A Dane County Absent of Racial Health Disparities. What Will it Take?
For 100 years, United Way of Dane County has led in mobilizing the caring power of our community to create lasting change. And for 30 of those years, we’ve taken an intentional approach to naming racial disparity in our community and have worked to measurably reduce inequity – with the goal of building a Dane County where all can succeed in school, work and life. But there’s still so much to be done!
Last month, our President & CEO, Renee Moe, was invited to host WORT’s Access Hour. She led a conversation with some of our volunteers and partners around what racial health disparities exist in Dane County, and what’s being done to reduce inequities that prevent our neighbors from leading healthy, thriving lives.
United Way of Dane County Awards Nearly $100,000 in Micro-Investment Funds to Local Grassroots Organizations
Madison, WI (June 2, 2022) – On June 1, 2022, United Way of Dane County hosted a virtual reception honoring the recipients of our 2022 Micro-Investment Grants. While funding for this grant cycle was originally set for $25,000, we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve added a one-time increase of $75,000 in grant funding – making a total of $100,000 available in celebration of our Centennial year.
With this increase in funding, we were able to grant $90,805 to 19 eligible organizations that applied. Recipients include community groups, nonprofit agencies, faith-based organizations and other groups (with an annual operating budget of $50,000 or less) that are working to achieve racial equity and/or social justice for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Southeast Asian or individuals and/or families of color in Dane County.
By Youth for Youth Group Awards $26,130 to Local Youth Programs
High school leaders review and identify grants that will benefit youth-led organizations and youth programs
Madison, WI (April 27, 2022) – Earlier this month, the By Youth for Youth (BYFY) committee, a collaborative project through the Dane County Youth Commission, United Way of Dane County, the City of Madison Community Development Division, and UW-Extension Dane County’s Institute of Positive Youth Development, awarded $26,130 to 16 local youth programs and projects.
BYFY’s funding priorities for 2022 were focused on racial justice, rights and accessibility, environmental change and environmental justice for climate change, mental health access (with an emphasis on marginalized communities), resources for teens experiencing poverty, and immigrant and undocumented youth justice, rights and accessibility.
“By Youth for Youth gives the next generation of community leaders an opportunity to make real impact at a young age,” said Renee Moe, President & CEO of United Way of Dane County. “These inspiring teens are learning how to collaborate, communicate effectively and accelerate results – all to help more people and change more lives. We are so proud to convene Dane County’s up and coming thought leaders and change makers!”
United Way Launches Network Advisory Council
In March of 2022, Our President & CEO, Renee Moe, was appointed by Angela Williams – President & CEO of United Way Worldwide (UWW) – to the United Way Network Advisory Council. Newly created, this council will engage with UWW leadership to ensure that local and state United Way voices inform important decisions across the network. Renee, along with other members, will provide crucial insights to the UWW Board and management to strengthen communication and, ultimately, help to better meet the needs of United Ways across the country.
A Thank You Message from our CEO, Renee Moe
As our community continues to recover from these challenging times, we are so grateful for your support. Because of your commitment to United Way, more families are empowered to maximize their potential, more people are able to provide help where it’s needed most and more generosity is unleashed for the common good. Because of you, our Community is stronger. Thank you for being a part of The Power of Many. Working for All.
ALEXANDRIA, VA (September 9, 2021) – United Way Worldwide today announced that Angela F. Williams will become the next president and CEO of the organization. Williams will be the first woman and first African American to lead United Way’s Worldwide organization. She currently serves as president and CEO of Easterseals, a role she has held since 2018. Her appointment takes effect on October 15, 2021.
Named to Forbes’ 2021 List of Women 50 Over 50 Creating Social Change at Scale, Williams brings more than 30 years of management experience to this role, including significant executive leadership experience in major non-profit organizations. Before joining Easterseals, Williams spent 11 years as EVP, general counsel, and chief administration officer at YMCA of the USA. Prior her position at Y-USA, Williams was the interfaith liaison for the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund, where she helped assess the effects on and manage the financial support for houses of worship in areas impacted by the hurricane.
