Our nation’s history of colonialism, systemic racism, and other intersecting oppressions has resulted in persistent barriers, exploitation, and limited access to opportunities for Indigenous, Black, and other structurally disadvantaged groups over generations, leading to long-term social, economic, and health disparities.
We recognize that improving the lives of everyone in the communities we serve means we must explicitly focus on removing these barriers for those most harmed by them. This includes addressing the belief systems and attitudes, policies, and practices that privilege some and disenfranchise others. It is only through an intentional focus on removing these barriers that we can aspire to create the conditions that allow everyone the opportunity to thrive.
United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County is not immune to these social issues. In the past, we have unintentionally played a part in maintaining systems that perpetuated disparities and barriers to opportunities. We are working with the community to identify and remove these barriers.
This means changing the policies, processes, and practices that systemically exclude or disadvantage these groups. And it means working in closer partnership with the people and communities that our work is intended to benefit.
United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County can and will use the principles of reconciliation and equity to make clear and measurable changes to eliminate systemic racism and discrimination from our work. In doing this, United Way will continue to demonstrate commitment to fighting poverty in all its forms.
We can’t take action against child poverty without advancing equity.
We know that poverty impacts some groups more than others. Young people, Indigenous people, racialized people, 2SLGBGTQ+ people, immigrants, women, and those with disabilities are more likely to live in poverty and face significant barriers to getting out of poverty. Indigenous and Black people specifically have faced historical disadvantage whose impacts continue to be felt today.
We are committed to moving beyond diversity and inclusion to become an anti-oppression, anti-racism, and equity-minded organization that is more effective in advancing equity with the community.
United Way Canada, local staff, and the Board of Directors are taking a serious look at our work in the community through the lens of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Locally, United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County has undertaken the following actions:
- United Way’s Board of Directors has created an Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Committee to increase United Way’s diversity and create an environment of inclusion, equity, and belonging in the work and decisions undertaken by the Board of Directors
- United Way’s Board of Directors has formed the first all-female Corporate Officer team in United Way’s history and has also recruited community members with lived experience.
- United Way Staff have created an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee to support initiatives that strengthen inclusion, diversity, and equity within our workplace and ensure our work with the community reflects an inclusive and equitable approach.
- Local United Way staff are involved in extensive training and reflection to ensure our workplace culture authentically reflects these ideals.
- Diverse voices and people with lived experience are valued and welcomed to the table to reflect the communities that we serve.
- United Way is listening, learning, and setting goals to create a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive space for all.