Vision, Mission & Values

In June 2021 we will celebrate 100 years of service right here in Buncombe County. As we prepare for our second century of work, we need to be crystal clear about who we are, why we exist, and what we stand for so that we can meet the needs of our community.

At our May 2020 board meeting, we adopted the following vision, mission, focus, and guiding principles that will serve as a north star to all of our work.  

VISION A united and resilient community where everyone belongs and everyone thrives.

MISSION We mobilize and support a robust network of people, partners, and resources to co-create opportunities for every person in our community to live free from poverty and injustice.

FOCUS We employ the community school strategy as the organizing framework for elevating student success, supporting families, and engaging communities throughout Buncombe County.

How we show up in our community is just as important as what we do. These newly formed Guiding Principles will serve as an outward-facing promise and an inward-facing set of standards for all board, staff, and volunteers.

Equity at the Center

Recognize and challenge the dominant culture narratives, norms, and power structures that prevent all people from belonging and thriving

Courageous Leadership

Live out our Vision, Mission, and Guiding Principles with empathy and compassion, even when difficult or unpopular

Collective Wisdom

Ensure that our work is guided by community expertise, including the lived experience of people most impacted by poverty and injustice

Embracing Change

Continuously learn, innovate, and evolve to confront emerging challenges and opportunities

Accountability Driven

Earn community trust through dependability, transparency, and a commitment to achieving results

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

In 2018 we began what will be a life-long commitment to improve both our understanding and practice of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in our work and community. As a part of this process, we crafted the following vision statement as a public-facing promise to our community.

We recognize that our vision statement represents a lifelong commitment. As a first step to fulfill the tenets of this statement, United Way staff and board members have identified actionable goals and tasks and have included them in our 3-year strategic and annual work plans. Additionally, as our staff and board changes and grows, everyone will be invited to sign this document as a promise to fully engage in this work. We invite you to read more about this work and join us.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Vision Statement | adopted February 2019

We believe in the inherent worth and dignity of all people. Because of this, the staff and board of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County commit to:

  • recognize the many ways inequity, particularly racial inequity, takes form both historically and today;
  • name the structures that uphold injustice and work to eliminate these barriers to inclusion and equity from our own work and in our community;
  • build the relationships needed to do this work and, with humility, join community efforts and invite others to join us; and 
  • actively honor, engage and embrace diversity with the core belief that it will strengthen our systems, partnerships and community.

Signed by the staff and board of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County

picture of the signed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion statementColumn One David Bailey, Bruce Waller, Ray Griffiths, Laura Elliot, Lance Edwards, Sarah Lee Roth, Josh Wells, Kristina Dionne, Ben Moser, Sandra Higgins, Elisabeth Bocklet, Kyle Garrett, Karen Billings, Ginny Spencer, Dionne R. Greenlee-Jones, Samantha Morgan, Kimberly Hughes, Ken Venables, Michelle Bennett, Linnea Burgevin, Marla Browne, Olivia Andrick, Elizabeth Kelly, Zack Goldman, Lisa Ross, Karen Vernon, Deborah Calhoun, Erika Goffin, Nona Workman, Beth Benzing, Kevin Montgomery, Tiffany Narron

Column Two Jennie Eblen, Pablo Averza, LaVie Montgomery, Shelia Christofalos, Michael Cortes, Ashley Smith, Debra Campbell, Taylor Foss, Jason Walls, Emma Olsen, Paul McDowell, Susanne Swanger, Kit Cramer, Chip Craig, Amy Barry, Jamye Davis, Kevin McDonald, Chris Hoffman, George Groome, Himanshu Karvir, Suzanne DeFerie, Leon Elliston, Amy Bibby, Andy Gmitter, Cheryl Atkins, Heather Whitaker Goldstein, Laurel Jernigan, Lakesha McDay, Dr. Darrin Waters

Column Three Julie Smith, Catherine Frederick, Dewey Smith, Kiesha Lewis, Rocio Robles, K'Leigh Rathbone, Toni Goethals, Brandi Sitton, Ron Katz, Michael Keating, Amanda Bauman, Gary Lodato, Rasheeda McDaniels, Dan Leroy, JoAnn Yoder, Ann Ray, John Sutton, Joceline Rosas, Becky Baylor, Allison Hartsoe, Jessica Morgan, Robert McArthur, Nathan Martin, Sherab Chodron, Lucien Rosenbloom, Marc Mazza, Emily Quinlin, Sara Morrison