The United for Racial Equity and Healing Fund supports United Way of Greater Atlanta’s work to improve areas of low and very-low child well-being so children, families and communities can thrive. Ending disparities is the guidepost for United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Child Well-Being Agenda, which focuses on addressing the systemic issues that put Greater Atlanta at the bottom of the list of U.S. cities in terms of opportunity and mobility for low-income children and make a child’s zip code of birth their destiny. For two years running, Bloomberg has called Atlanta “the capital of inequality.” The purpose of the Fund is to reduce and prevent racial inequities across systems that impact child well-being (education, health, housing and economic stability) across the Greater Atlanta region.
For the past five years, United Way has worked closely with partners to collect data on 14 different measures related to the factors that help account for the wide disparity in Child Well-Being by race and zip code. In 2017, the data in our Child Well- Being Index illustrated that nearly 500,000 children live in communities that lack the basic opportunities and resources that all children and families need to thrive. These communities of low and very low child well-being are in zip codes where the majority of residents (55-99%) are people of color.
These are also communities where COVID-19 hit hardest, exposing the health and economic disparities resulting from years of disinvestment and structural racism. The correlation between race and zip codes with vulnerable populations and low levels of child well-being makes it critical for United Way to address place and racial equity strategically. United Way will match the first $1 million raised.
The current spotlight on these disparities and recent civil unrest has created new momentum to address racial inequities and an opportunity to convert the moment into a turning point for advancing deep and widescale changes. United Way is well equipped to lead the way in partnership with leaders across the region – a role we have played over many years with the Regional Commission on Homelessness and most recently with COVID-19 relief.
Funds will be invested in organizations in Greater Atlanta that are primarily focused on racial inequity challenges in their communities and on a regional level. Priority will be given to organizations:
Fund investments will be guided by an advisory committee and will utilize a racial equity impact analysis to aid in grant decisions.