Driving policy and participation

Driving policy and participation

Advocate united

WHAT WE'RE UP AGAINST

The data shows that systemic inequities are the root causes of intergenerational poverty among people of color. Despite our best efforts through broad support of our communities in need, our progress to date has been hampered by these systemic inequities.

That’s why equity, particularly racial equity, needs to be at the forefront of decisions in municipal, state and federal policy. Until we can make sure everyone has an equal shot at the starting line, our work will never reach its full potential. Moreover, investments in the most critical areas of need in Rhode Island, such as housing and education, have seen dramatic reductions over the years, rather than improvements in line with the demand.

MEDIAN INCOME

57¢

is how much a Black household earns in Rhode Island for every dollar a white household earns

INCARCERATION RATE

9X

is how much more likely it is for Black Rhode Islanders to be incarcerated compared to whites

AFFORDABLE HOUSING INVESTMENT

22%

is the fraction Rhode Island invests in affordable housing compared to Massachusetts

WHAT WE'RE DOING TO DRIVE POLICY AND PARTICIPATION

Driving systemic change via public policy and research

United Way of Rhode Island will continue to fight for access to critical services, as well as advocate for equitable representation on state boards and commissions. Additionally, we are proud to support community and neighborhood mobilizing organizations that are focused on breaking the barriers to racial equity.

United Way of Rhode Island has long been the leader and early funder of organizations that are bringing innovative ideas to our state. We are expanding these efforts, as well as expanding tools to scale these important missions.

We will also expand our data and research efforts to be a state leader in analyzing and evangelizing data pertinent to our mission. This year we’ll be refining data collection systems and funding research to improve the ability to disaggregate data by race and income level.

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Larry Warner

Encouraging civic participation

United Way of Rhode Island is committed to creating spaces and support that help Rhode Islanders be the best community champions they can be. We are expanding existing programs like our Advocacy 101 empowerment program and creating new programs to inspire Rhode Islanders to vote, run for office and advocate for the platforms they are most passionate about. Our aim this year is to expand our Advocacy 101 training to be delivered in every city and town in Rhode Island. (Learn more about ways you can advocate today to support our mission.)

Reforming the criminal justice system

United Way of Rhode Island intends to work extensively to reduce the school-to-prison pipeline, as well as advocate for policies that help our neighbors get back on their feet during and after incarceration.

what our "ADVOCATE UNITED" goals are

VOTER PARTICIPATION

+25%

participation in the 2025 presidential election

POLICY REFORM

+50%

increase in the number of policies implemented that address equity and social justice

POLICY MAKERS

+50%

policy makers engaged in equity

HOW YOU CAN HELP DRIVE POLICY AND PARTICIPATION

Democracy is not a spectator sport. Join us.

Commit

Sign our equity pledge to join us in eliminating policies that disadvantage Rhode Islanders of color.

Advocate

Advocate alongside us or sign up for Advocacy 101.

Give

Support our work with a tax-deductible charitable contribution.

IN THE NEWS

21-Day Equity Challenge logo

United Way starts 21-Day Equity Challenge

Rhode Island Monthly

"If you’d like to learn more about equity and its role in the fight against systemic racism, United Way… is here to help. Starting on Wednesday, February 24, Rhode Islanders can take part in United Way’s 21-Day Equity Challenge. Participants will receive a daily email that will feature different topics on racial equity, [including] racial identity, implicit bias… and allyship."

Read on site

Labor Vision TV LIVE UNITED 2025 Cortney Nicolato Erica Hammond

Labor Vision TV: LIVE UNITED 2025

Labor Vision TV

"Erica Hammond sits down with United Way of Rhode Island's CEO Cortney Nicolato. At the start of the new year United Way… introduced its LIVE UNITED 2025 strategic plan… The pair will discuss the importance of explicitly addressing systemic inequity, specifically racial inequity, and the role all of us can play in the fight against poverty throughout Rhode Island."

View on site

11 members of Forbes Nonprofit Council

11 Ways Nonprofits Can Garner Feedback

Forbes Nonprofit Council

"As with any business, [nonprofits must] balance… where… donors want to go and what… [customers] desire… [and] find a way to make giving feedback as painless as possible… To help, 11 members of Forbes Nonprofit Council discuss how [nonprofits can] generate feedback from both donors and customers to better plot the trajectory of the organization."

Read on site

UPCOMING EVENTS

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YLC and Wavemaker Networking Night

Join Young Leaders Circle (YLC) members and Wavemaker Fellows at 5:30 p.m for a virtual networking event. You'll have the opportunity to meet other young professionals and expand your network from the comfort of your home.

Register here.

forum on economic stability

Forum on Economic Stability

Join United Way of Rhode Island and the City of Providence at 1 p.m. for a virtual forum on economic stability. You'll hear from policymakers and advocates about policies you can advocate for to help Rhode Island families achieve economic stability.

Register here.

Our Community Learning Partners Series features community partners that are dedicated to improving children's literacy.

Community Learning Partners Series

Join Women United at 12 p.m. for the next event in their Community Learning Partners Series. You'll hear an update on the state of afterschool in Rhode Island from United Way's Ayana Melvan and Representative Julie A. Casimiro.

Register here.