United Way of San Diego County
Mind The Gap

United way of san diego county 1

This past year, United Way of San Diego County has been celebrating its 100th anniversary. 100 years is epic, particularly in a world where changes happen by the hour. What has not changed is their commitment to ensuring that every child, young adult, and family – regardless of zip code or income – has the chance to succeed.

The stability of the family plays a critical role in early childhood development. Unfortunately, there are many families in San Diego who cannot afford to meet their basic needs. This scarcity cripples a child’s ability to learn. As a leader in our community, UWSD is bringing together community partners to align goals and leverage expertise to reconstruct systems and resolve the stark inequities that exist across San Diego County.

This is what United Way of San Diego County has valued for the past 100 years and what they will continue to value for the next 100.
2020 was an unprecedented year, to say the least. The public health and economic crisis brought on by COVID-19 and the proliferation of the social justice movement have illuminated the truth that our most marginalized communities are not included in the American Dream.

As our nation works to respond and recover to these issues, we must also reimagine our future and rebuild our community in a way that ensures a more equitable society. Now more than ever, we must realize that we are all in this together – and it will take all of us working together to overcome the systemic barriers that have led to inequities in our community.

That leads us to our strategy for the future – “Mind The Gap: EDICT 2030”. EDICT stands for “Ending Disparities In Communities not Thriving”. What is meant by “gap”? this data will describe it:

• 80% of White and Asian 3rd graders read at grade level, but only 50% of their Brown and Black classmates do.

• In 2019, more than 80% of White and Asian students were math proficient at 8th grade. That was true for only half of their Black and Brown peers. Sadly, this gap has NOT changed since 2003.

• Students who miss more than 10 days of school per year have a 63% graduation rate, compared with 88% for those who miss less than 10 days. Failure to graduate is the #1 predictor of future homelessness.

• 26% of local families cannot cover basic costs for food and shelter each month.

These few data points are evidence that today’s pandemics have a vastly disproportionate impact on our Black and Brown kids. “Mind The Gap” is all about ending these disparities. With a commitment to racial equity and justice, United Way of San Diego County pledges to achieve this vision.

EDICT 2030 is an audacious goal ,and the work cannot be done alone. By offering diverse ways for the corporate and philanthropic community to give back – through their time, talent, and treasure – we will ignite our superpower: elevating the best ways to support early childhood success and family stability built on proven practices and solid data, along with our partners’ expertise.

UWSD does not only IMAGINE this; they are the CATALYST for this. And they are doubling down with their partners for solutions. We all look to reimagine a future for our region where “The Gap” closes by 2030.

Learn more at www.uwsd.org.

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Esteban Villanueva