Communities Embracing Diversity

Residents of Canal Village and David’s Way in Canal Winchester, Ohio, gather by the pond with Service Coordinator, Avonne Bennett.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) has long been a part of the mission, vision and values at United Church Homes. The core values, written in an acrostic which spells the word CHRIST, encourage employees to welcome everyone, honor the differences among them and reflect God’s love.

For Avonne Bennett, Service Coordinator at Canal Village and David’s Way, the organizations focus on DEI emboldens her.

Avonne Bennett

“It makes me feel empowered knowing I work for an organization with this focus. As a person of color with American Asian and Pacific Islander heritage, I know I have every opportunity to be successful and be a leader in the industry, just like anyone else.”

Bennett said she wholeheartedly embraces the UCH culture by treating everyone equally. “It makes me feel accepted for who I am and knowing my worth is based on merit, not by superficial stereotypes.”

She said the impact of DEI makes employees and residents feel valued and builds a foundation of acceptance from the moment you enter the doors of a UCH community. “Feeling valued is the driving force for motivation and striving for excellence,” Bennett added.

Residents at Canal Village and David’s Way communities described living in UCH communities as a welcoming environment, where individuals are treated equally and share in their differences.

Wendy Smith

“Everyone is welcome here” said Wendy Smith.


Teresa Simpkins

Teresa Simpkins said, “Everyone is treated equally. We can talk to each other and everyone shares a similar story, no matter the struggle or the race.”


Gloria Quijano


Gloria Quijano said, “I’ve been happy here for five years. I feel like I am treated well by everyone.”

Spoon River Towers resident, Randy Fraikes said, “I’ve had nothing but support from my friends here. It’s been a welcoming community.” Randy shared he feels accepted at Spoon River Towers and doesn’t have to hide who he is.

UCH leaders are aligning together across diverse backgrounds to inspire employees to support diversity, build equity and seek justice while providing exceptional healthcare and housing services to older adults, and the results from the field are successful.