Indy Racial Equity Pledge

United Way of Central Indiana

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OUR PLEDGE TO THE COMMUNITY

United Way of Central Indiana is united with our community in opposing racism. We acknowledge that racism, both implicit and explicit, exists in our community and presents significant barriers to the achievement of economic well-being and quality of life for many in the communities we serve. United Way is committed to listening, learning, and amplifying the voices of our Black neighbors. We will do so in a manner that demonstrates respect for all. We will bring our resources, influence, and convening leverage to the table to address systemic racism that limits opportunities for a disproportionate and growing number of people in Central Indiana. While we cannot promise perfection, we are committed to accelerating progress toward racial equity as individuals, as an organization, and as an active community leader. This racial equity pledge is part of our broader commitment opposing all forms of racism and discrimination affecting members of our community.

PLEDGE 1

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Organizational

Focus Area: Workplace

United Way will enhance our efforts to promote racial equity in our people practices (including hiring, training & development, and promotions), diversity in procurement, marketing & branding, and in the celebration of philanthropy.

PROGRESS

2021

United Way performed an employee equity compensation audit and a 401k utilization study, is conducting a vendor diversity audit, has revamped the recruitment process including a new applicant tracking system and onboarding process, has hired Warren Dukes as our Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, has increased its spend with Black and Brown media and began celebrating diversity through themed months like Women’s History, Black History, LGBTQA+, etc.

PLEDGE 2

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Data and Research

Focus Areas: Prosperity

United Way of Central Indiana will use data on poverty and ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) populations to drive improvements in human services that support the Black households disproportionately represented therein. United Way will also use this information to update members of our community on racial disparities in impacts.

PROGRESS

2021

United Way is utilizing ALICE and other community level demographic data to inform its impact strategy and to address gaps in services and racial disparities. ALICE, an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained Employed, is a new way of defining and understanding the struggles of households who earn above the Federal Poverty Level, but not enough to afford a basic household budget. Our current processes and applications for impact funds and accreditation include extensive data reporting requirements around diversity, equity, and inclusion, and assessment to ensure community organizations have established plans to collect demographic data on their client population. Information from these applications is used in funding, accreditation, and capacity building strategy development. United Way’s impact dashboards and reports consist of data disaggregated by race, ethnicity and geography to understand how our current impact strategies are impacting Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) households, especially those in high ALICE zip codes. United Way has also launched the Grassroots and Faith-Based Data Initiative pilot to enhance the impact reporting and data collection capacity of five grassroots and faith-based organizations that are primarily serving Black households in Central Indiana.

PLEDGE 3

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Grantmaking & Community Investments

Focus Areas: Prosperity

United Way of Central Indiana will strive to invest at least $5 million annually in human service organizations primarily serving Black clients through our portfolio of grantmaking.

PROGRESS

2021

From July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, United Way has invested $9.44 million in grants primarily serving Black clients. We utilize grant making values that call out inclusion and prioritize diversity across racial, ethnic, geographic and special populations. We offered equity trainings through the Nonprofit Learning Center, provided capacity building grants to Black-led and Black-serving populations, and are requiring partners to report on client race and ethnicity.

PLEDGE 4

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Advocacy & Public Policy

Focus Areas: Education, Prosperity

United Way of Central Indiana will explicitly integrate the elimination of systemic racism in its annual public policy agenda which is designed to remove barriers to economic success.

PROGRESS

2021

United Way has partnered with the Indianapolis Urban League (IUL) to identify and engage on issues to advance racial equity at the Indiana Statehouse, provided capacity building support to the IUL to support a full-time advocate at the Statehouse, and developed an equity policy evaluation and rubric.

PLEDGE 5

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Thought Leadership & Convening

Focus Areas: Education, Health, & Prosperity

United Way of Central Indiana commits to convene and educate community members about the local history of systemic racism and the current realities of racial disparities to empower them to make a positive change in the community. These forums will address Health, Housing, Food Insecurity, Transportation, Education, and Financial Stability.

PROGRESS

2021

To better understand the history of racial injustice in policies that create and perpetuate barriers to services, resources, and opportunities for Black Americans, United Way created a virtual learning series, “Understanding the Roots of Racism.” The nine virtual sessions featured experts in the fields of health, housing, food insecurity, transportation, education, financial stability, mental health, career building, and social capital and civic engagement – all focus areas within United Way’s community impact strategy.

Join us in the important work of creating racial equity in Central Indiana.

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