Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

At the United Way of Lewis & Clark Area, we recognize racism, discrimination and oppression have contributed to disparities that have existed in the past and persist in the present across our nation and in Montana. We acknowledge those inequities are the result of policies and practices that work to marginalize entire populations of people. We denounce discrimination in all its forms because it undermines the well-being and vitality of our communities. Our United Way Network seeks to dismantle disparities. We strive to engage residents and community members, especially those whose voices have traditionally been marginalized, in the shared work of building equity and empowerment. We work with public and private partners to co-create solutions that ensure everyone has the resources, support, and opportunities they need to thrive. We believe that diversity drives creativity and innovation, therefore we commit to leveraging all of our assets to create more equitable communities. We know that having varied perspectives helps generate better ideas to solve the complex problems of an ever-changing and increasingly diverse world. 

A General Statement About Collective Impact

Essentially “Collective Impact” is a framework for bringing all the right entities to bear on a given challenge or opportunity. 


In a collective impact initiative, the participants are often a combination of individuals, organizations, grant-makers, and even representatives from the business community and government. The five hallmarks of the collective impact model are:


1. Common Agenda: Participants agree on a shared goal and come together to build a vision of change, a commitment to work together in a collaborative and effective manner. 


2. Shared Measurement: Team members agree to measure and monitor their efforts, in an intentional effort to hold themselves accountable to one another and their community. 


3. Backbone Support: Work is directed through the efforts of a “Backbone” organization. Encouraging sharing information, building public will, and working through barriers to progress.


4. Mutually Reinforcing Activities:  meaning all the work done in the initiative involves participants, stakeholders, residents, funders, and others who are aligned toward the common goal and benefit from the outcomes. 


5. Continuous Communication:  Successful collective Impact Initiatives seek sustainable resources to ensure the completion of the project and encourage consistent and open communication to keep everyone informed throughout the process.