Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
“The opposite of poverty isn’t wealth. The opposite of poverty is justice.”
– Bryan Stevenson
United Way for Greater Austin’s mission is to bring people, ideas, and resources together to fight poverty in our community. Race has a big impact on a person’s life outcomes, so we can only break the cycle of poverty by standing up for racial justice.
Race impacts all of us. It’s the single biggest predictor of a person’s education, health, and income.
To advance United Way for Greater Austin’s mission to fight poverty, we must stand up for racial justice.
That’s why we commit to:
Looking back to understand how we’ve contributed to racial inequality
Changing unfair systems that prevent our community from reaching its full potential
Embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion as individuals, as an organization, and with our community
United, we can create a community where everyone feels a sense of belonging. Join the journey and Live United!
Austin: A Tale of Two Cities
Race and zip code continue to be some of the biggest predictors of a person’s life outcomes. Zip codes determine what opportunities are available to families, such as parks, jobs, grocery stores, child care, schools, and safe housing.
In Travis County, the poverty rate for Black and Hispanic people is more than double that of non-Hispanic white people.
The highest rates of poverty are among children, especially children of color. Of the approximately 14,197 children under 6 living in poverty, 90% are children of color.
Source: US Census Bureau
Poverty Rates by Race
We’re always learning and unlearning
Since 2018, 38 United Way team members have participated in anti-racism training.
We value the lived experience of parents, and we center the voices of parents in our strategic work.
The Success By 6 Coalition partnered with the City of Austin Equity Office to complete an equity assessment and center diversity, equity, and inclusion in our early childhood work.
Child care workers are disproportionately women of color. We are building pathways for child care workers to achieve higher education degrees and a living wage. We advocate for equitable resources in early childhood and empower child care providers to advocate at the city, county, and state levels.
We center equity in our grantmaking process. Lived experience as a person of color is a critical input, both among our community reviewers and in the leadership of nonprofit applicants.
We prioritize language access. Both our 2-1-1 helpline and ConnectATX – which offer help with food, housing, transportation, and more – are available in more than 200 languages.
Our Journey So Far
There’s more work to do, and anti-racism work remains a priority for all of us here at United Way. We’re committed to the fight for racial justice as more than just a moment – but a movement.
What we’re reading, watching, and listening to
Caste (The Origins of Our Discontents), Isabel Wilkerson