This story was originally published on June 26, 2023. Residents may voice their concerns with the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley’s demand for local organizations to either collect data on local minor children’s sexuality or lose their funding by contacting their respective city council members.
COLUMBUS, Ga. — Leaked documents including funding contracts now undeniably prove that the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley is forcing local Columbus nonprofits to either ask local children about their sexuality or lose the United Way’s funding.
The documents were obtained by the Muckraker from local Columbus-based nonprofits that exclusively serve children.
Back on June 13, we broke this story after hearing compelling evidence from several of those local nonprofits. The corroborated accounts all included the same descriptions of how a new funding contract from the United Way was now forcing them to collect data on the sexuality of the children they serve. If those local nonprofits did not provide the United Way with the data, the United Way would no longer fund the local nonprofit organization, effectively extorting them to either provide the data or go broke.
As a result, many of those local nonprofits turned to the Muckraker in hopes of shedding light on the problem for them. We were — and are — more than happy to oblige.
Before we dive into the documents, it is important for the reader to understand that the United Way has already embarrassingly been caught in an outright lie by denying their requirement of the data.
You can read more towards the end of this article about how the local United Way flat-out lied to city council’s face — on camera — for the entire world to see.
First, here’s the proof. It really helps paint a better picture of how despicable the UWCV’s cover-up was as they knowingly lied to city council’s face in hopes of no one finding out about this.
Lucky for them, we at the Muckraker happen to specialize in exposing such malevolence.
Let’s get into it.
The following documents were sent to the Muckraker by local nonprofit organizations that exclusively serve local children in our community. The documents are part of the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley’s grant application for the Community Investment Grant. The grant is funded by local dollars donated from the wallets of Columbusites like you. They have been redacted for privacy.
There are three documents that undeniably prove the United Way’s collection of the sexual data of children:
We would like to remind you again that these requirements were sent by the United Way to local organizations that exclusively serve children; The UWCV is thereby forcing these local organizations to either ask local children about their sexuality or lose their funding entirely.
The above image is a leaked copy of the funding contract for the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley’s Community Investment grant. As shown in the highlighted text, the contract requires that the funding applicant must collect and provide demographic information on the clients the nonprofit serves. The contract clearly states that “the selection of ‘unknown’ in demographic categories for clients served will not be sufficient…” The contract goes on to specify that the funding applicant’s noncompliance will result in their funding being pulled. This forces the funding applicant to ask their clients whatever demographic data the United Way wants.
Remember: The United Way sent this to local Columbus nonprofits who exclusively serve children.
Here’s what that demographic data includes:
The Demographics Form
Needless to say, the organizations voiced serious legal and moral concerns about the United Way’s requirements to collect sexual data from the children they serve.
It is also important to note that the UWCV also removed a contractual clause from their funding agreements that previously ensured that funding applicants would maintain autonomy over how they chose to run their own organizations; the United Way previously was not able to dictate what the funding applicant did or didn’t do when it came to their own independent operations. The United Way has removed that protective clause completely while simultaneously imposing the new sexual data requirements.
THE COVER UP: A WEB OF LIES
During the city council meeting on June 13, city councilors grilled representatives of the local United Way on the topic. When asked point-blank if the United Way was collecting data on the sexuality of children, representatives began to knowingly lie in an attempt to cover it up:
“I have not heard that. I have not heard anything that we’ve done to deal with that,” said Erika Cottingham, COO/CFO of the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley.
Other representatives continued to beat around the bush. Their responses originally ranged from ducking and dodging the very direct questions being asked, to flat-out lying:
“We do have some requirements for funding the one that you spoke of is not one of them,” began Jennifer St. John, the UWCV’s Chief Impact Officer.
When city councilors asked St. John the same direct question again and pressed her on the issue just fifteen seconds later, St. John changed her answer completely and admitted that the UWCV was in fact requiring local organizations to provide them with data on sexual orientation, even though she just lied by saying they didn’t:
“We are asked by some funders on an overall General basis to report some very general, um, uh, sexual orientation, but it's not broken down by any age and certainly not broken down by children.”
After having already lied, and then shifting her answer to an admission, St. John again lied by omission. By stating that the sexual data collection was “certainly not broken down by children,” St. John failed to mention that the requirement was being forced on local organizations who exclusively serve children.
When pressed further on the issue, the same United Way representatives continued to change their answers.
By the time the inquiry was finished, all United Way representatives morphed their answers from outright denial by saying ‘What sexual data? We don’t collect sexual data on kids!’ all the way to ‘Oh, you mean that sexual data on kids? Yes we collect that but we actually don’t at the same time and it's not our fault.’
What a bunch of clowns.
You can watch the entire exchange from start to finish here. While you're watching, remember that you just saw the documents yourself.
THE BOTTOM LINE
It would behoove the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley to realize that they should not ask our kids about their sexuality.
It would also behoove them not to lie about it — on camera — after local nonprofits had already given us the proof.
Your community is watching, and they do not like what they see. Maybe see this as an opportunity to do the right thing instead of saying “but we have to.”
You don’t have to do anything. You’re a grown up.
Quit being a coward and do something about it instead of passing the buck.
“Leave our kids the hell alone,” one resident said. “That’s not a request. That’s a public service announcement.”
The United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley is headquartered at 1005 Front Avenue in Columbus, Georgia. They may be contacted by phone at 706-327-3255. According to the organization’s website, executive staff can be reached through email as follows:
Residents may voice their concerns with the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley’s demand for local organizations to either collect data on local minor children’s sexuality or lose their funding by contacting their respective city council members.
Facts are stubborn things — and we’ll keep publishing them, whether city officials like them or not.
© 2023 Muscogee Muckraker. All rights reserved.
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