Leadership  Equity  Advocacy  Giving  Unity  Excellence

Members of United LEAGUE  are of African-American descent, identify as Black, or they are allies... those who are passionate about supporting Economic Opportunity initiatives aiming to close the gaps and allow every central Iowan the opportunity to thrive. 

The LEAGUE offers volunteering, networking, and professional development events. With invitations to additional special events, recognition on donor lists, and opportunities to serve on United Way of Central Iowa's advisory committees and investment cabinets. 

If you are of African-American descent, identify as Black, or are an ally and you're passionate about supporting the issues impacting Economic Opportunity in this population of our community, become a member of United LEAGUE. Your investment directly supports our partners and programs aiming to close the disparities gap.

LEAGUE Members


Committee Chairs & Representatives 

Phil Hall
Phillip Hall

United Way Board Representative - United LEAGUE



Goals of United LEAGUE

Circle HandsEngage African-Americans in philanthropy through donating, advocating, volunteering, and networking 

 Circle MoneyInvest in strategies supporting economic success for African-Americans and align with United Way goals

Circle PeopleElevate the voices of donors, clients, stakeholders, and community members within the African-American diaspora

Cirecle ScalesIncrease awareness and action on equity findings through available data and community partnerships


Strategies for Economic Opportunity in Central Iowa 

  • Provide access to skills and supports leading to jobs that provide the income needed to be self-sufficient with the opportunity to build wealth 
  • Provide access to adult basic education, post-secondary education, training, and supports required for quality jobs
  • Provide individuals access to financial services and supports to manage their money, save for assets, and purchase/invest in assets - including developing, financing, and sustaining small businesses

Economic Opportunity Funded Programs

National Volunteer week - landing page header

Why United LEAGUE?

United LEAGUE members will join others in helping to build a thriving Central Iowa. We will address the needs in the African American Community and develops solution with a focus on Economic Opportunity. Members will engage in strategic planning conversations, leadership development, volunteerism, and networking.



Significant Racial Disparities

26-percentMore than 1 in 4 African Americans in central Iowa (26%) have household incomes below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level. This is a higher percentage than any other racial group. 8% of whites in central Iowa are at that same poverty level.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, most recent 5-year estimates for Polk, Dallas, and Warren Counties (2015-2019)


In the Des Moines region, 19% of African Americans are considered the working poor, while 7% of whites are working poor.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, IPUMS USA | National Equity Atlas, Des Moines Region: Dallas, Guthrie, Madison, Polk, and Warren Counties


34-percentIn the Des Moines region, the largest gap in homeownership exists between African Americans and whites. 34% of African Americans live in owner-occupied households, compared to 73% of whites.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, IPUMS USA | National Equity Atlas, Des Moines Region: Dallas, Guthrie, Madison, Polk, and Warren Counties



Social Media

Follow us for pictures from events, information about upcoming events, and stories about the impact you're making by being a United LEAGUE member.

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Melanie Campbell

Melanie Campbell

Chief Donor Engagement Officer

melanie.campbell@unitedwaydm.org    515-246-6547

"United LEAGUE members are African American central Iowans and allies who care about ensuring every member of our community has an opportunity to thrive."