Our Duty to Serve

January 18, 2021

As a Pocono Mountains United Way (PMUW) board member, I enjoy the ability to make recommendations that will enrich the lives of my neighbors and provide aid and assistance to those who truly need it. As the president of Monroe County chapter of the NAACP (MCNAACP), it is a privilege to be able to give voice to the voiceless and stand in the gap while working for social and racial justice. The partnership between both organizations and the work put forth via PMUW’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) cohort is a natural extension and the best of both worlds in service to our community. I do this work because I see it as my duty, and for those who are able it’s our duty to serve.

The overarching purpose of PMUW’s DEI cohort is to:

Bring together members of our extended community who have demonstrated awareness of the need to positively enhance the cultural competency of Monroe County residents. We need to embrace the need to advance efforts to create inclusive and affirming environments in our social, corporate, service and educational organizations and institutions. The committee seeks to do this by engaging in learning activities, partnerships and identification of a clear action plan for our region that will assure full valuing of human capital in all sectors.

The full valuing of human capital requires this: Every human is regarded equally. Period. Where there is evidence of disparity, we collectively seek to effect parity-whether it’s addressing the differences in graduation rates at the secondary or college level to helping bridge the racial divide and encourage greater understanding through cultural competency classes. In 2020, the MCNAACP created a ‘Community Roundtable” with the leaders of our local law enforcement agencies to create proactive solutions that will provide both transparency and accountability our community can count on. These kinds of programs and more will create a space for conversation, revelation and greater understanding for us all. Here is the good news: You can make lasting change right where you are. Support balanced education budgets in our Commonwealth and an audit of the curriculums that reflect a comprehensive look at history, find ways to make someone’s day brighter by volunteering on MLK Day and any day you can spare an hour or two. If you would like to join the good fight for Racial Equity, start here. If you are an area business owner or community leader that supports our work, contact us to sign an endorsement letter for the DEI cohort that pledges your commitment to this needed change. Need direction? Give PMUW a call (570-517-3953) and they will help you find opportunities to give both physically and financially so more of us can know we aren’t alone in our struggles. This work matters. Let’s get to work together.

Sincerely,

Christa Caceres
President, Monroe County NAACP
Board Member, Pocono Mountains United Way