A United Way Forward
By Milton J. Little, Jr., CEO & President of United Way of Greater Atlanta
I know I am not alone in finding myself deeply saddened by the senseless and unjust deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery – individuals who look like me, my sons and my grandchildren. Their deaths have reminded us that coronavirus is hardly the only disease we need to fear, fight and prevent. Nor is it the only disease for which we may be asymptomatic. Their deaths have brought into painful awareness the malignant economic, social, geographic and racial issues that divide our region.
United Way of Greater Atlanta has long been aware of how these divisions and inequities undermine the well-being of our entire region. We can see the disruptive power of those inequities, and where they have destroyed opportunity and potential, in our Child Well-Being maps.
There’s only one way to overcome these divisions though, and that’s by coming together in a united way, recognizing our shared, individual and regional aspirations.
At United Way of Greater Atlanta, we operate at the intersection of civic, political, business, labor, religious and nonprofit communities. Our work touches the region’s most urgent human service issues. Our donors and supporters are from every community, race, gender and age. Bringing together these diverse stakeholders, with insights from our Child Well-Being Index, gives us the muscle and vision needed to drive change.
While there is no telling what else the future may bring, many of us share a vision of the future we want to build – a future where every community has the educational institutions and public health resources needed to care for its citizens. A future where every family has the financial security it needs to remain housed and fed, even during times of crisis. A future where every child can walk the streets, unafraid of unforeseen and undeserved tragedy. We offer our highly respected regional convening table for the healing work that must be done.
Now more than ever, we must Live United.