Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) are at the heart of what it means to LIVE UNITED. To effectively and authentically address our community’s most pressing needs requires an outward and intentional commitment to equity and inclusion across all dimensions (race, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, physical or mental ability).
United Way of the Bluegrass is committed to becoming a diverse and inclusive organization that strives for equity and equal opportunity in all we do to better serve our community.
We strive to incorporate practices that enhance diversity and inclusion in our recruitment and retention of staff, board and committee members. We work to be intentional about building a workforce that embodies the diversity of Central Kentucky. Our policy is to foster an organizational culture in which each employee, board member and committee member feels valued, supported and appreciated.
United Way of the Bluegrass (UWBG) believes that every individual is worthy of respect, dignity, and fair treatment regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or other qualities unique to their culture and experiences. We firmly denounce racism, intolerance, injustice, and exclusion of any kind.
We fully support DEIB and commit to acceptance of these values by our staff, volunteers, and community partners. This commitment to equity serves as the basis for our policies, practices, and ultimately, our work throughout the ten counties we serve.
United Way of the Bluegrass was established over 100 years ago with the goal to bring together the beautifully and powerfully diverse communities in our region and UNITE resources and people to affect positive impact for everyone in the community. As such, we live this vision while valuing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. The result of these efforts is equity in our mission, decision-making, and in the care of those who seek our guidance, help, and advocacy.
Two of our primary responsibilities to the community are serving as a convener and collaborator while practicing the value of inclusion. We bring together the many different voices of our residents, communities, businesses, donors, and partners, and amplify their concerns and needs while building collective solutions to those challenges. Inclusion is empowering, healing, and necessary.
UWBG applies an equity lens to our impact initiatives and work, ensuring that participants and community stakeholders representing diverse backgrounds maintain equitable access to services, support, and resources.
We employ evidence-based approaches to address complex community needs. By listening actively and gathering data about the challenges facing those in our region, we craft solutions collectively with our partners and stakeholders to address the root causes of those issues.
We serve as an example to others standing against racial injustice and act as anti-racists as we speak out and advocate against systemic, institutionalized, and interpersonal racism at every available opportunity.
UWBG strives to mirror the community we serve. We acknowledge and accept that people have individual characteristics, which make them unique. We invite and encourage these differences. Our goal is to attract, retain, and support a diverse employee base.
We commit to ensuring our staff, volunteers, and community partners are also reflective of the community we serve.
We treat our staff with equity in all regards. We are deliberate with our processes for hiring, compensation, performance evaluation, and promotion.
Why This Matters
DEIB are vital to the success and growth of UWBG. Without the contributions of diverse voices, there is no way to fully understand the scope of the community's hardships or needs. Like-minded thinking results in a narrow perspective on what it means to LIVE UNITED. Diversity strengthens, empowers, and enriches business decisions and strategies, resulting in a more holistic, inclusive approach to the issues of the day. Creativity and innovation are born from challenging the status quo and constructively sharing varying points of view. When organizations surround themselves with diverse groups, they benefit from all the life experiences, knowledge, opinions, realities, and desires of those with whom they differ.
United Way of the Bluegrass has existed in this community for over 100 years, and over the next century, we will face unresolved problems of the past, as well as new problems yet to be seen. The only way we can combat any of these issues and stay on the forefront of the fight for empowerment, is to value, embrace, and celebrate diversity. Therefore, we are a champion for change, innovation, progress, and for diversity.
To provide informed, authentic leadership for cultural equity, we strive to commit time and resources to substantive organizational learning and training focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion for both our staff and Board of Directors. Further, we commit to the creation and ongoing review and modification of internal policies so that they are equitable and transparent.
We will use an equity lens as one of the criteria for making our community investments and advocate for public and private-sector policies that promote equity.
Finally, we will hold ourselves accountable, as we strive to create an environment that is non-discriminatory, actively anti-racist, socially competent, compassionate, and kind.