A community in which everyone feels they belong.
Increase community conversations and support learning about DEI and racial justice.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) Statement
Acton-Boxborough United Way believes in a broad definition of diversity. We value both the unique visible and invisible qualities of each individual. Visible diversity can be differences that stem from race, color, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, age, physical disabilities, faith and religion. Examples of invisible diversity can be lived experiences, education, income, diversity of thought, faith and religion, sexual orientation or national origin.
We acknowledge that these visible and invisible qualities make each of us unique. We see this diversity as a particular strength of our community.
We welcome every person and their unique perspective and lived experience. To be the community we want to become, we draw on the differences in who we are, what we’ve experienced, and how we think... [CONTINUED, READ FULL TEXT HERE]
Racial Justice Statement
Acton-Boxborough United Way affirms our commitment to anti-racist action in our communities and beyond.
We denounce racism, colorism, ethnic or religious discrimination and oppression in all its forms.
Colorism is the prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a darker skin tone.
Racism in any form is dehumanizing to everyone it touches.
We stand in solidarity with those who have been calling for justice and working for so long to end institutionalized racism and white supremacy across our country, in our Commonwealth and in our towns and neighborhoods... [CONTINUED, READ FULL TEXT HERE]
Visit our Racial Justice Resource Site for locally-focused information on Racial Justice.
AB Racial Justice Collaborative: Led by A-B United Way, more than 30 local community groups come together monthly to understand what each is doing -- to learn, increase collaboration, and avoid duplication of efforts and resources. If you'd like to learn more about participating in this collaborative, contact Carol Buysse at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current and Ongoing Initiatives
The Acton-Boxborough Racial Justice Collaborative and Acton-Boxborough United Way are eager to create safe (virtual) spaces to encourage understanding and communication around racial justice, equity, and other issues impacting the wellbeing and the sense of belonging of all residents in our community. Thanks to a generous CHNA15 grant and private donation, Pathways to Restorative Communities is providing training to citizen volunteers who want to help bring this communication method to Acton and Boxborough. By engaging in this train-the-trainer model, we will build lasting local capacity to strengthen our community’s ability to engage in difficult conversations around Racial Justice and more broadly on topics related to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion.
The “Community Circles” model is a proven methodology to foster respectful and constructive community-building conversations among “neighbors” from a wide variety of backgrounds. Our local train-the-trainer program is taking place in Fall 2021. We look forward to bringing these Circles to Acton and Boxborough in 2022.
Through a partnership between Danny's Place, Fostering Racial Justice, and Acton-Boxborough United Way, five virtual Training Active Bystanders (TAB) workshops were offered in the Spring of 2021.
A train-the-trainer program is planned for this fall, which will build capacity for regular trainings in our community.
TAB is a skill-building process that helps participants know when they are bystanders, to analyze situations, and evaluate consequences. TAB gives bystanders the competencies to create action plans in the moment of need or later. Active bystandership means taking responsible action to help people in need, instead of remaining passive and becoming complicit. It does not mean aggression against the harm doer. TAB is also about responding positively to helpful behaviors, and engaging with people beyond your normal circle.
Funded in part by CHNA 15, made possible by Determination of Need funds received from Lahey Hospital & Medical Center and Winchester Hospital.
Our inaugural Chalk the Walk for Racial Justice event was held in West Acton in September 2020. We look forward to continuing this tradition in conjunction with our Week of Action in September 2021.
We invite you to participate in Acton-Boxborough United Way's first 21-Day Equity Challenge this fall!
The 21-Day Equity Challenge was originally developed in 2014 by speaker and educator Dr. Eddie Moore Jr., who created the concept as a way for participants to build habits of seeing and addressing racial inequity. In 2015, Food Solutions New England adapted the challenge as an annual way for their supporters to learn about racism in relation to the work the organization does. Since then, many companies and organizations have adapted their model to highlight inequities and injustices in communities across the country.
Drawing on content pioneered by United Way chapters like United Way of Washtenaw County and United Way of Des Moines, a small team from A-B United Way's IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Anti-Racism) Team developed a 21-Day Equity Challenge specific to Acton and Boxborough.
When harm happens in our community, we recognize that it is critical to stand up.
In January 2021, A-B United Way printed over 2,000 face masks emblazed with the message "No Place for Hate" and distributed for free to the community.
In the fall of 2020, A-B United Way Board and Staff participated in 3 internal workshops on DEI and Racial Justice, including 2 led by external consultant Promoting Good LLC, thanks to funding from the Sudbury Foundation.
Additionally, as part of our strategic planning process, in January 2021 we devoted a workshop to building DEI and Racial Justice into each element of our strategic roadmap.
This internal work is ongoing. Board and staff workshops will continue each year.
A-B United Way Panel Discussion
In the fall of 2020, Acton-Boxborough United Way board and staff joined board member Vivian K Birchall on her Acton TV show Wide Field to discuss why racial justice is important to our organization and community.
Join A-B United Way in making our community a place where every neighbor has a voice, feels safe, and belongs.
United Way galvanizes people to speak out for change. We’re amplifying individuals’ voices on important community issues and urging our public officials to fight for children, nonprofits, and working families.
Acton-Boxborough United Way supports and thanks our MA state delegation for advancing MA Bills H584 and S365 to establish and fund a MA Commission on antiracism and equity in elementary and secondary education. Recognizing the history, culture, and contribution of our ethnic groups is key in addressing racial equity in our society. All Massachusetts students benefit when all their peers are being seen and valued. This supports Acton-Boxborough United Way’s vision of a community where everyone belongs and thrives.
We applaud the Coalition for Anti-racism, Equity in Education and Acton Chinese-American Civic Society for their advocacy efforts and invite other organizations and individuals to support the initiative.
Voice your support by contacting your legislators (made easy with this online template thanks to Indivisible Acton - https://tinyurl.com/SupportCARE).