Our Equity Work

After two years of Community Conversations devoted to the subject of race, equity and inclusion, we have developed a better understanding of the challenges our community faces when it comes to racial inequities. These inequities contribute to the disparities we see in the areas of health, education and financial stability and will continue to hold us back until we address them. Below, you’ll learn about the tactics United Way of Racine County has developed to progress towards equity and how you can get involved.

Equity Innovation Fund

To support the effort of fostering equity in our community, United Way of Racine County launched the Equity Innovation Fund in Jan. 2022. This fund supports projects, programs and solutions that use innovative strategies to reduce disparities, improve outcomes and empower members of historically marginalized populations.

Learn more about funded work and find out how your organization can apply for funding.

Declaration of Inclusion 

Make your commitment to inclusion—the active, intentional and ongoing engagement with diversity—official by signing our Declaration of Inclusion Pledge. This pledge is to respect and appreciate all aspects of any person, including race, religion, skin color, nationality, sexual orientation, gender, physical abilities, age, parental status, work and behavioral styles, and the perspectives of each individual as shaped by their nation, culture and experiences. You will also receive our quarterly diversity newsletter to build your "equity muscle."

Take the pledge.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee

The DEI committee serves a peer group to help United Way's staff learn, grow and continue the conversation around equity. It identifies local diversity experts to train staff, facilitates discussions and exercises in building staff's equity muscles, and acts as inclusive leaders to share resources and keep staff moving together towards a stronger culture of equity.

Alexa Haigh

Alexa Haigh
she/her/hers

Leigh Ann Martinez

Leigh Ann Martinez
she/her/hers

Katie Tuttle

Katie Tuttle
she/her/hers

Zyaire

Zyaire Strowder
she/her/hers

Stephanie

Stephanie Buchanan
she/her/hers

A photo of Mitchell School behind an American flag and sign with its name, illuminated by sunshine.Link and Inspire For Tomorrow (LIFT) Strategy

Community schools are an integral component of our equity strategy. They create the infrastructure necessary to student success by focusing time, attention and resources towards eliminating systemic barriers that limit opportunities for students and families. United Way of Racine County's community schools work employs a place-based approach, LIFT (Link and Inspire for Tomorrow). The LIFT model creates partnerships between schools, neighborhoods and resources by using the community school as the hub. Foundational to the LIFT model are four key pillars that ensure community schools reflect neighborhoods' needs and priorities:

  1. Integrated student supports
  2. Expanded and enriched learning time and opportunities
  3. Active family and community engagement
  4. Collaborative leadership and practices

These four pillars comprise a strategy that enables educators, community members and partners to forge strong relationships. Together, we can LIFT the community.

21-Week Equity Challenge

Three Black Power fists in different skin colors on a blue circle. Text says, "21 Week Equity Challenge."The 21-Week Equity Challenge is an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of how inequity and racism affect our lives and communities. The topics listed below take participants on a journey that starts with understanding internalized racism and inequity and explores how racism and inequity permeate individual interactions, institutions and social structures.

Participants can review the emails listed below to deepen their understanding of inequity and racism, explore ways to take action and help launch what we hope will be a lifelong commitment to improving equity and inclusion in our communities. Individuals are encouraged to form groups for discussion and reflection - or take the challenge as an individual learning opportunity. 

Want to experience the series? Check it out:

Resources

Watch/Read

  • "How I Became Comfortable Talking about Race" by United Way President and CEO Ali Haigh
  • Journey to Freedom: Racine, WI Underground Railroad
  • Race, Equity and Inclusion Community Conversations Report (2018)
    After two years of conversations with people throughout the county, we compiled a report of our findings. Learn our community's challenges and aspirations on the state of race, equity and inclusion and see United Way's beginning steps to build equity.
  • Read in Color Recommended Reading
    Everyone can take part in the Read in Color program. That’s why this list of suggested books—recommended by Little Free Library’s Diverse Books Advisory Group and others—includes options for young readers, middle and YA readers, and adults. The recommended reading lists are far from exhaustive, but they offer a starting point for exploring different perspectives.
  • Visualizing the Legacy of Redlining
    In 2019, a 24/7 Wall St. study marked Racine, Wisconsin as the second worst city for Black Americans. In these slides and the accompanying data visualization by Higher Expectations, discover how the continuing gaps between Black and white residents of Racine are rooted in decades-old redlining practices.
  • Women's History Month at UW-Parkside
    Women’s History Month is a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture and society and has been observed annually in the month of March in the United States since 1987.  This year's theme is Women Providing Healing and Promoting Hope.

Events

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