Equity, Inclusion & Cultural Humility: Our Commitment to Transformation


Equity Vision Statement

United Way of Santa Cruz County is committed to advancing equity for all residents by:

  • Nurturing collective wisdom through the pursuit of continuous learning.

  • Allowing flexibility and innovation to address barriers to equity.

  • Value diversity and foster inclusion as a convener and collaborator.

  • Strengthen community partnerships, build new connections.

  • Promote capacity building for staff, partners, and community.

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Diversity, equity, and inclusion form the basis of our work at United Way of Santa Cruz County.  

We have a bold vision of equitable communities where all individuals are healthy, educated, and financially stable. And we’re committed to fight until that vision becomes a reality. We recognize having a diverse organization allows us to benefit from a variety of perspectives and strengthens our ability to achieve our mission to create a healthy, thriving, and safe Santa Cruz County for all. 

To promote equity in our community, we must first do the work to ensure our organization is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. 

Actions We’re Taking to Promote DEI 

There are no quick fixes or easy steps to success with DEI. We’re committed to ongoing evaluation and change at every level to make our internal and external practices more equitable. We’re taking steps and developing strategies to embed DEI into the DNA of who we are and how we work with communities to generate positive impact.

Internal Practices 

  • Surveyed senior leadership and staff to assess and audit our internal practices and operations for equity. Developed plans of action and reported back to staff based on the results of this survey. 
  • Evaluated Board of Trustees membership and created a multi-year plan to build a board that is more diverse, inclusive, and representative of the communities we serve. 
  • Established an internal staff committee to move our DEI work forward
  • Seeking to engage with more minority-owned businesses. 
  • Reviewing our hiring, vendors, and operational practices and policies to create a supportive workplace environment, centered on inclusion and belonging, where our team can thrive and do their best work.   


  • In 2019, re-evaluated grant-making process to ensure funds are directed to service providers and programs that center equity in their work. 
  • Offered each grantee an opportunity to share the ways in which they center equity as part of our application process. Equity evaluations will continue to be included in future grant applications. 
  • Committed to a three-year grant cycle to provide consistent support to impact-focused programs because we know eradicating poverty and building equitable communities requires long-term effort.

Public Policy and Advocacy  

  • Advocating for bipartisan policy that removes systemic barriers so all individuals have equitable access to resources and opportunities.
  • Collaborating with advocacy partners to mobilize supporters and increase the power of our collective voice to create change.


  • Serve on United Way Worldwide Equity Advisory Council. 
  • Presented at the 2019 United Way Worldwide Equity Summit in New Orleans.  
  • Participated in local and national external panels and presentations regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

Build Your Equity Muscle - Equity Toolkit

The resources below are helping us learn and understand how to intentionally focus on equity in all of our work. We invite you to explore these links to build your "equity muscle" and learn with us. (please feel free to continue as a guest to access the assessment)



Tools and Resources:


Resource Articles:



  • Check back for updates.