“United Way Worldwide is at a critical juncture as we look to transform our 135-year-old organization to continue driving strong and equitable community impact into the future,” said Dr. Juliette M. Tuakli, Chair of United Way Worldwide Board of Trustees. “We wanted a leader who could mobilize our United Way Network, our supporters and United Way Worldwide around a clear vision grounded in the imperative to create greater impact, equity and growth in communities. Angela’s background and experience make her uniquely suited to create and drive this vision. The CEO Search Committee was impressed by her strategic acumen, innovative thinking and purpose-driven mindset, which we believe will offer a fresh perspective in reimagining United Way and ensuring that we remain relevant and impactful for years to come.”
When the world stopped, you didn’t. Thanks to the commitment of our Dane County community, we were able to meet struggle with strength and support thousands of our neighbors during a historically challenging time. Check out our 2020 Community Impact Report to learn more about the incredible impact your time, dedication and dollars made!
2020 Women United Breakfast Raises $40,000 to Support Education The Women United Council was honored to virtually host more than 230 community members on September
Madison, WI (May 19, 2021) – In a press conference on Wednesday, United Way of Dane County announced a new mobilization plan, outlining strategies to meet evolving healthcare needs in our community.
As a result of a year of planning and work, United Way’s Health Community Solutions Team (CST) of volunteers found that, while our community remains a top place to live, raise a family and retire, that is not typically the case for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Southeast Asian and people of color (BIPOC) in Dane County. In fact, after reviewing data from the County Health Rankings Report, the Dane County Community Needs Assessment and other sources, they found significant gaps in quality of and access to care between the white and BIPOC populations in Dane County.
“The evidence is clear, and the need is urgent,” says Jesi Wang, Chair of the Health CST and CEO of MetaStar, Inc. “Our BIPOC neighbors are not receiving the health care and support they deserve – and that is not because we have a lack of quality care or programs here in Dane County, but rather a lack of equitable access and culturally safe experiences. That is why my colleagues and I on the Health CST have recommended strategies for United Way that focus more specifically on families and individuals who are experiencing poor health outcomes due to long-standing racial disparities.”
March 23, 2021: United Way of Dane County Stands Against Racism and For Unity – Will You Join Us?
At United Way of Dane County, we are incredibly saddened by last week’s attacks in Atlanta. We hold the victims’ families and our Asian American community here at home and across the country in our hearts during this difficult time.
The increase in violence towards the Asian American community since the start of the pandemic is unacceptable. And it goes to show that racism truly is a public health crisis. If these challenging times have shown us anything, it’s that there are many among us who are hurting – and we stand by you all. As our President & CEO, Renee Moe, so truthfully put it in her personal statement:
“United Way believes Black Lives Matter, knows that Hispanic/Latinx community members have been amongst the hardest hit by the pandemic, that Indigenous, Asian, LGBTQ+ and disabled community members are often invisible while at the same time facing significant exclusion and hatred, and that all low-income community members (who are majority white) face education, housing, income and health barriers. And, we know that we need each other to have a strong community, build understanding and make progress.”
At United Way of Dane County, we’re working hard to address hurt and suffering by working to provide access to the building blocks of well-being – education, financial stability and health supports. We have the experience, relationships and knowledge to do this work. But we can’t do it alone.
We’re calling on each and every one of you to do the hard work with us. Face your biases and the realities of your privilege (no matter what they may be), and challenge yourself and those around you to treat all with compassion and humanity. Channel your hurt, pain and disappointment into nurturing and supportive actions. Because while the issues sparked by centuries of racism and the resulting inequities might not be our fault, they are our responsibility. And it’s up to us to change how we treat each other.
At United Way, we will do our part by continuing to bring the community together to tackle the root causes of our toughest issues, and fight to change the systems that enable inequities in our community. And, we will continue to build relationships and trust to foster compassion and the ability to live and work together. The strength that holds us together is community. Together, we are The Power of Many. Working for All.
Will you join us?
