At United Way of Pennsylvania, our vision is a Commonwealth where all individuals and families achieve their human potential through education, financial stability and healthy lives. Though we strive to accomplish this daily, we acknowledge that Black individuals’ and families’ path towards these basic building blocks of American prosperity is barricaded by racial inequity and injustice.
The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Dominique Fells, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Eric Gardner and countless others weighs heavily on us. Our hearts and thoughts go out to their families and the Black community, but we understand that this is not enough. We must back our sentiments up with action.
United Way’s central goal is to advance the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. United Way’s unique advantage is our track record of working across sectors and driving toward systemic change through impact, collaboration, and results. We affirm that this goal cannot be fully-achieved without the lifting up of Black voices and the enactment of antiracist policies.
We at United Way of Pennsylvania are using one of our social equity projects, the ALICE® Report (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), to assess the health of our communities and advocate the facts; 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 Black communities 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 Black voices, Black organizations, and the Black community. We commit to making a conscientious choice to lift Black voices and race equity experts in our policy conversations and decisions moving forward. Our predominantly White staff will take the steps to educate ourselves, our organization, and our vision to move United Way of Pennsylvania forward and be antiracist.