African American gay woman

Together We Can Build a More Equitable and Resilient Quad Cities

Persistent and underlying racism, prejudice and privilege prevent too many Quad Citizens from having the opportunity and access to develop their full potential.

While we have made strides to strengthen education, income and health in the Quad Cities, there is still much work to be done, especially in closing opportunity gaps in Black and Hispanic communities.



Education logo


78% of BLACK

52% of WHITE

students do not
read on grade level
by 3rd grade.



Income icon


59% of BLACK
33% of WHITE

do not make
living wages.



Health icon


27% of BLACK
25% of WHITE

Quad Citizens have difficulty
accessing and receiving
health care.



United Way has collaborated with a broad spectrum of community partners to develop Rise United, a set of 10-year targets to drive transformative change and advance racial equity in the areas of education, income and health. 

During the last year, United Way has increased awareness to racial inequities aiming to building community and political awareness to address them.

Through our United for Equity project, United Way has:

  • Raised $200,000 for nonprofits, grassroots organizations and others focused on equity solutions to strengthen families, empower youth and educate the community. 
  • Convened 2,000 participants in the 21-Day Equity Challenge and 450 people in the Equity Summit.
  • Delivered memos to elected officials on regional equity priorities identified by input provided by participants of United Way’s fall Equity Summit.

Our Programs

Quad Cities Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Institute

United Way’s Quad Cities Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (QCDEI) Leadership Institute helps prepare leaders from across the area to be effective stewards for our community's future. > Learn more.

United for Equity

United for Equity is United Way Quad Cities' initiative to increase awareness of local racial inequities and build community and political awareness to address them. This multifaceted project aims to reduce and prevent racial inequities across systems that impact education, income and health in the Quad Cities. > Learn more.

21-Day Equity Challenge

Gain a deeper understanding of how inequity and racism affect our lives and region. > Learn more.



United Way Quad Cities seeks to engage the entire community in our work. We seek to value diversity by respecting and appreciating race, religion, language differences, abilities, national origin, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity & expression, sexual orientation and socio-economic status. That commitment is reflected in all aspects of United Way’s work — including our staff, volunteers, partners, vendors and the community we serve.

  • United Way Quad Cities’ vision and mission center on inclusion and equity.
  • Our vision is that our community is a place where all individuals and families thrive — a community where everyone has the opportunity to live a healthy life, acquire the education they need to earn a good living and have a roof over their heads.
  • We will be active allies to eradicate systemic and institutional racism in our community.
  • To be inclusive is to leverage diversity by bringing unique individual backgrounds to collectively, individually and more effectively address issues facing our community.
  • Our board, staff and volunteers must reflect the spectrum of faces and walks of life which make up our community It is our goal that our Board, staff, volunteers, partners, vendors, strategies and investments also reflect these values of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
  • Together let’s embrace and leverage Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to ensure we all live our best lives, here in the Quad Cities region.

A more equitable Quad Cities starts with you. Here are some ways you can make a difference in our community: