At United Way of Coastal and Western Connecticut, we are committed to empowering every individual to thrive, no matter their race, ethnicity, or zip code. Through the lens of equity, we focus our work daily on addressing immediate basic needs and the underlying systemic barriers to health, quality education, and long-term financial stability.
Last week’s Supreme Court ruling against Affirmative Action in STUDENTS FOR FAIR ADMISSIONS, INC. v. PRESIDENT AND FELLOWS OF HARVARD COLLEGE stands in stark contrast to our mission and will further erect barriers for Black and brown youth.
In our region of Coastal and Western Connecticut, we see every day the inequities that exist for youth and families of color, especially those from low-to-moderate-income households. These disparities exist due to historical and current systemic racism, resulting in Connecticut being one of the most racially segregated states in the nation. Data from CT DataHaven, CT Data Collaborative, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and countless others all draw the same conclusion – myriad disparities exist in “educational attainment, employment, and earnings” across racial and ethnic groups in our state. We know that promoting racial equity in educational and economic opportunities is a critical step toward addressing these disparities going forward.
As a newly united organization, we want to reaffirm our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in every aspect of our work. We encourage other organizations to do the same.
Our DEIA initiatives aim to address historical and systemic inequalities by providing equitable opportunities for all individuals, regardless of their background. We strive to create fairer systems and reduce disparities by actively promoting inclusion with a focus on leveling the playing field and ensuring equal access to advancement. With equity as the throughline of all our work, we will continue to promote policies, practices, and programs that ensure all children and families have an opportunity to succeed in life.