Commitment to Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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A Message from Our President

Thank you for viewing this post.  I will not take your time by futilely trying to describe the past year.  My description would be woefully inadequate.

At this point in time, UWTC embraces where we stand and commits to being an engaged partner working to build a stronger organization and community.  With this as our overarching goal, volunteers and staff developed the following anti-racism statement.

We know that words are more than letters on a page and screen, or sentences spoken from time to time.  The words in our statement both frame and light the path UWTC must create and follow each day.

I extend deep and heartfelt thanks to UWTC’s community friends, our Ad Hoc DEI Committee, all Board Committees and staff for contributing to the creation of this statement.  Added appreciation is offered to the Board of Directors for thoughtful oversight of this process and approving the final document.

In closing, this is simply one meaningful step in a long journey.  It is not an endpoint.  It is not the end of the beginning.  Our work has begun. 

Thank you, and please join with us in building a stronger Tompkins County and United Way.

A black man with a bald head and grey goatee wearing clear-framed glasses smiles at the camera. He has a gap in his front teeth and is wearing a gray suit jacket. He is also wearing a United Way pin and name tag which is out of focus.

Statement on Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The United Way of Tompkins County (UWTC) is an equal opportunity organization and is committed to embracing and promoting anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion in all our activities and relationships. We acknowledge that racism and other forms of discrimination are present in our community and in its systems and structures. Not-for-profit organizations, including UWTC, operate within these systems and structures and therefore are not immune to perpetuating racism and other forms of discrimination. We must acknowledge both systemic and individual historical wrongs and commit to centering anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion in our current and future decision-making processes.

We define the following terms through the lens of social justice to guide our commitment:

  • Anti-Racism: A belief or practice that recognizes pervasive racism in society, and actively combats racial prejudice and discrimination to promote racial justice and equality.
  • Diversity: A concept that encompasses acceptance and respect for the uniqueness of each person.
  • Equity: A solution for addressing imbalanced social systems that recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.
  • Inclusion: Partnering with people who have been marginalized and creating a space where all participants feel affinity and ownership.

We therefore commit to: 

  • Respect, value, and champion each person as they are, including all their unique identities. 
  • Provide appropriate support to community groups who have been marginalized because of their identities so that UWTC can promote a holistic community engagement experience where people of all identities belong. 
  • Aid in the identification and elimination of root causes of systemic discrimination by engaging with others to promote anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion. 
  • Actively reject and condemn behaviors that perpetuate racism and other forms of discrimination or harassment and take appropriate steps to support those most affected by it and educate those engaging in the behaviors. 
  • Hold ourselves and partners accountable to practices that embrace anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion.