News Updates

MERRILL, Wis. -

In July United Way Wisconsin held its annual Summer Conference. It is a learning, sharing, networking opportunity for United Way leadership. A special focus for this conference, was driven by initiatives being advanced by United Way
Worldwide. The newest initiatives are dealing with building a “Race Equity Culture”. While our local United Way is independent and governed by our local Board of Directors, there are a few major national standards that cross amongst
United Ways throughout the country.

 

In our annual reporting to United Way Worldwide we have been asked to report on programming, initiatives and community efforts that will move our local society toward greater equity. While we are not a metro, or micro community, our percentages of diversity, in comparison, are very low. Yet, for those with race ethnicity, living in a community that has a culture supporting race equity would be important. Nonetheless, our Central Wisconsin United Ways have had dialogue about approaches that can be made to improve that equity. Complex subject? Sure, but one that will likely get tackled in some manner, taking small steps, as we move forward. Achieving total race equity, where one’s racial identity has no influence on how a person fares in all aspects of society, is a very lofty goal, if not an impossible goal. Structural racism is deeply rooted in history and perpetuated by policies, practices, attitudes, and cultural messages. The first thing we can do as a community is recognize that we have a presence of racial differences and observe how we and others treat it. United Way is certain we shall hear more on this subject going forward.

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United Way Children's Christmas Project. L to R: Paul Meyer, Brittany Theilman, and Renea Frederick of FreMarq Innovations; Dee Olsen, Merrill Area United Way.