United Way of Greater Cleveland is dedicated to the eradication of poverty and social disparities in our community. If we are to make progress to address systemic inequality, we must first address that structural racism and economic inequity are evidentially linked.
United Way of Greater Cleveland stands side-by-side with the African American community in the fight for social justice and equity for all – here in Cleveland and across the nation. Systemic racism is a pandemic which has plagued our country for more than 400 years. We condemn any and all acts of violence against our African American neighbors and we support all those who advocate peacefully for an end to these atrocities. It is more important now than ever that we stand together as one community to do everything we can to ensure brutality and injustice have no place in our society.
We grieve for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others who have needlessly and brutally lost their lives in Black communities. Despite the many hashtags and sincere sentiments of outrage, we continue to be in this space and time, yet again. Enough is enough.
We must raise our voice louder, stronger and collectively to denounce racism and the systems that covertly and overtly oppress -- and even take the lives of -- our neighbors. Together we must speak up and speak out to honor human dignity and create a community in which every person can thrive.
United Way is committed, but not limited, to doing the following to create a society where race is no longer an indicator of outcomes:
- We will identify our own blind spots and our own biases.
- We will seek to understand the historical and current racial trauma that our neighbors, friends and coworkers encounter every day.
- We will continue to provide race, diversity, equity and inclusion training to our staff, Board of Directors, volunteers and agency partners.
- We will develop and use racial equity as one of the criteria in making community investments.
- We will remain unified in our efforts to bring light to this issue by advocating for the recognition of racism as a public health crisis.
- We will dismantle racial barriers in our community through partnerships with organizations that have deeply rooted knowledge and experience in social justice.
- We will continue to publicly denounce racial injustice.
- Finally, and most importantly, we will continue to advocate for and support those who continue seek social justice and racial equity.
August A. Napoli
President and CEO
United Way of Greater Cleveland