice and add capacity where the work is already being done. Everything given to United Way through this year’s GCG will be passed on to local organizations that are led by communities of color and whose mission is focused on justice for communities of color. That includes 100% of what is given and any prizes won during the day.
It’s a small step, but it’s a start.
One thing we’ve realized is that we fall short in making racial justice and equity a fully integrated part of our work. Whether it is the self-work of our board and staff or the data we’re using to make the most impact on our community, we’ve got work to do. We’re taking a look at all aspects of our work to determine what we can do differently. We already know people of color are more likely to live below the ALICE Threshold. By addressing issues of equity, we can prevent more people from becoming ALICE.
We hope you’ll join us on this journey. To LIVE UNITED is to both act in a way that seeks justice for all and educate oneself about how each of us has a role to play. We must recognize our own biases so that we can take action. We must seek to LIVE UNITED both inside and out. It won’t be easy. It never has been. But our community deserves better. We are committed to the growth of our community and to being a part of the solution.
Laura Toni-Holsinger Dr. Keston Fulcher
Executive Director Board President