Connecticut is widely recognized as one of the top states in the nation for the quality of our public education system, however, we also are ranked in the top five in the country for the largest achievement gap between white students and students of color. In addition, Connecticut ranks as one of the top five in the country regarding income inequality with a strong racial component, creating a racial wealth gap. The median household income for a Black household was 61% that of a white household in 2018.
Disparities in education, financial security, health and even our lifespan, can be determined by the neighborhood you live in. According to data released in 2018, there is a 15-year life expectancy gap between residents of Northeast Hartford (68.9 years), and their counterparts just four miles away in West Hartford (84.6 years). *
The State of Connecticut has classified “low opportunity communities” as those that lack resources that all children and families need to thrive.
How You Can Make a Difference with United Way
The COVID-19 pandemic shed light on the longstanding inequities that exist in our communities because of systemic racism. United for Racial Equity is an initiative that provides individuals and companies the opportunity to advance equitable outcomes for children and families impacted by systemic racism in our region.
Your donation will support United Way’s efforts, through community engagement activities and targeted community investments in non-profit organizations in central and northeastern Connecticut to help close the achievement gap and advance equity by ensuring that Black and Hispanic children succeed academically, people get good jobs and are financially secure, individuals have access to services that are essential to good health, and basic needs are met.
Your donation will be put to work in the following ways:
1. Investing in Efforts that Reduce Barriers to Education, Financial Security and Health for Local Families:
United Way leads collaborative efforts and also provides program funding to qualified community partners that are explicitly addressing racial inequities affecting child development and student achievement, employment and financial security of adults and families and health outcomes for all. Community volunteers trained in United Way’s decision-making framework, including racial equity as a core component for assessment, will provide input into funding decisions.
2. Local Capacity Building:
With additional support, we will increase the capacity of community organizations to equitably serve community residents. This may include training, capacity building and technical assistance to local non-profits to increase their organizational understanding and capacity of working with a racial equity lens, collecting and disaggregating data, completing equity audits and/or investing in equity training for staff. It may also include increasing organizational capacity of nonprofits led by and/or primarily serving Black and Hispanic residents. Through our collaborative efforts, some of this work has begun and we aim to increase our ability to offer this type of support.
3. Mobilizing Voices:
Our mission is to engage and bring together people and resources committed to the well-being of children and families in our community. It is in our values to listen, learn, and value diverse voices and work in partnership to improve local conditions and opportunities for community residents and stakeholders.