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United Way of Lancaster County Inclusiveness Policy

Our Theory of Practice

United Way of Lancaster County believes that we are one community with many parts, a community that is stronger when we draw upon the insight, energy, talent, and economic resources of all parts of our community for the benefit of the whole. We work to foster a climate of openness, inclusion, and respect, and to draw upon the energy that results from the elimination of barriers and from real personal and organizational growth.

In this ongoing journey, we are dedicated to fostering an environment that celebrates diversity and actively seeks to dismantle barriers rooted in historical injustices. Our commitment extends to building a community that values every individual, appreciates their unique contributions, and champions the principles of equity and justice. By embracing the richness of our collective experiences and acknowledging the complexities of our shared history, we aspire to create a space where everyone feels seen, heard, and included. Through humility and awareness of the challenges we face, as well as the opportunities to make meaningful progress, we aim to build a more inclusive and compassionate community by embracing the diversity it encompasses.

Notwithstanding lofty visions, policies, and goals, we recognize that neither our organization nor any other has completely eliminated prejudice and other barriers within the community we aspire to serve. Sincere efforts, transformative changes, and continuous growth are imperative for both our organization and our partners. We strongly advocate for open and honest dialogue, underscoring our commitment to take tangible actions in pursuit of our beliefs.

This policy statement will guide our work to promote positive change in our United Way and in our community.

Staff and Volunteers

We will seek out, include, respect, and welcome people from every part of our community as employees and as volunteers. We will provide employment, advancement, and volunteer opportunities without excluding anyone based on race, color, religion, gender, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability or sexual orientation, or any other factor not relevant to a person’s ability to contribute to our organization.

Partnerships with Agencies

We will direct community fund dollars to agencies that:

a. Share our view of collaborative and inclusive service to the entire community, without excluding anyone on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or any other factor not relevant to a person’s eligibility for service or ability to contribute, and

b. Have proven themselves to be effective in addressing critical health and human service needs.

These agencies will be our partner agencies. We recognize that both faith-based and secular organizations play a vital role in providing services to our community, and we will continue to fund and partner with both types of organizations. We recognize that some agencies may legitimately target their services to defined segments of our community most in need of service, and we will use common sense in evaluating each agency’s service focus. Within that target client base, services must be open to participation by all in our community. We respect the work and expertise of partner agencies and will support their efforts in every way we can.

Pledge to Our Community

We will provide our services to the entire community and actively seek opportunities to foster community building through dialogue and positive interactions among various groups and individuals. We are committed to holding ourselves and our partnerships accountable to this value.

"Get Connected. Get Help. - Never have those words, our tagline, meant more to us. The breadth of needs continue to increase as individuals try their best to navigate their new normal during a pandemic. Individuals not needing to seek services before reached out for help, and thankfully, United Way's investment in 211 allowed us to continue to respond, with compassion and empathy, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year."

|Patricia Espinosa-Vargas
Director, PA 211 East