Nearly $500,000 in Emergency Grants Issued Through the UW Credit Union Fund for Racial Equity

24 Madison and Milwaukee-based organizations to benefit, addressing homelessness, mental health and more.

The Odyssey Project's class of 2020. Photo shows a diverse group of about 20 people.

Madison, WI – April 29, 2021 – Beginning next week, 24 organizations will receive emergency grants totaling nearly $500,000 on behalf of the UW Credit Union Fund for Racial Equity. Emergency funds are part of a larger $1.5 million investment in economic mobility, launched in partnership with United Way of Dane County and United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County earlier this year.

Thanks to additional contributions from both United Way partners, the $250,000 earmarked by UW Credit Union to support emergency grants quickly doubled, resulting in one-time gifts totaling $10,000 for Milwaukee-area organizations and up to $30,000 for Dane County organizations. Of the 24 emergency grant recipients, 13 are local to Dane County and 11 are based in the Greater Milwaukee area.

“We are acutely aware of the outsized negative impact that this health and economic crisis is having on families and individuals,” said Renee Moe, President & CEO of United Way of Dane County. “As a community, we are still very much in crisis mode. Immediate access to emergency funds is a critical step to long-term recovery.”

From homelessness and LatinX vaccine efforts to youth mental health services and college readiness, emergency grant recipients serve a variety of pressing needs throughout Dane, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington Counties.

“Emergency funding will empower more of our Odyssey families, 95 percent of whom are from communities of color, to break a cycle of generational poverty and achieve dreams many were told were impossible,” said Emily Auerbach, Odyssey Project Executive Director. “BIPOC students have been hit disproportionately hard by the pandemic and by centuries of racial oppression. The generous support from UW Credit Union and United Way Dane County will help us address these disparities through a free college jump-start program and a whole-family approach to learning.”

Organizations were selected by a community advisory board comprised of community members and representative UW Credit Union employees. Many grant recipients represent first-time funded partners for United Way, a testament to United Way and UW Credit Union’s shared mission to reach organizations of all sizes through this process.

“To see both the immediate and longstanding impact these funds will have in our community is rewarding on multiple levels,” said Sheila Milton, UW Credit Union Vice President of Diversity Equity, and Inclusion. “Fundamentally, we know that the challenges non-profits face are compounded by the pandemic, stretching already limited resources. These emergency funds bridge a lot of gaps, but also provide some breathing room to prepare for what comes next.”

To see a full list of all emergency grant recipients, please visit www.uwcu.org/racialequity.

Program recipients will be announced in late May and will represent organizations specifically addressing the barriers to economic and financial mobility for people of color. UW Credit Union will work closely with all grant recipients over the coming months to identify additional ways to lend support, including organized volunteer efforts and financial education resources.

Photo of the Odyssey class of 2020 provided by the UW Odyssey Project. Photographer: Emily Azad.

About UW Credit Union
UW Credit Union is a growing, federally insured financial institution and a leading provider of a full range of financial services to University of Wisconsin communities. UW Credit Union's over 730 employees serve the financial needs of more than 275,000 members through world-class technology systems, and through a convenient network of 28 branch locations and over 100 ATMs. With assets exceeding $4 billion, UW Credit Union is ranked nationally among the leading credit unions. Founded 90 years ago by members of the University of Wisconsin faculty and staff, UW Credit Union continues to operate as a not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative with locations in the Madison, Milwaukee, Stevens Point, Green Bay, Oshkosh, Whitewater and La Crosse areas.

About United Way of Dane County
United Way of Dane County has been tackling Dane County’s toughest challenges for 99 years. With a mission to unite the community to achieve measurable results and change lives, we are committed to build a Dane County where everyone can succeed in school, work and life. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative work, United Way brings the many voices of Dane County together to find common ground and develop a strategic architecture for change, while engaging businesses and individuals to give, advocate and volunteer in Dane County. Together, we are The Power of Many. Working for All.

About United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County
United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our local community.

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