Dear Changemaker,

Yesterday, we all watched with shock and horror as our very democracy was threatened by an unlawful attack and insurrection. This is not the America that we stand for and it makes leadership at all levels more important than ever. We have watched how words and actions of divisiveness and hate have caused irreparable harm to the very ideals we stand for – truth, democracy, and justice.

The events of yesterday also laid bare once again that there are two Americas, and the juxtaposition of how protesters were treated this summer – beaten with batons, fired upon with rubber bullets, arrested en masse – while white rioters were allowed to roam the Capitol unchecked – created additional trauma, sadness, and anger.

It is not how any of us wanted to start 2021, as the toll of this deadly pandemic continues to decimate our country, especially communities of color. For more than one hundred years, United Way has brought together people with differing points of view to bridge the gaps between us and lift up our most vulnerable. Our efforts have often been supported by bold leaders who seek to forge unity through division.

We need such leadership today.

I stand in solidarity with each of you as we work together to realize our vision of a more just and inclusive nation. We will do our part by leading the way in greater Los Angeles. Yesterday firmly put on display what’s at stake and I urge you to be resolute in creating the positive change that we know can happen.

In the coming weeks, we hope to have a peaceful transfer of power, but this will not be the last time we have to stand up to solve racial injustice and social problems with compassion for our most vulnerable instead of hatred. It is part of the fabric of United Way to ensure we are at the forefront of aiding communities who, for far too long, have been silenced by poverty and racial inequality.

Elise


Capitol Building