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21-Day Equity Challenge + United League Efforts Demonstrate DEI Efforts at United Way of Central Iowa

United Way of Central Iowa Inclusion Award

United Way of Central Iowa has been recognized as a 2021 Inclusion Award winner by the Greater Des Moines Partnership for championing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) throughout their business. Inclusion Award winners were selected by a committee of Inclusion Council members and Partnership team members.

United Way of Central Iowa won in the Small Organization category (fewer than 500 employees) at the 9th Annual Inclusion Summit, held Wednesday, Nov. 10 at the FFA Enrichment Center at the Des Moines Area Community College Ankeny Campus. The Summit’s theme — Equity in Action — gave attendees the opportunity to learn more about what equity means, discover tools and resources to build equity-centered practices and honor the four Inclusion Award winners of 2021.

United Way of Central Iowa Expands DEI Programming

For many years, United Way of Central Iowa has worked to create a more equitable community in Greater Des Moines (DSM). Ramping up its DEI efforts, United Way of Central Iowa has focused on equitable staffing, hiring and programming practices. In 2020, the organization united Central Iowans in a 21-Day Equity Challenge to help the community understand how inequity and racism affect our community. More than 30,000 participated in this program.

OpportUNITY Director Luke Lynch said their goal is to unite the caring power of community in order to lift up everyone in the community. By tapping into all of the voices in DSM, they can address gaps specific to equity.

United Way is also looking to provide opportunities for diversity, equity and inclusion through new programs like their newest affinity group, United League, targeting African American donors to donate, volunteer and advocate for systemic changesin the region.

To qualify for the Inclusion Award, organizations must be a Partnership Member or Investor.

See the full list of 2021 Inclusion Award winners here. Watch the Inclusion Award celebration below:


Greater Des Moines (DSM) welcomes diverse talent to the region. As one of the fastest growing business communities, inclusion and attracting diverse talent in the workplace is a key strategy of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Learn more here.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 400 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.