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About DEI United

Who are we? DEI United is a collaboration between United Way of Central New Mexico (UWCNM) and Albuquerque Community Foundation (ACF). A staff-driven committee from both organizations drives internal and external activities that advance diversity, equity and inclusion in central New Mexico. Both United Way and ACF have created new positions to lead DEI work, the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Vice President of Strategy and Equity respectively. The individuals are part of the joint committee overseeing our collective DEI efforts.

What are our principles?

  • Importance and Intent: We will be stronger and more effective in achieving our missions by engaging in DEI and anti-racism work. This process will be messy and imperfect, but we will engage with honesty and bravery. We will be open and transparent about our work, including our shortcomings and failures.
  • Learning and Developing: We understand that we are continuously learning and take responsibility for dismantling white supremacy, biases, and blind spots on an internal, interpersonal, institutional and structural levels.
  • Co-creation and Collaboration: We will work to invite, collaborate, and co-create with the diverse communities that have been overlooked by our respective organizations in the past. We will also use the principles of co-creation and collaboration to guide our internal work as well as our partnership.
  • Risk-Taking and Role Modeling: We will work to dismantle systemic injustice in our respective organizations through learning, listening, training, understanding, and power sharing. We know that this ongoing work will require risk-taking and the ability to become comfortable with being uncomfortable, on all staff levels.
  • Community and Action: We understand that New Mexico has many vibrant and resilient communities who are working to undo the effects of racism. We will put the full weight of our organizations’ resources behind what is most needed and pressing in our communities.

What do we do? DEI United supports, promotes, and advances diversity, equity and inclusion in central New Mexico. This initiative is focused on building a community in which all can participate in creating equitable social transformation. We address three areas under the DEI United banner: community engagement; funding for grassroots, BIPOC-led, small nonprofit organizations; and leadership and equity development. ACF and UWCNM stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and continue to work on diversifying our staffs and boards of directors, guided by a matrix of demographic characteristics that reflect the diversity of our communities, including gender, ethnicity, age, profession, and geographic representation.  

How do we do it? Through DEI United, we have started to engage and recruit more diverse groups of candidates for Board of Trustees/Board of Directors, staff, committees, and giving circles. Our organizations work to explicitly fund, collaborate and partner with nonprofits that are grassroots and led by Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). In addition, each organization has DEI working groups at the staff and/or the board level to foster change.

We also recognize that our organizations must reflect and commit to the DEI work we do in the community. It requires time and care that could be perceived to detract from our mission. However, we strongly believe that quality and customer service is enhanced through a diverse, inclusive approach.

Our leadership team is committed to diversity, reflected by both the composition of our existing staffs and our efforts to recruit employees who reflect our DEI mission. Recruiting practices include blind reviews of resumes, with names and dates of degrees removed before review. All supervisors have completed Diversity, Equity & Inclusion training. In addition, supervisors and managers have access to trainings through several avenues of professional development.  One of DEI United’s inclusive Leadership workgroup goals is to recommend trainings for managers and supervisors.

Our Staff Compositions

ACF and UWCNM are jointly and individually conducting internal learning around dEi, which builds the tools to recognize, interrogate and disrupt implicit biases, microaggressions and other factors that lead to exclusion. We recognize the time and constant attention it takes to actively address these harmful actions and are committed to our continued learning.

We have formed the DEI United Fund to support, promote and advance diversity, equity and inclusion practices in the four counties each organization serves. Initial funding has been provided by PNM, UWCNM and ACF. Also, $1 million dollars as been set aside from a donation given to United Way of Central New Mexico by Mackenzie Scott in 2021.

Also, in 2021, DEI United was the recipient of a $2 million grant from W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC)-led organizations as part of its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) United partnership. Through this funding, DEI United created the “Small Orgs, Big Impact” grant program.

Ultimately, the DEI United Fund will support activities and initiatives that foster change leading to more equitable, racially just and sustainable solutions for systemic change.

The “Small Orgs, Big Impact” grant program was created to fund grassroots, BIPOC-led, small nonprofit organizations that intimately know and understand their communities and have the trust and inherent knowledge to address the racial/ethnic gaps in health and education through an equitable grantmaking approach.

The first round of funding will consist of four organizations identified by United Way and Albuquerque Community Foundation staff using Trust-Based Philanthropy principles. It is our intention to keep the first round small to minimize ACF/UW staff decision-making in funded organizations. The second and third round of funding will be community-led and determined. As we move forward, we will publish updates on funding and our process. Compensation for time and expertise will be provided for individuals participating in the community-led process.

Another centerpiece of the Fund will be a series of Community Conversations to provide a place where people in the community can come together to talk about their aspirations, concerns and how they want their community to move forward. The series will be held over several months.

Read the results from our first series of Community Conversations and watch the webinar about our Community Conversation results.

Additional activities conducted by the two organizations will be rooted in community and will include training, educational support, and funding for a range of practices. Training would be offered to community leaders and decision-makers across sectors to strengthen their actions to embed equitable practices in their organizations.

In the past two years, Albuquerque Community Foundation has focused on unrestricted grantmaking to ensure equitable access for all nonprofits. United Way’s collaborates with hundreds of community partners to focus and align the community around a set of shared strategies designed to improve family stability and educational attainment.

We have open conversations with nonprofit organizations, funding partners, and other entities that underscore our commitment to DEI work. Our grant applications ask for explanations of potential grantees’ commitment to and actions around ensuring their own organizations are working toward more equitable, diverse, and inclusive programs and staff. We also encourage all partners to provide DEI training to their management and staff. Because our focus is on BIPOC-led organizations, our practice is to listen to our community leaders to better address the underlying issues and provide support where needed.

While we understand the need to diversify our donor base, DEI work does not have a specific impact on the distribution of endowment funds. By law each endowment fund with the organization remains true to the donor’s original intent when the fund was established.

If interested in having a portion of your endowment focused on DEI work, contact the Vice President of Philanthropic Advising at ACF, Juaquin Moya.

Contact Marisa Magallanez, ACF Vice President of Strategy & Equity at marisa@abqcf.org or Celia Yapita, UWCNM Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at celia.yapita@uwcnm.org.

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