Racial Equity and Inclusion

our work

Middlesex United Way vows to continue our fight in making sure individuals and families can thrive in an anti-racist, equitable, and inclusive community. 

We believe that to achieve racial equity, we must unite and take meaningful action. Together we must reach a deeper understanding of how race and systemic racism impacts society, the devastating and far-reaching implications that have resulted, and actionable steps to build a more equitable and inclusive community.

At Middlesex United Way, we want to be part of the solution and have begun taking steps to achieve our vision.

  • Established a Racial Equity and Inclusion vision statement to guide our work
  • Curated a resources page on our website to better equip individuals on topics related to race and equity
  • Collaborating with local consulting firm to assess where we are as an organization, create a strategic framework, and establish a three-year plan going forward
  • Conducted an initial equity and inclusion assessment of our 38 existing partners
  • Expanding our community partnerships and investing in leaders and organizations focused on equity and inclusion  
  • Lifted up black voices through our weekly news column
  • Launched a “Equity to Education” Day of Action challenge asking community members to not only further their understanding of systemic racism and inequity, but actively take action against it
  • Directed COVID-19 financial relief to communities of color due to the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on people of color



Books to Read (Russell Library Recommendations)

Selected Titles About Racial Justice and White Privilege

June 2020

Russell Library


For Adults:

Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

How We Fight For Our Lives, by Saeed Jones

Just Mercy: a Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stephenson

Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor, by Layla F. Saad

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander

So You Want to Talk About Race?, by Ijeoma Oluo

Stamped From the Beginning, by Ibram X. Kendi

Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race, by Debby Irving

"Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together In the Cafeteria?": and Other Conversations About Race, by Beverly Daniel Tatum



Black Brother, Black Brother, by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Black Enough: Stories of Being Young and Black in America, edited by Ibi Zoboi

From the Desk of Zoe Washington, by Janae Marks

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas

Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism and You, by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi


Middle Grades:

Clean Getaway, by Nic Stone

Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing Our Stories of Race, Culture and Identity, by Priya Vulchi and Winona Guo

This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action and Do the Work, by Tiffany Jewell


Upper Elementary:

Resist: 35 Profiles of Ordinary People Who Rose Up Against Tyranny and Injustice, by Veronica Chambers

The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist, by Cynthia Levinson


For Ages 4-6:

Don't Touch My Hair!, by Sharee Miller

Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness, by Anastasia Higginbotham

The Undefeated, by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson


For Toddlers:

AntiRacist Baby, by Ibram X. Kendi

Films and TV to watch

13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
American Son (Kenny Leon) — Netflix
Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 — Available to rent
Blindspotting (Carlos López Estrada) — Hulu with Cinemax or available to rent
Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu) — Available to rent
Dear White People (Justin Simien) — Netflix
Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler) — Available to rent
I Am Not Your Negro (James Baldwin doc) — Available to rent or on Kanopy
If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) — Hulu
Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Available to rent for free in June in the U.S.
King In The Wilderness — HBO
See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol) — Netflix
Selma (Ava DuVernay) — Available to rent
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — Available to rent
The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) — Hulu with Cinemax
When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix

Take Action (& other resources)

Take our Day of Action Challenge

We challenge you to further your understanding of systemic inequality as well as take action to promote equity and inclusion by participating in our Day of Action: Education to Equity challenge. We challenge you to grow alongside us in discovering new ways to do the heart work racial justice will require. Download the challenge here: https://bit.ly/3xRns7M

Have a conversation about race





21 Day Racial Equity Challenge

The Challenge is designed to create dedicated time and space to further your understanding of race, power, and privilege. Created by Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr., the Challenge not only increases understanding, but does so in a way that builds a habit of learning by stretching it over 21 days.

You will be presented with daily challenges such as reading an article, listening to a podcast, reflecting on personal experience and more. Participation in an activity like this helps us to discover how racial injustice impacts our community, to connect with one another, and to identify ways to dismantle racism and other forms of discrimination.

Fill out the form below to gain access to the Challenge and take it at your own pace.