From Intent to Action:

Operationalizing Anti-Racist Practices in Louisville Institutions

With the Kellogg Racial Equity investment, Metro United Way will capitalize on its unique position to develop and implement a replicable, equitable investment framework that spurs reallocation of power and resources from local philanthropy to impacted people and accelerates our evolution to a community where race does not create barriers to your success nor define your outcomes.


By 2030, our partners will have adopted anti-racist practices and increased investments in Black-led social change THAT CLOSE THE RACIALIZED EDUCATION AND WEALTH GAPS ACROSS OUR COMMUNITY.


Metro United Way is a historically white-led organization and in its 104-year existence has invested over $1 billion into our community. In 2018, we made a commitment to equity and have allocated resources, conducted staff trainings, evaluated and changed our policies and practices, taken risks, and are now demanding that others do the same.

We are led by a diverse leadership team with the majority (57%) having shared lived experience from historically marginalized communities – a significant shift from 10% in 2018. It is one of the most diverse leadership teams in local philanthropy and the United Way Worldwide network. Our team’s work to operationalize our anti-racist aspirations have been noticed by others and we are often recruited as thought partners to share best practices.

Metro United Way occupies a unique position in our community and is the organization that others – government, businesses, nonprofits, foundations – turn to because our knowledge and network connections are wide and deep.

Metro United Way By The Numbers

100+ nonprofit partners

100+ nonprofit partners

865 corporate partners

3 cross-sector collective impact initiatives

2 new philanthropic collaborations

Metro United Way has the leaders, experience, institutional connections, and influence to usher in a new era of philanthropic responsibility in a divided Louisville that focuses on racial equity without stigmatizing impacted people and communities. We must elevate the voice of the oppressed, listen, and ensure their solutions are funded.

Leaders of this Work

Yvette Gentry
Director of Justice and Opportunity
Recently made history when she served as Chief of Police (interim) in Louisville after Breonna Taylor’s death. A graduate of Louisville’s historically Black high school, where Louisville’s own Muhammad Ali also attended and graduated, with 24 years’ experience in law enforcement and government will provide expertise and oversight for this project.


Adria Johnson
Chief Impact Officer
Ability to lead reform efforts and work collaboratively across a wide range of stakeholders served her well not only in her current position at Metro United Way, but also in prior leadership roles held in Kentucky State Government and Louisville Metro Government.


Daryle Unseld
Chief Equity Officer
First Chief Equity Officer in the United Way Worldwide network and a veteran with an MBA who quickly established Metro United Way as a local and national leader in equity – and Louisville as the “epicenter” of Black Male Achievement.

See For Yourself

Our Challenges

Divided by race and opportunity, Louisville, Kentucky is one of the most segregated cities in the United States. 80% of Black people live on less than 5% of the land.

Long, complicated history of racial discrimination has created a fictional narrative that Black people are less worthy of protection, opportunity, and dignity.

Result of this: investments into white-led band-aids instead of root cause interventions.

The disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our Black neighbors combined with the recent death of Breonna Taylor at the hands of police has brought centuries of traumatic white supremacy to a breaking point.

We must immediately address the racism and arrogance of power in the philanthropic sector with a radical reordering of priorities to reckon with racialized outcomes in our community. We must disrupt historical investment practices, shift power, and change the narrative.

Our Solution

  • 1. Design and implement a replicable, equitable, anti-racist investment framework for our funding.

  • 2. Build community capacity to invest in black-led social change through creation of the Black L.O.V.E. Philanthropic Partnership.

  • 3. Influence other funders to adopt anti-racist investment practices and/or invest in Black L.O.V.E.

  • 4. Build community infrastructure to inform and monitor philanthropic practices by developing a data justice resource tool.

We will unapologetically disrupt the philanthropic space where oppressive tactics continue to thrive.

Success looks like racialized outcomes of children and families being addressed because our local philanthropic culture has dismantled systemic racism.

By 2030,
Black and brown students enter kindergarten with the same readiness to thrive as their white peers. Median net worth among Black households mirrors that of White households. (Note: may be revised as outcomes are community-led.)

Metro United Way has a new equitable investment model capable of replication by other funders and the United Way network.

Funders have adopted anti-racist practices and power has shifted from funders to the community:

  • needs and solutions are driven by historically marginalized communities,
  • funders shoulder the risk,
  • reduction in burdensome applications and reporting requirements,
  • awards are multi-year, supporting general operations.

Black L.OV.E. Philanthropic Partnership raises and invests $10 million annually in Black-led social justice efforts.

Funders use the data justice resource tool to monitor investment practices and funding and Black-led and grassroots organizations receive more funding to fuel social justice.


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