United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania

United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania (UWSWPA) contracted Write Connection’s CEO, Jess Koscher, to assist in creating a strategic plan focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion for their organization. The UWSWPA covers a five-county region that includes the city of Pittsburg. DEI strategies had been challenging for the organization, as some areas have a widely diverse population and others are limited. How does an organization lean into DEI without alienating anyone?


  • Facilitated a staff meeting to introduce the initial work plan.
  • Conducted individual conversations with all staff leaders and some of their teams.
  • Worked closely with the Chief Strategy Officer to outline objectives and SMART goals.
  • Provided training on prejudice and unconscious bias to staff members.
  • Provided a detailed strategic planning report for the organization’s use.

"Engaging Jess to help develop our organizational Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy was critical to our success. She was able to quickly and efficiently understand where our organization was on these complicated issues, and then engage in a series of honest discussions with key stakeholders to understand our goals and desired outcomes. Jess challenged us to think critically about how and why were are engaging this work, and then helped craft a cohesive, holistic strategy that will guide the work of our organization for years to come. Throughout the process, Jess was approachable, knowledgeable and eager to engage in the work. Our team felt incredibly comfortable working with her and being honest about our DEI work – both opportunities and challenges. I have no doubt that Jess’ expertise is what ultimately led us to our final strategy, and that we would not have been nearly as successful without her insights. We have already engaged Jess in another staff training on implicit bias, that was very positively received by our team, and are looking forward to continuing work together in the future."
Neil DiBiase, Chief Strategy Officer