United Way of Central Indiana pledges to help create a racially equitable community

By taking the Indy Racial Equity Pledge, United Way commits to specific actions to address racial disparities in health, prosperity and education
INDIANAPOLIS – United Way of Central Indiana today announced it has taken the Indy Racial Equity Pledge, joining organizations such as Eli Lilly and Company, Salesforce, Cummins, Indiana University Health and more in committing their resources, influence, and time to create a more equitable community for everyone.
Created earlier this month by a coalition of corporate and civic organizations aiming to hold organizations accountable for their actions to advance racial equity for African Americans in Central Indiana, the Pledge focuses on four key areas – health, prosperity, education and criminal justice.
As a signatory, United Way has committed to the following pledge:
“United Way of Central Indiana is committed to listening, learning, and amplifying the voices of our Black neighbors. We will do so in a manner that demonstrates respect for all. We will bring our resources, influence, and convening leverage to the table to address systemic racism that limits opportunities for a disproportionate and growing number of people in Central Indiana. While we cannot promise perfection, we are committed to accelerating progress toward racial equity as individuals, as an organization, and as an active community leader. This racial equity pledge is part of our broader commitment opposing all forms of racism and discrimination affecting members of our community.”
United Way’s commitment also includes five additional pledges, which articulate the specific actions the institution will take to address racial disparities, advance equity and inclusion and measure progress.

  • PLEDGE 1 – Organizational: United Way will enhance our efforts to promote racial equity in our people practices (including hiring, training & development, and promotions), diversity in procurement, marketing & branding, and in the celebration of philanthropy.
  • PLEDGE 2 – Data and Research: United Way will use data on poverty and ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) populations to drive improvements in human services that support the Black households disproportionately represented therein. United Way will also use this information to update members of our community on racial disparities in impacts.
  • PLEDGE 3 – Grantmaking & Community Investments: United Way will strive to invest at least $5M annually in human service organizations primarily serving Black clients through our portfolio of grantmaking.
  • PLEDGE 4 – Advocacy & Public Policy: United Way will explicitly integrate the elimination of systemic racism in its annual public policy agenda which is designed to remove barriers to economic success.
  • PLEDGE 5 – Thought Leadership & Convening: United Way commits to convene and educate community members about the local history of systemic racism and the current realities of racial disparities to empower them to make a positive change in the community. These forums will address Health, Housing, Food Insecurity, Transportation, Education, and Financial Stability.
    “At United Way, we believe that our community is best served when diversity and inclusion are embedded in everything we do,” Ann Murtlow, President and CEO of UWCI, said. “We’re proud to take this pledge alongside other organizations committed to action, accountability and cooperation.”
    “United Way of Central Indiana and its direct service partners play a critical role in addressing complex social challenges that disproportionately affect African Americans and advocating for change,” said Tiffany Benjamin, president of the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation. “It’s exciting to see UWCI join the Indy Racial Equity Pledge and add its voice – and ongoing commitment – to this vital work. We invite more organizations to join the Indy Racial Equity Pledge and help us drive change.”
    United Way’s progress toward its commitments – which can include financial investments, community initiatives, in-kind donations, advocacy, volunteerism, and internal diversity and inclusion efforts – will be posted to IndyRacialEquityPledge.com.
    Participating organizations currently include Eli Lilly and Company, Anthem, Inc., Citizens Energy Group, Cummins, Inc., Indianapolis Colts, IU Health, Pacers Sports & Entertainment, Roche Diagnostics, Salesforce and the Business Equity for Indy Committee, a special committee of corporate leaders formed by the Indy Chamber and the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.





    About United Way of Central Indiana: United Way is a community of donors, advocates, volunteers, and partners who fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community. United Way invites all members of our community to LIVE UNITED by giving, advocating and volunteering to improve lives in Central Indiana. Visit www.uwci.org to learn more.

    Jessica DiSanto | Senior Director of Communications at United Way of Central Indiana

    Bryn Eudy | Vox Global |