To our Donors, Community Partners and Lamoille County Community,
The staff and board of United Way of Lamoille County are aware of several articles circulating with deeply concerning allegations of discrimination within the ranks of United Way Worldwide. We are disappointed in the nature of the allegations and the lackluster response from United Way Worldwide.
United Way of Lamoille County is a local nonprofit with a local, and currently all female workforce. We are committed to a fair and equitable workplace and do not tolerate discriminatory behavior in any form. We are passionate about creating a welcoming and inclusive work environment and supporting other organizations in doing the same.
The behaviors described in the articles do not represent United Way of Lamoille County or the vast majority of the other local United Ways throughout the United States and worldwide. Each of these United Ways plays an important role in supporting their community. At a time when that support is crucial to so many experiencing the challenges put forth by the pandemic, we sincerely hope that the shameful actions of a few will not tarnish the good work of many.
In response to these articles United Way of Lamoille County has taken the following steps:
- We have signed a letter, along with the other United Ways of Vermont, expressing our disappointment and including a list of requests.
- Our Board of Directors has approved a freeze on all dues paid to United Way Worldwide until we receive a report addressing these allegations and a satisfactory response to our requests in the letter.
- We are working with local organizations to craft a clear Diversity, Equity and Inclusion statement that is sincere and actionable.
We are taking a strong look at how we engage as an organization with our community through our own behavior, our programs and partnerships. We are currently in the middle of a strategic planning process. We are asking questions such as: how does UWLC currently serve our community? What needs can UWLC serve in our community that are not already being met? Are our practices informed by diversity, equity and inclusion? Are our programs trauma-informed?
We continue to work with other local and regional United Ways to continually assess a joint response to these allegations.
Our community’s input is a most valuable resource. We strongly encourage you to reach out and share your feedback with us. You can reach United Way of Lamoille County’s Co-directors Ellen Hill (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Clarissa French (email@example.com) by email or phone, 802-888-3252.
Clarissa French & Ellen Hill
United Way of Lamoille County