As an organization that has been around for 97 years, United Way of the Midlands (UWM) has maintained a long-standing commitment to addressing social injustice by serving the underserved and partnering with other organizations that are striving to create a more equitable community. We are diligently working to learn more about the experiences of different communities and to strive for inclusivity and equity so individuals and families can lead the best lives possible.
A Message from our President & CEO
“At United Way of the Midlands, our diverse donors, volunteers and staff all care deeply for this community and the people who live here. We understand there is still a long road ahead. Today, we have an opportunity to rewrite that narrative. In the days, months, years and even generations to come we need to join together and strive for inclusivity and equity so individuals and families can lead the best lives possible.
UWM will strive to stay informed, seek understanding and set a neutral table where regardless of your income, race, gender, sexual orientation, political or religious beliefs—we will come and work together to determine the best path forward. Right now, we’re working with local officials, our nonprofit partners and our 211 Helpline so that we can connect those who are struggling to the resources and services needed, including those who are still reeling from the effects of COVID-19.
To quote Brian Gallagher, President and CEO of United Way Worldwide, ‘We must all do our part, working United, to make our communities the places that we need them to be—equitable, respectful and opportunity-filled. We, as a society, can and must do better to guarantee that the basic human rights and freedoms of every person in every community are protected.'”
Our Commitment to Addressing Racial Injustice and Discrimination
- UWM joined 150 corporate leaders and signed a statement against racism and a commitment to address racial injustice.
- In 2015 UWM incorporated an inclusivity clause into our grant requirements and hiring practices.
- UWM maintains racial equity as one of the criteria in making community investments. Within the grant application for local agencies, we require applicants to provide their discrimination policy.
- Agencies receiving UWM funding are prohibited from discriminating against staff or clients on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, creed, age, national origin or ancestry, marital status, pregnancy, veteran or reserve status, physical or mental disability, LGBT (sexual orientation and gender identity), or any other protected status. (Grant Agreement, Section IV – Non-Discrimination)
- UWM is a member of the Commitment to Opportunity, Diversity and Equity (CODE) Coalition. CODE was born to achieve sustainable growth in the areas of diversity, inclusivity, equity, and opportunity in Greater Omaha. By joining CODE, leaders pledge to increase diversity in their organizations and to create an inclusive work environment for all employees. The CODE commitment includes creating and implementing a comprehensive diversity strategy and hiring diverse and inclusive leadership to support that effort. Applicants are strongly encouraged to do the same.
- In 2017 UWM partnered with the Greater Omaha Chamber and Urban League of Nebraska on the Strategic4Sight project, with the ultimate goal of creating economic development strategies that are inclusive, next-generation-focused and visionary. UWM will once again partner with these organizations during the second phase of the project.
- UWM conducts annual equity training, focused on race or ethnicity, for all board members and staff.
- The UWM senior leadership team is hoping to complete Racial Equity Institute Training.
UWM will continue to invest in critical programs that address social injustice and provide support for those who need it most, programs like:
- Micro-business/entrepreneurial track programs at the Midlands Latino Business Community and Catholic Charities. These programs serve primarily minority populations by providing resources, mentorship and community connections that help individuals start and build successful businesses.
- Programs for youth and young adults at the Empowerment Network and Urban League of Nebraska. These programs actively collaborate to provide job and essential skills training and connect participants to mentors and careers in the community. Both programs focus on minority populations, and participants have reported great outcomes.
- A translation and navigation program at the Latino Center of the Midlands. Through this critical program, clients can receive translation and navigation services that help them utilize technology and gain access to other services.
- A homeownership program at Family Housing Advisory Services. Unfortunately, in our community, we have seen a decrease in homeownership among minority populations. This program provides minority populations with homeownership support.
Grant Requirements for UWM-Funded Programs
- The Community Investment process is grounded in UWM’s guiding principles of transparency, accountability, partnership and engagement. All UWM staff and volunteers are expected to uphold and demonstrate these values.
- UWM invests in programs with diverse funding streams that include a balance of charitable gifts, foundation and other grants, governmental grants, contracts and other funding sources. The UWM investment request cannot exceed 50% of the total program budget.
- The Community Investment process is highly competitive. Historically, UWM receives requests for funding that exceed available funding, therefore UWM will not be able to fund all applications. Qualification under the Goals, areas of emphasis and eligibility requirements do not entitle an applicant to receive funding.
- All applications and supporting documentation are given thorough consideration. Thus, all funding decisions approved by the UWM Board of Directors are considered final and are not subject to appeal.
United Way of the Midlands may collect email addresses and other personally identifiable data about donors, volunteers and visitors when such information is voluntarily submitted. All such information is collected and stored in a manner appropriate to the nature of the data. United Way of the Midlands does not sell or otherwise disclose this information outside of the organization unless the donor explicitly requests acknowledgment for a designated gift.