Racine, WI (July 19, 2018)—United Way unveiled findings and shared tactics to address the issues of race, equity, and inclusion in Racine County at its annual Community Conversations Report Out event. This work was the culmination of two years of Community Conversations, which are kitchen table-style discussions between community members who identify local challenges, aspirations, and goals. From 2016-18, United Way engaged more than 300 participants in discussions focused on race, equity and inclusion.
United Way identified a number of common challenges, aspirations, and solutions conversation shared by conversation participants over the last two years. Conversation participants discussed the challenge of gaining community-wide understanding of racism and the effects of stereotyping. While they wished to address systemic inequities, they identified a lack of resources to create positive change, which they indicated was exacerbated by racially segregated neighborhoods.
In contrast, participants aspire for Racine County to be a business community that reflects the demographics of its community members. They desire common understanding and acceptance of racial issues; want our community to be equitable, inclusive, and safe; and want to see diverse leadership throughout all sectors of the community. To reach these goals, participants proposed a number of solutions: opportunities to educate the community about race, personal commitments to addressing bias in their spheres of influence, encouragement of community leaders to take action, and an event for the community to celebrate cultural differences.
To help address what was shared during these conversations, United Way is releasing a Declaration of Inclusion pledge; creating a Diversity Council; and hosting “OneRacine,” a community event to celebrate culture, diversity, and community, in partnership with Higher Expectations, Racine County, and Visioning a Greater Racine. The community is invited to take the pledge and learn more about the Diversity Council at UnitedWayRacine.org/equity. OneRacine is scheduled for Saturday, October 6 at Festival Hall and is open to the community.
Darlene Slaughter, vice president and chief diversity officer of United Way Worldwide, and Susan Stith, vice president of diversity, inclusion, and corporate giving at Express Scripts, joined Rodney Prunty, president of United Way of Racine County, at the Report Out for a panel discussion of race, equity and inclusion.
“As race and equity work is becoming a priority for many communities, I am honored to have the opportunity to share strategies and insights with United Way of Racine County,” said Darlene Slaughter.
“I am so impressed to see individuals across the entire community unite to seek measures to create change,” said Rodney Prunty. “It shows that Racine County is a community that is mindful of race and equity and wants to continue to improve—they just needed the resources to show them how.”
The full 2017-18 Community Conversations report is located at UnitedWayRacine.org/com-convo. United Way will continue to host Community Conversations, which will resume in August 2018, to continue to build an educated workforce and create opportunities for a better life for all.