Press Release - United Way Fox Cities

Press Release
United Way Fox Cities Adopts New Agency Agreement
January 23, 2001
(Menasha, WI) The Board of Directors of United Way Fox Cities today adopted a new Agency
Agreement that will be effective for funding distributions in fiscal 2002. The new Agency Agreement
includes a diversity statement that reads:
"Both United Way Fox Cities and the Agency agree to provide services to those in need of UWFC
funded programs regardless of ability to pay, or race, or religion, color, gender, nationality, sexual
orientation, disability, or age, or any other characteristics protected by law. We recognize that
agencies may identify special needs in the community and target services to a specific population
based on those needs, however, the programs must be open to all people in those targeted
"We fully realize that requiring all of our agencies to agree to this non-discrimination policy may cause
some controversy," said Board Chair Tim Higgins. "But, we spent four months studying this issue,
hearing from people in the community with different viewpoints, talking with an ethics expert and
reviewing our own internal policies. In the end, we believe it is the right thing to do."
Higgins acknowledged that the study was prompted by concerns over a Boy Scouts of America
policy, which, in their words, does not allow "avowed" homosexuals to become Boy Scouts or Boy
Scout leaders. "The Boy Scouts have served thousands of young people in our area throughout the
years and they have wonderful programs," he said. "However, the fact remains; they have a policy of
discrimination based on sexual orientation. The Directors have decided that such a policy is not
consistent with the mission or vision of our organization."
United Way Fox Cities President and CEO, Peter Kelly, explained that the United Way Fox Cities
mission is to "bring diverse people and resources together to build a stronger, more caring community
for everyone." In addition, the organization's statement of principle on diversity, adopted in 1998,
states in part:
"United Way Fox Cities' vision is to be a local model for championing diversity, welcoming and
serving everyone…without regard to race, religion, color, gender, nationality, sexual orientation,
physical disability or age."
The new Agency Agreements will be sent to all United Way agencies in February 2001. Agencies that
sign the agreement will be eligible for direct United Way funding in 2002. "We believe the
overwhelming majority of our agencies will sign the agreement," said Kelly. "This is a very tough
issue, but we feel strongly we have to live by our mission and vision."