The United Way of Whitley & Kosciusko Counties Board of Directors recognizes equity as a core value that is critical in achieving its mission. We value the intentional inclusion of everyone in our community. We strive to dismantle systemic, institutional, and historical barriers based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and other identities so they no longer determine socioeconomic, educational, and health outcomes.
Achieving equity requires diversity. Diversity is the extent to which people of different identities and experiences are represented. To value diversity is to respect and appreciate race; religion; skin color; gender; nationality; language differences; sexual orientation; physical, mental, and developmental abilities; age; socioeconomic status; marital status; parental status; and veteran status. Diversity is most important when it comes to the representation of communities that have historically been excluded or marginalized.
Inclusion is the extent to which people have access to formal and informal decision-making structures. Inclusion is most important when it comes to decisions that affect people’s lives. Inclusion leverages diversity to collectively and more effectively address the issues facing our communities.
It is our aim, therefore, that our region becomes a more equitable community and that United Way’s strategies, investments, and partners be directed toward this end. Equity is at the heart of what it means to live united and advance the common good; to be an equitable system is fundamental to achieving our mission and goals in education, financial stability, health, and basic needs.