United Way of Racine County President to present on Equity Innovation Fund at the White House

Feb. 15, 2023 (Racine, WI) — On Thursday, Feb. 16, United Way of Racine County President and CEO Ali Haigh will share the collaborative impact of United Way of Racine County’s Equity Innovation Fund with a group of elected officials and community leaders at the White House.

United Way of Racine County is one of only two United Ways in Wisconsin set to speak at this White House event. Titled Communities in Action: Building a Better Wisconsin, this gathering of various government and nonprofit organizations from Wisconsin will highlight how the current administration’s funding has helped create impactful work in Wisconsin.

Haigh’s presentation will highlight the innovative work taking place on a daily basis in Racine County through United Way’s Equity Innovation Fund. The fund, which was made possible thanks to the generosity of philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, encourages a variety of entities within the community to bring their innovative ideas to the table to help reduce disparities, improve outcomes and empower members of historically marginalized populations in Racine County. In June 2022, Racine County partnered with United Way of Racine County to contribute an additional $1 million to the fund through one-time American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars. This collaboration demonstrated the County’s shared commitment to creating equity-focused work and the continuation of a long-standing partnership between the County and United Way to strengthen Racine County.

In order to amplify voices that are not always heard, the fund’s eligibility is open not only to nonprofit organizations, but also to other community organizations, including 170 organizations, grassroot organizations and social entrepreneurs. In line with this, the fund offers support and coaching to organizations as they apply for funding and meet accountability and reporting standards.

“This fund expertly blends innovative and creative ideas with United Way’s longstanding commitment to investing in data-driven, results-oriented programming,” Haigh said. “I am honored to have the opportunity to share this nuanced work at the White House.”

To date, the Equity Innovation Fund has awarded $631,353.74 through 16 grants and has served the needs of 638 individuals. Funded projects and programs are already making a difference for the Racine County community. Racine Vocational Ministry’s Second Chance Program, for example, which supports BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) and female participants returning to the community from the state and federal prison systems, has already had the opportunity to work with 18 program participants. Of those 18 participants, none have returned to prison and 72 percent have acquired gainful employment within six months of joining the program. Another funded project, the Dental Backpack, has also seen great results so far. This project provides uninsured and underinsured children with dental care and provides parents with individualized and interactive educational materials to help them contribute to their child’s dental care. To date, 93 percent of parents have completed that training, and 87 percent of children have completed both comprehensive and restorative dental treatments.

To learn more about United Way’s Equity Innovation Fund, visit: UnitedWayRacine.org/EIF.