We're honored to partner with Umoja Health, Wellness, and Justice Collective as one of nearly 40 community partner organizations in this year's School Supply Drive. Umoja is a nonprofit organization founded in 2019 addressing trauma, healing, and resilience through community and connection. Umoja Founder Michael Hayes sat down to share with us how important it is that we come together in truly equitable partnerships to help repair and rebuild for the next generation.
"Our partnership with United Way has not only been a great partnership, it has been a true partnership," shares Hayes. "It hasn't been the normal practice of a major agency dictating what a funded grassroots organization needs. United Way has been willing and open enough to listen to and provide us with what we said we needed and still are supporting our needs in an equitable way."
Your contributions to the School Supply Drive are helping to fulfill one of those needs. In honoring our 100th year as an organization in Buncombe County, we're naming our commitment to placing equity and community wisdom at the center of our work. Partners like Umoja are invaluable in allowing and co-creating space with us to communicate honestly about our collective work and the ways we can come together equitably. "We're looking forward to being a partner with organizations like United Way who are changing the dynamics of how they see racial equity and building this new table as we're working through disparity and racism as a community."