Thank you, United Way volunteers!
2020 Campaign Celebration
United Way of Dane County is Dedicated to Fighting Family Homelessness
A Message From our CEO, Renee Moe, to Live United
A Statement About United Way Worldwide and the Resignation of Brian Gallagher
In November 2020, allegations of misconduct within the United Way Worldwide (UWW) organization came to light by way of national media. Coverage around UWW shed light on complaints from former UWW employees regarding harassment and discrimination and, as a result, the UWW board hired an external law firm to conduct an investigation.
Earlier this month, that investigation was marked complete and found “no actionable harassment, discrimination or retaliation,” but noted culture and policies should be addressed. In response to those findings, Brian Gallagher, CEO of United Way Worldwide, has decided to step down, effective March 1, 2021. UWW is also setting up a task force to address culture.
While we do not know the specifics of the allegations, we want to reaffirm where we stand on the issue of discrimination. At United Way of Dane County, any type of harassment, discrimination or misconduct is met with zero tolerance. We firmly believe that all employees should be treated fairly and with respect, and we take pride in fostering an environment in which people feel comfortable and supported in the work they do to advance our mission.
Our local United Way of Dane County is an independent 501c3 with our own governance structure, separate and autonomous. We are governed by a local board compromised of Dane County community leaders. We pay membership dues to United Way Worldwide that support things like national market research, assistance obtaining grants through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program and professional development resources. Our fees are minimal and have historically paid for themselves through the support and benefits we’ve received in being part of a global network.
As the pandemic continues on and we’re faced with many of the same challenges as last year, United Way of Dane County remains focused on tackling Dane County’s toughest issues in the areas of education, income and health. Over the past year, we’ve been so inspired by this community’s ability to come together and work towards real change. If these hard times have shown us anything, it’s that we truly are the Power of Many. Working for All. And we will get through this, together.
If you have questions on this topic, please reach out to Ashley Reynolds, United Way of Dane County Director of Communications, at 608-416-0401 or Ashley.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy National Volunteer Month! At United Way of Dane County, we couldn’t do our important work without volunteers! To celebrate all they make possible, we’ll be shining a light on a few of our most dedicated community volunteers this month – the 2020 Community
A message from Renee Moe
United Way of Dane County holds virtual Women United Breakfast
‘Everyone wants to feel their voice is important’: United Way of Dane County launches campaign to help register, educate voters
Plain Talk: The United Way's fundraising campaign is more vital than ever
'Wise-Witnesses' Watch Over Protesters in Madison Crowds
5,000 reasons a month to give to the United Way
United Way of Dane County Hopes New Community Campaign Can Raise 17.8 Million Amid Pandemic
A Message from United Way of Dane County’s CEO (June 12, 2020)
New report detailing financial hardship in Dane County
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – The ALICE, asset limited, income constrained, employed, report released by United Way reveals that 30 percent of Dane County households struggled to make ends meet before COVID-19. Read more
Announcing Lead United
Built upon the foundation of Rosenberry Society and Key Club, Lead United is a new, unified network of community-minded individuals who Lead United in their workplaces, in our community and through their philanthropy. Lead United is about taking action to promote equity and support a Dane County where everyone can succeed in school, work and life.
Lead United members are invested, compassionate and focused on understanding Dane County’s critical issues and creating real, measurable change. Join by making an investment of at least $1 a day ($365 per year).
Additional benefits of membership include connections with other leaders, special events, curated volunteer engagements and opportunities to support your professional and personal development.
What Can We Do?
Response to Community Unrest Over Racism, Police Use of Force, Protests and Riots
June 10th, 2020 – Rotary Club of Madison Meeting-
Guest Speaker is Fellow Rotarian Renee Moe
Wisconsin State Journal Guest Column
“Calls to United Way’s 211 information and referral helpline have skyrocketed in recent months, with calls increasing over 300% at the peak of the pandemic. Our 211 team has been working to connect people to critical health and economic services – food, diapers, rent, employment, healthcare – many for the first time.” Read More