A Toast To Equity

Friday, March 31, 2023 | 6 - 9 pm at the Red Lion Hotel in Redding 

Presented by The California Wellness Foundation & The McConnell Foundation

United Way of Northern California (UWNC) promotes equity in our mission to improve health, education, financial wellness, and disaster recovery for ALL people in Northern California. ​On March 31, 2023, we are hosting our inaugural A Toast to Equity fundraiser.

This event will feature the presentation of awards honoring one business, one nonprofit, and one individual for demonstrating a strong commitment to equity through their practices, civic engagement, and achievements. Those nominated in each category demonstrate meaningful work in servicing communities that are sometimes underserved, such as economically challenged women, people of color, indigenous populations, people with disabilities, the LGBTQ+ community, the rural poor, and others. Come celebrate those working to advance racial and social equity in our regions.

Guests will indulge in fine wine, chocolate fondue, and artisan charcuterie boards crafted by choice local restaurants. All guests will serve as judges to award the most exquisite charcuterie presentations in the charcuterie board competition. 

Supported by Shasta Builders' Exchange, Umpqua Bank, and Win-River Resort & Casino | Redding Rancheria

Nonprofit Finalists 

Hill Country Community Clinic

Hill Country Health and Wellness Center works in partnership with patients and our community, providing to everyone the healthcare services, education, and support needed to live whole, healthy, and satisfying lives. Hill Country inspires health and wellness in all areas of life so that individuals may learn to heal themselves and their communities through everyday choices. Hill Country accepts all patients, regardless of their ability to pay. 

Level Up NorCal

Level Up NorCal is a community-based organization whose mission is to improve and promote the health, well-being, and advancement of ethnic minorities through education, support, and advocacy. Through education, they empower groups that have been historically disadvantaged, by assisting them with the first step towards advocating for themselves and closing disparity gaps. Through their programs, they assist some of the community’s most unserved and underserved to understand and access services from everyday services and programs to emergency services and programs.  

Native Roots Network 

Native Roots Network is an Indigenous-led community-based organization serving Indigenous community in our region. Their work includes youth leadership development, multi-generational cultural exchanges, traditional and contemporary Native arts through Our Story: Native Art Exhibition & Cultural Events, ceremonial run delegations and community wellness projects, including (most recently) the Wayken-Pana Elpom mural on the Cascade Theatre. 

Stonewall Alliance Center of Chico 

Since 1990, Stonewall Alliance of Chico has been committed to serving and supporting the Northern California LGBTQ+ community in a way that is open, safe, and inclusive for all people. Its mission is to support and celebrate the health, empowerment, and joy of the North State LGBTQ+ community at every intersection of their identities.

Women's Health Specialists

Women’s Health Specialist’s vision is a world where women control their own bodies, reproduction, and sexuality. They provide women-controlled health care and advocate for all options for all women, with dignity and freedom of choice. They promote positive images and provide clients with a new perspective of their bodies and health. 

Business Finalists

Butte Community College 

Butte College is founded on diversity, equity and inclusion and are proud to be a Hispanic Serving Institution, with more than 30% of students identifying as Latinx. They house Multicultural Centers, including programs such as Umoja and Puente, and support students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds, histories and identities. They acknowledge that the history of education is also a history of separation and exclusion and have committed to examine their institution as to eliminate structural inequities and barriers to success. They commit to providing education and support needed for everyone to succeed and invite all who have experienced these inequities and barriers to participate with them to embed equity and inclusion into all systems and processes.

Equilateral Coffee

Equilateral Coffee is committed to equity and social justice. Their name encompasses what is important most to them, equity and equality. They are queer business owners and minorities, who are acutely aware of inequality and desire to fight back against the status quo while wanting to create an environment that doesn’t feel hierarchal. Their physical space, social media presence and in-person interactions highlight their dedication to people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and people with disabilities. They are proud to display the artwork of a plethora of locals.

Redding Rancheria 

Redding Rancheria is a leader in our community for providing health care to underserved populations, including opening its doors to give COVID vaccines during times they were difficult to get—ultimately giving over 11,000 vaccines to community members and still counting. They support various local non-profit organizations that are social justice oriented through monetary donations, supporting events, and serving on boards - including but not limited to Youth Options, Pathways to Hope, One Safe Place, Shasta County Citizens Advocating Respect, and many more. 

Women’s Business Center at JEDI

JEDI strives to create economic opportunity for all community members, assist to build resilience and generate an inclusive economy. They take pride in understanding the needs of women entrepreneurs, their small business needs, and rural economies. Over 80% of their clients are women, over 60% are low-income, 40% are people of color, 35% are rural, and 100% have been impacted by disasters. They have assisted 400 business start up and maintain sustainability, created 584 jobs, and helped accessed $1.4 million in business capital. 

