At United Way we are designing a new way forward with diversity, equity, and inclusion at the centre of all that we do.

Our way forward.

We must first listen and understand the experiences of people in communities throughout the region. Through a deep understanding of people’s experiences, we can turn our focus on identifying and removing barriers for those most harmed by them. It is only through an intentional emphasis on equity and systemic change, leveraging all of our assets and connections, that we can aspire to create the conditions that allow everyone the opportunity to thrive.

Staff and volunteers have been building a shared understanding of the concepts of privilege, power and oppression and uncovering the systems and structures that influence our everyday experiences. While these conversations are sometimes uncomfortable, we continue to move forward learning about the diversity in our community and what inclusion might look like. We are grateful for the individuals who have shared their stories and provided insight on what belonging means to them.

We are committed to building stronger relationships with Indigenous, Metis and Inuit Peoples in this region to ensure that we contribute to meaningful lasting change. We need to do this work as individuals and as an organization. The first step on our reconciliation journey is to listen and learn about Indigenous experiences, wisdom and worldview.

As we move forward, we will continue to unpack the barriers that exist within our own organization and further the learning journey of our staff and volunteers. We will explore ways of ensuring diverse voices are represented in planning and decision-making. We will work with the community to uncover the aspirations and barriers to inclusion that exist for people and then working collaboratively to address these disparities. We will use our voice to advocate for change. We will share our platform so people whose voice too often go unheard, can be expanded to new audiences.

We want to become leaders in advocating for equity, working collaboratively with Indigenous Peoples and partnering to create communities where everyone has the resources, opportunities, and support they need to thrive. This is the new United Way.