Valley United Way adopts declaration on diversity, equity and inclusion

SHELTON – The Valley United Way has focused on racial equity.

The Shelton-based nonprofit has announced that its statement on diversity, equity and inclusion is posted on its website and is the first step in “ensuring that its systems, policies and practices are fairer for all members of the Valley Connecticut community ”. according to Joy DeMarchis, Valley United Way board member and chair of the diversity, equity and inclusion committee.

“The Valley United Way Committee and Board of Directors are committed to working with all members of the community to remove the barriers that stand in the way of inequality,” said Valley United Way Chairman of the Board. , Mike Gnibus.

DeMarchis said that through its DCI statement, Valley United Way affirms that it is “committed to taking positive action to combat structural racism and ethnic discrimination; empower ourselves and our community partners; advocate for social justice; make the voice of the community heard; engage in additional training to address our prejudices; and, practice the change we seek to achieve with a vision of a more equitable future for all.

“The DCI statement is just the start of Valley United Way’s journey to racial equity,” said DeMarchis. “We are actively working on the development of training modules that will need to be completed annually by board members, volunteers and staff.

“Through this training, our organization will better understand and address our biases, which will result in solutions that provide resources, support, opportunities and networks to facilitate change,” added DeMarchis.

In addition to DCI’s statement and training, in the coming months, Valley United Way will review its processes for identifying partner agencies and determining community investments to ensure fairness and accountability, and as changing needs of the community are served.

This responsibility will extend to Valley United Way partner organizations, which will help Valley United Way report annually on the results of its investment.

“As part of the review of the community investment process, we will provide the opportunity for community leaders, service recipients, business leaders, donors, Valley Council members and, of course, board members, volunteers and staff to participate in focused discussions. on the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion through virtual ‘frank community conversation’ meetings, ”said DeMarchis.

Community members can also provide feedback on Valley United Way DCI commitments by submitting their comments at

For more information about the nonprofit, visit its website at or contact David Kennedy, Acting President / CEO of Valley United Way, at 203-538-6341.

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