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Special Statements


Speaking out against hate and bigotry in our community.

In this region that we love, where we have the right to worship or not, where we have the right to love whom we want to, where our children can grow, play and learn amongst a rich diversity of faces and cultures - there is hate growing. This growing hostility is translating to violence in the communities we serve; violence rooted in ignorance and bigotry. Recently, that has manifested itself in brazen public assaults, in vandalism and death threats at local mosques, and in explicit acts of bigotry and racism in our institutions.

The increase of acts of hate in the GTA reflects a growing international influence of extreme political views and xenophobic hate groups that perpetuate intolerance, lies, and hatred against women, newcomers, Chinese, South Asian, Black and Indigenous communities, those of Jewish and Muslim and other faith groups, the LGTBQ community and those with disabilities.

Like many of you, I am saddened and angry at the violence that continues to impact our communities. Hate is a cowardly and oppressive force that exploits existing vulnerabilities and destroys the potential in people and communities. It’s the antithesis of everything that United Way works towards.

United Way stands with our colleagues and communities in condemning all forms of hatred, bigotry, and threats to individuals' and families' safety and well-being across the GTA. We will not waver in our commitment to work tirelessly with our network of agencies and partners to give people of all backgrounds the opportunities they need to thrive, and to make the GTA a safe and welcoming home for all.

— Daniele Zanotti, United Way Greater Toronto President & CEO

Past Special Statements:


These are challenging and uncertain times. But the research is clear and consistent. The stronger the sense of connection—local people working together in a united way—the more resilient the community.

 

And we are resilient. We are a community that cares about each other.

 

We are already at work with our partners, donors, and agencies developing shared solutions. To start, as the largest investor outside of government in the GTA, United Way is offering our agencies even more flexibility on how they use our dollars so they can do what they do best: meet urgent need for people experiencing poverty. Flexibility so they can change or adapt their programming and services in a rapidly changing time. We’re working closely with these front-line agencies as they identify the needs and issues that may be emerging locally. Know we will keep you informed on our responses—always with a range of partners, always in a united way.

 

With our collective health and wellbeing in mind, we have decided to close United Way’s physical offices until further notice. While our offices are closed, we’re still present and active, working remotely and supporting the critical services our region needs right now.

 

In times like these, we look out for others. While you take care of yourself, take a moment for someone else who may need that connection. Call your elderly neighbour, videochat with your friend who lives alone. Email someone who may be isolated. People matter. Place matters. Because we always are, and always will be, stronger together.

 

I hope you’ll support some of our community’s most vulnerable friends and neighbours impacted by COVID-19 by making a gift right now.

United Way Greater Toronto is deeply committed to our values of diversity, inclusion and equity – welcoming, celebrating and valuing the contributions of all.

 

Systemic anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism means that our Black and Indigenous colleagues, partners and neighbours do not feel safe. We understand many are feeling deep pain and anger during this time, and we stand together with them.

 

Structural racism is deeply historical and destructive to our colleagues, neighbours, partners and the communities we serve. United Way will listen to our Black and Indigenous colleagues, partners amongst our network of agencies, and the Black Community Advisory Council to continue to learn and work together to support community leadership. It’s important that we work together to develop solutions that address the destructive elements of systemic racism.

 

We are heartbroken at the pain around us, but we are not dissuaded. We cannot build communities when so many do not feel safe, valued, heard, and seen. We will work harder – always with community – to ensure equity and a future free from racism.