United Way Develops Diversity Committee

Greater Valdosta United Way has developed a diversity committee to advance efforts in local revitalization.

The United Way’s South Georgia Diversity Advisory Committee looks at solutions to bring the community together and provide opportunities to all.

The diversity committee works to bridge the gaps between government, business, faith groups, and individuals together to unite the community, Michael Smith, United Way executive director, said.

“The committee voted to focus on the southside of Valdosta first because we want to support the vision of the Southside Recreation Center and build hope in the southside community,” A.C. Braswell, chairman of the South Georgia Diversity Advisory Committee, said.

A partnership between GVUW and Georgia Power has brought more than $90,000 to the revitalization of the center.

According to Smith, Southside Rec has received a $50,000 grant from the Department of Education Building Opportunities in Out-of-School Time grant and a $10,000 donation from a private donor toward architecture plans.

To assist with restoring hope, Georgia Power has donated $35,350 to the initial stages of restoring the center.

GVUW has applied for additional funds to oversee facility upgrades from the American Rescue Plan Act resources.

“With such a rich history in the community and respect from those who have attended, we want to be sure that the center is able to be utilized to its maximum potential,” Smith said.

The Southside Valdosta revitalization project is one of many the United Way and the diversity committee plan to work on across South Georgia.

In efforts to cover the counties served by United Way, the diversity committee uses the Child Wellbeing Index to focus on impact in RED zone areas.

“This is a multi-year phase to distribute funds from the United Way with the help of larger donors and foundations in the Atlanta area,” Smith said.

The diversity committee is working on many developing projects such as mental health grant and awareness over a seven-county area, reintroducing 211 or a consolidated information system for resources available in the area (Charity Tracker), 2022 campaign to reach the goal of $1 million and increase diversity on nonprofit boards.

“The diversity committee pushes for honest conversations that make each minority group represented aware of the areas, programs, and organizations that need assistance,” Braswell said.

For more information on the Greater Valdosta United Way and the South Georgia Diversity Advisory Committee, visit https://unitedwayvaldosta.org/

Source: «United Way Develops Diversity Committee«

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