Commit to equity
take meaningful action to address the issues of racial equity and justice
The data shows...
...at systemic inequities are the root causes of intergenerational poverty among people of color, here in Rhode Island as elsewhere in this country.
Until we can make sure everyone has an equal shot at the starting line, our state will never reach its full potential. We hope you’ll join us in this journey to make sure Rhode Island is a place where every individual in each community has equal opportunity for justice and prosperity.
What do we mean by "equity?"
Racial equity is a reality in which a person is no more or less likely to experience society’s benefits or burdens just because of the color of their skin.
We are united.
Hundreds of individuals and organizations throughout the state have already pledged to support our LIVE UNITED 2025 strategic plan and take meaningful action to address the issues of racial equity and justice in Rhode Island.
See our partners in equity.
Join Equity Challenge 2022
Ready to learn more about racial equity? Join our Equity Challenge 2022. You can start when we launch on Feb. 28, 2022 or anytime after that.
After signing up, you'll receive an email each weekday for three weeks. Emails on Monday - Wednesday will include resources to read, watch, or listen to. Emails on Thursday will include reflection questions, and emails on Friday will include actions you can take to help create a more equitable Rhode Island.
Each week will focus on a different theme.
- Week 1: The Basics
- Week 2: Deepening Our Understanding
- Week 3: Equity in Rhode Island
Choose one resource, question, or action to engage with each day for about 15 minutes. If you have extra time, feel free to choose another, but don't feel obligated to engage with everything. The goal of Equity Challenge 2022 is to learn a little each day. And don't worry if you miss a day — the Challenge is designed to be done at your own pace. You can go back to the first email you missed and resume the Challenge at anytime.
Didn't join our 21-Day Equity Challenge last year? No problem! You don't need to have participated last year in order to join Equity Challenge 2022. If you did participate last year, Equity Challenge 2022 will be new and different.
If you're a corporate group interested in signing up after Feb. 28, please contact Janice Pothier-Pac for help with registration.
Please join us by signing this pledge:
"We commit to stand with the United Way of Rhode Island to unite our community and resources to build racial equity and opportunities for all Rhode Islanders. We pledge to take meaningful action to address the issues of racial equity and justice in Rhode Island."
learn about equity
How to be anti-racist, by Ibram X. Kendi
How to be less stupid about race: On racism, white supremacy, and the racial divide, by Crystal M. Fleming
So you want to talk about race? by Ijeoma Oluo
The color of law: A forgotten history of how our government segregated America, by Richard Rothstein
The new Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander
Just mercy: A story of justice and redemption, by Bryan Stevenson
An Indigenous peoples’ history of the United States for young people, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Stamped: Racism, antiracism, and you: A remix of the national book award-winning stamped from the beginning, by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
NAACP Providence Branch
Zoning laws hindering housing construction
The Boston Globe
"Cortney Nicolato, the CEO of United Way of Rhode Island and another member of the special legislative commission, said most of the state’s land use enabling legislation was written in 1991... 'When you have 100 amendments in a 30-year legislation, it's clearly not working... The housing crisis cannot be truly transformed until we tackle systemic barriers, like zoning laws and land use.'"
McKee Proposes $250 Million for Housing
"Our state's housing crisis is significant and must be a priority in the budget. But just as important, the investment needs to combine with transformational change in the systems surrounding housing as a whole," said Cortney Nicolato, president and CEO of United Way of Rhode Island.
“Following months of honing their innovative ideas to create positive social impact in our state, leaders of six nonprofits will make their pitch to Rhode Islanders via brief videos in hopes of winning the Public Choice Award of the Nonprofit Innovation Lab. The voting opens Jan. 19 and ends on Jan. 24, with the winning organization receiving $5,000 in funding.”
“Leaders of 11 local nonprofits have been selected by United Way of Rhode Island as fellows for its next Executive Director Learning Circle series. The year-long program takes an innovative approach to building the capacity of, and strengthening, the state’s nonprofit sector.”
“It’s been very, very difficult at times,” shares Evelyn Cabrera, a senior community resource specialist and team leader for United Way 211 in Rhode Island. “But I couldn’t be more proud of our work and the ways we’ve been there to help our fellow Rhode Islanders throughout this crisis.”
Join United Way of Rhode Island for our National 211 Day Celebration on Friday, Feb. 11 from 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Together, we're celebrating our 211 team who is always there, our donors who make it possible to answer each call, and our community partners who help callers get the services they need. This is a free, virtual event.
Ready to learn more about racial equity? Join our Equity Challenge 2022. You can start when we launch on Feb. 28, 2022 or anytime after that. After registering, you'll receive an email each weekday for three weeks with resources, reflection questions, and actions you can take to help create a more equitable Rhode Island.