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UW Health invests $1 million annually toward antiracism work of community organizations

(WMTV)
Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 9:27 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - UW Health is investing $1 million annually to support antiracism work of community organizations.

The health system announced the funding Wednesday, saying it was approved in August of 2020 to expand on its ability to support communities of color and focus on antiracism.

UW Health has already given more than $3 million each year to support community groups.

Vice president and chief diversity officer, Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, said this funding is important because racism is a public health crisis, and the health system plays a part in improving the overall wellness of the community.

“The contributions made possible by this additional funding are building upon long-standing relationships we’ve developed in the community and will recognize and expand upon the amazing work our partners are doing with communities of color,” said Bidar-Sielaff.

As part of its expanded funding, UW Health gave $300,000 to the Latinx Consortium for Action Relief over the past year. The group is made up of multiple organizations that support Latinx people in Wisconsin and Dane County who have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes small business owners, as well as those who are undocumented.

“We are proud to stand with UW Health in their open commitment to antiracism,” said Baltazar De Anda Santana, a representative of the group. “Prioritizing trust-based giving to entities and organizations led by people of color underscores UW Health’s deep commitment to ensuring a healthier Wisconsin for all and we hope others will follow their lead.”

UW Health noted that by the end of June, over 60% of its community giving will go to organizations that are led by people of color. Comparatively, the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity cites that only about 10% of philanthropic dollars nationally go to communities of color.

UW Health will announce specific donations in the coming months and will be joined by community partners.

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