Individual Finalists

Michael Burke 

Michael Burke is Executive Director of Pathways to Hope. His career has been marked by a passion for promoting equity for all people regardless of age, race, gender and sexual orientation. He was founding director of the Shasta Family Justice Center and has been associated with One Safe Place and Camp Hope America. Mike has expert knowledge in domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and elder abuse. Pathways to Hope focuses on programs benefiting teens and parents, including a Teen Center that hosts monthly LGBTQ+ groups, plus LGBTQ+ discussions inside the Shasta County Juvenile Detention Facility. Pathways to Hope also maintains a strong partnership with Redding Rancheria, and its services are open to all tribal members in Shasta County.

Emily Cunnison

For the past 15 years, Emily Cunnison has worked full-time as Western Service Workers Association (WSWA) Operations Manager – a volunteer position at the all-volunteer organization. WSWA’s mission is to organize immediate and long-term solutions to the problems faced by the North State’s lowest-paid workers. Under her leadership, the organization has provided clients with emergency food, clothing, firewood, and other benefits, even enlisting volunteer doctors and attorneys to volunteer professional services. She has successfully advocated with Redding Electric Utility on behalf of low-income customers and worked at the state level for disaster and COVID relief. Emily also coordinated with the Shasta County Workers Benefit Council to organize food, water, clothing, and other supplies for survivors of the 2022 Mill Fire in Weed, CA. Emily is passionate, focused, and relentless in her pursuit of equity and fair treatment for those struggling to make ends meet.

Christopher Diamond

Christopher Diamond is a Community Education Specialist for Shasta County Health and Human Services and founder of NorCal OUTreach Project, known as Redding’s LGBTQIA+ Center. Christopher’s leadership has been instrumental in implementation of OUTreach’s numerous programs including Redding Pride events, support for transgender community members and assistance to LGBTQIA+ youth. In his day job with Shasta County, Christopher has been instrumental in launching StandAgainstStigma.com, a website that seeks to promote mental wellness, increase community awareness of mental health, and end the stigma surrounding mental illness and substance abuse. Christopher has gone above and beyond in dedicating his own time and resources advocating for equity causes.

Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson is CEO of the Oroville Southside Community Improvement Association (OSCIA), the operator of the Oroville Community Center, which provides two dozen services for Southside residents including education and youth enrichment, food distribution, and community meetings. Thompson also created Haven to Hope which provides mobile shower and laundry services to the unsheltered. For years, Thompson has helped coordinate and promote Martin Luther King Birthday celebration events.  Through OSCIA and his ministry at No. 1 Church of God in Christ, Thompson has dedicated his life to helping those in need, “with a focus on Racial Equity as a North Star to his work,” according to a nominator. 


UWNC is grateful for our sponsors, Umpqua Bank, Shasta Builders Exchange, and Win-River Resort & Casino for coming on board and making this event possible. Thank you! 


Thanks to our Charcuterie Board Sponsors!

UWNC put out the call for local restaurants and businesses to win cash prizes for the most distinguished charcuterie board for an opportunity to support our event and win big! Best boards win a $500 Grand Prize and $200 for second place. Guests will cast their votes for the best board based on assortment and appearance before digging in! Thank you to all participating businesses and restaurants: 

BC Catering 
Boards by Hay 
Branch House 
Chow Charcuterie 
Cask & Cleaver Charcuterie Co. 
Country Bowl 
Licata Catering 
Oakmont of Redding 
Red Lion Three Shastas 
Westside Wines & Hops
Woodside Grill

Thank you to our wine sponsors!

Burnsini Vineyards
LaRocca Vineyards
New Clairvaux Vineyard
Old 44 Cellars


UWNC would like to thank everyone who has donated items to our silent auction from wineries and businesses across the North State. Thank you! 


A Special shout out to CHYBA's students and faculty for their thoughtful, handcrafted silent auction items. We are grateful for the impact CHYBA has on our community!

CHYBA's Mission:

“With love and respect, California Heritage YouthBuild Academy cultivates a collaborative learning community that successfully prepares young people to build the skillsets and mindsets that lead to lifelong learning and successful futures. As students earn their high school diploma and develop positive relationships, they gain the leadership and technical skills necessary for post-secondary education, successful careers, and a productive life.”

Are you interested in supporting or sponsoring the event? Contact Debi Chimenti at dchimenti@norcalunitedway.org for more information.