A Message from Mike Durkin, CEO of United Way of Mass Bay

August 15, 2017

Over 125 years ago, a small group of leaders from different faiths recognized the need to work together to make Denver a better place. They created the movement that would become United Way.

Today, United Way and “LIVE UNITED” mean so much more than uniting different faiths to work together for the common good. It means a commitment to the most vulnerable among us, regardless of their gender, race, religion, disability or national origin. It means reaching across the aisle and extending a helping hand to newcomers and refugees who come to our region in search of greater financial and educational opportunity. It means working to eliminate racism and working to ensure everyone has an opportunity to succeed.

The events this week in Charlottesville and in Boston have made our commitment to social justice and equality more paramount than ever. We stand with Mayor Walsh, Governor Baker and all of the  leaders in our community who will not let hatred into our cities and towns. We stand with those leaders who value the positive impact that diversity has on our economy, our resilience, and our future.

Tackling racism is hard work. United Way, together with our partners, is working to ensure that everyone in our community has an equal chance at financial opportunity and educational success. We are committed to directing resources toward individuals and families who are in the greatest need of services. We are committed to helping those most vulnerable and those who are more likely to be isolated from community support, including people with disabilities, minority populations and/or those with limited English proficiency.

Let’s also take this moment to talk to the next generation, our children. Let’s reassure them that we are there for them and we will keep them safe. And let us reinforce an appreciation for all cultures in our community. To help with these tough discussions, here are some tips on talking to children about racism and violence.

To LIVE UNITED is to bring people together to strengthen our community and create lasting change for people in need. This is what guides our organization now and in the future.  Divided, we fall. Together, we win.