United Way is here to help our county become the place they hope for: a place where people choose to live, a community that is healthy and safe.
A community that is alive, vibrant and growing with places to go and things to do. We want to be known as a place where we work together for solutions to take care of our neighbors and generations. United Way is designed to be an ally of the disadvantaged.
We walk hand in hand with those who are hurting, while searching for ways to rebuild and repair systems that led our society to this point in the first place.
Our hearts are broken over the events of the last few weeks. We have struggled with how to offer the right words of empathy and to articulate our frustrations, while avoiding contributing to the noise that distracts from the issue. We are grieving every life taken because of racism. We extend our condolences to the families and loved ones left behind. While the list of individuals continues to grow, we vow to not forget them. Their lives matter. We feel compelled to speak up. We cannot stay silent.
Amidst COVID-19, civil unrest, as well as economic turmoil, there are so many unknowns. So, we want to take a moment to affirm what your Jackson County United Way stands for:
United, we fight for every person in every community by standing for what is right regardless of how uncomfortable it may make us or others. We see you.
United, we will not cower to the temptation and convenience of silence. We work with great intentionality to capture all our community members’ hopes and concerns so we can speak with authenticity and authority about what you want and need. We hear you.
United, we will not rush back to a normalcy. We cannot do what has always been done, because our world is not the same—nor is it the way we want it to be yet. We support you.
United, we will not accept or allow injustice, racism or inequities in our attitudes, practices, or policies. We exist to eliminate disparities in our community. We stand with you.
Throughout the country, there will be many difficult conversations in our very near future. We will not avoid them. JCUW strives to be a model of diversity and inclusion. Our board, staff, and volunteers reflect the many faces, cultures and walks of life that proudly make up our world. ‘
We respect, value and celebrate the unique attributes, characteristics and perspectives that make each person who they are. We also believe that bringing diverse individuals together allows us to collectively and more effectively address the issues that face our community. It is our aim, therefore, that our partners, strategies and investments reflect these core values.
United, we will navigate through these difficult times to build a brighter future for all in Jackson County.
Tonja Couch is executive director of Jackson County United Way.