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Home/Rod Dreher/United Way Goes Woke

United Way Goes Woke

A reader sent me the following letter, which I’ve edited slightly to protect her privacy and her husband’s job:

I’m sure you get scores of emails like this every day, but I still wanted to send this to further confirm that elements of critical race theory and “wokeness” are seeping into the work world everywhere.

My husband is the [job title at a well-known community organization], serving [a large number of people in a particular geographical area]. His organization depends, to a great degree, on funding from the local United Way.

He recently received the latest funding application from UW of [deleted] (attached), and each item featured a new specification (in all caps and highlighted text, no less) of “MUST INCLUDE AT LEAST ONE GOAL THAT IS FOCUSED ON RACIAL/ETHNIC EQUITY.” Lest the nonprofit managers who depend on the United Way are unsure of what this means, a helpful “Equity and Inclusivity Framework” document (attached) accompanied the application.

Rod, this stuff is straight out of Kendi et al. The buzzwords are there: systemic, dismantled, outcomes, inclusion, equity, etc. And the definition of “racism” is the new, woke definition of oppression exercised by whites over people of color, “what happens at the intersection of race prejudice and power.”

I did a quick search, and the language here is straight from the United Way’s website (https://equity.unitedway.org/equity-toolkit/part-one/build-shared-language). The page I linked here is full of the usual jargon, such as the idea of racism being a “system of oppression created to justify a social, political and economic hierarchy initially constructed with White people at the top …” Both Kendi and the online “implicit association test” are included in the “Favorite Books” and “Training Resources,” respectively, at the bottom of the page.

Note that this page is a resource for the United Way, not for the nonprofits who go to them for funding. Still, in order to get much-needed funding from the United Way, my husband feels that he needs to tacitly agree to these definitions and couch his organization’s goals and planned results in terms that pay homage to the new woke orthodoxy. If he doesn’t do things just right, then guess what? No funding for the [organization] –an organization that is already struggling.

I am (cynically) pretty certain that, even if my husband’s application meets the United Way’s woke requirements, his organization, known for being conservative and upholding more traditional values, will not get the needed funding.

Here are the pages from her husband’s local United Way. I have blanked out the identifying locale:

 

United Way chapters do a lot of good, so we have to be careful not to tar all of them with the bad actions of a few. I don’t think these standards are uniform for all United Way agencies across the country, but before I donated a cent to United Way, I would find out what the situation is my with local United Way organization. I suspect that the policy is set by each local United Way. I just did a quick look at the website for the Capital Area United Way, which serves the Baton Rouge area (where I live), and there are no Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion requirements stated for funding requests.

My advice is that you should check out the website of your local United Way, and if it requires funding applicants to adhere to a DEI framework, don’t give a single farthing to United Way — and tell them, and all your social media contacts, why you aren’t doing so. 

If a charity goes woke, we had better make sure it goes broke. The professional elite class has embraced this malignant, unpopular, divisive, and extremely manipulative ideology, and is trying to shove it down all of our throats. It’s past time to starve this beast.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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