United, we condemn racism and oppression

Recent events around the world, nationally and right here in our region have exposed our society’s uncomfortable truth: racism and oppression is harming our communities. Systemic racism exists in our institutions, across all sectors, and has caused significant disparities with long-lasting impact, particularly for Black, Indigenous, People of Colour individuals and communities. These issues are not new nor easily resolved.

We are not immune to these social issues. We acknowledge that we have played a part in maintaining systems that perpetuated disparities and barriers to opportunities. We are now going to work intentionally to remove those barriers.

At United Way Elgin Middlesex, we condemn racism as it is unjust and wrong. As community builders, we will work harder to ensure that Elgin Middlesex becomes a truly equitable, safe and inclusive place, particularly for Indigenous and racialized people.

We are taking steps to challenge our own ways of working and thinking. We are developing new strategies on both Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Indigenous Collaboration that will impact all areas of our organization and its work.

This includes:

  • Ensuring our Board of Directors, volunteers, and staff are more representative of the community we serve
  • Reviewing our organization’s policies, processes and practices and changing those that systemically exclude or disadvantage equity-seeking populations
  • Revising our Community Fund model to prioritize equity-seeking people who are disproportionately affected by social challenges in our region
  • Changing our granting process to give more equitable access to funding opportunities
  • Aligning philanthropic partnerships and special donor-interest projects with our commitment to equity and ensuring projects are directed by the needs of the community
  • Working in closer consultation and partnership with the people and communities who experience racism and exclusion
  • Engaging in public policy advocacy activities that address systemic discrimination and inequities

This work is an iterative journey for us as individuals and as an organization. We have the power to influence change and will prioritize the time and resources it will require. We know it requires us to listen, learn, and be open to feedback. And we anticipate uncomfortable challenges along the way, which we will face head on.

We are committed to doing our part to build a more equitable future and to realize our vision of a community where everyone has a fair shot at a good life.

Eric Mallory
Chair, Board of Directors

Kelly Ziegner
President & CEO

Endorsed by the Board of Directors on December 15, 2021 and will be reviewed annually.

Dakota HalfpennySpecial Statements – United, we condemn racism and oppression