Diversity, Inclusion, and Global (DIG) Engagement


“Diversity is being asked to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” – Cynt Marshall CEO, Dallas Mavericks

Our Commitment to Inclusion: The Y is made up of people of all ages and from every walk of life working side by side to strengthen communities. Together we work to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability, age, cultural background, ethnicity, faith, gender, gender identity, ideology, income, national origin, race or sexual orientation has the opportunity to reach their full potential with dignity. Our core values are caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility—they guide everything we do.

For All

For all is a simple but powerful phrase. Without it, the Y mission is incomplete. Our commitment to inclusion creates better communities, a better country, and a better world.

We know that the key to effectively nurturing the potential of children, improving the nation’s health and well-being and supporting our neighbors is a passionate, experienced and diverse array of staff, volunteers and members who value what everyone brings to the table. Working in 10,000 U.S. communities and more than 120 countries worldwide makes strong diversity and inclusion practices paramount for the Y.

This means:

  • Recognizing that a diverse and inclusive organization is foundational to developing and engaging everyone across the entire Y spectrum. Our volunteers, members, program participants, families, leaders, staff, vendors, suppliers, donors, collaborators and the community at large all contribute to our efforts to make positive, lasting personal and social change.
  • Believing we all benefit from the unique talents of our diverse staff. We encourage our 20,000+ Y staff to participate in our six national Employee Resource Groups, which offer opportunities to contribute, learn, network and share experiences as they progress in their careers.
  • Having a supplier diversity program that seeks out talented minority and women-owned contractors and service providers.
  • Offering Y staff and volunteers professional development and training programs that build key competencies to welcome, engage, serve and advocate for all segments of society.

We are passionate about our cause to strengthen communities and know that our ability to achieve it begins with reflecting and partnering with people from all walks of life.

Job Description for Task Force Members

DIG Task Force members will be responsible for making recommendations, developing policies/procedures and creating a DIG mission statement relevant to their respective areas of focus by the end of November 2019.  The board will vote on the DIG Innovation Plan at the January 2020 meeting.

Members will be committed to diversity in leadership, staff, and programs.  As part of a diverse committee, members will strive to exemplify the YMCA mission to the local community by promoting global understanding and celebrating cultural diversity.

All meetings will be scheduled by the Task Force leader through a Doodle Poll.  Task Force length and duration is dependent on the area of opportunity.  The time commitment range will be 4-6 hours per task force over a 90 day period.

Each Task Force is led and coordinated by a senior staff member with their contact information below.  Please reserve your task force preference by Sept. 26th

Member Engagement

The critical need:
Reaching new members requires understanding those who live in our communities and engage them according to their needs.

How we address the critical need:
Consider the cultural and social issues facing all segments of society, from newcomers/immigrants to LGBTQ individuals, implement inclusive policies and practices that ensure access for all, and intentionally recruit and retain members who reflect and build bridges between all segments of society.

How we benefit:
Reaching out to new and diverse populations leads to member growth and retention, and establishes the Y as a place people go to connect for the greater good. Culturally relevant and diverse membership engagement strategies help us transform individuals from casual members to committed volunteers and global citizens.

To join this task force, please email Cheryl McCarver, Executive Director: cherylm@amayma.org

Program Innovation

The critical need:
Supporting diverse, underserved, and isolated communities involve a commitment to developing new program opportunities that respond to their needs.

How we address the critical need:
We design inclusive programs based on input from our members and communities that connect people from diverse backgrounds and create global education experiences for youth, adults, and families.

How we benefit:
Innovative programs help us keep pace with the changing world, increase enrollment, and encourage staff and volunteer retention. The benefits of programs crafted with the needs of diverse communities in mind often extend beyond the initial target population, expanding and deepening our impact.

To join this task force, please email Quinton Buckley, Executive Director: quintonb@amaymca.org

Leadership Development

The critical need:
To extend our reach and impact in changing communities, we need staff and volunteers who understand and can effectively respond to the wants and needs of those communities.

How we address the critical need:
We recruit and train culturally competent staff and volunteers who reflect our diverse communities, embrace and celebrate all dimensions of diversity, and consider the larger world when addressing local challenges.

How we benefit:
Our commitment to developing such leaders guarantees our organization’s continued relevance, supports staff and volunteer recruitment and retention, and reinforces our ability to address the nation and world’s most pressing social needs, now and in the future.

To join this task force, please email Pam Young, VP Human Resources: pamy@amaymca.org


The critical need:
Working with diverse global and local community partners enables us to increase the impact for all.

How we address the critical need:
We seek partnerships that connect us with new communities and provide access to tools, resources, and competencies that complement and strengthen our programs and services.

How we benefit:
Collaborations with diverse global and local community partners expand our reach and impact. Engaging in meaningful partnerships and facilitating collaborations among organizations with common goals positions the Y as a convener that brings together individuals, organizations, communities, and the world.

To join this task force, please email Eric Tucker, President & CEO: erict@amaymca.org

Resource Mobilization

The critical need:
Donors seek organizations that can demonstrate significant community impact at home and abroad. Our impact depends on the resources, monetary and otherwise, that we generate and mobilize to support our work.

How we address the critical need:
We draw individual and organizational donors by communicating our proven ability to help people from all segments of society and around the world reach their full potential.

How we benefit:
A diverse and globally-minded approach differentiates us and attracts the financial, technical, and in-kind resources that help us deliver on our cause.

To join this task force, please email Heidi Hardy, VP Community Engagement: heidih@amaymca.org

Brand & Visibility 

The critical need:
Communicating what we stand for and the benefit we provide requires a strong brand.

How we address the critical need:
We convey our commitment to ensuring that all segments of society feel welcome at the Y by infusing DIG messaging and imagery into all communication opportunities (e.g., marketing materials, staff training, environmental design, and member outreach).

How we benefit:
Promoting the inclusive and global nature of our impact positions the Y as a movement that individuals and organizations across the country and around the world want to belong to, support, and collaborate with.

To join this task force, please email Daison Lyken, VP Marketing & Communications: daisonl@amaymca.org


DIG Resources:

ACEs and Trauma-Informed Care
ADA Update-A Primer for Ys
Business Case for Implementing DIG Strategies
DIG Cornerstones Graphic
DIG Intro Session 9.19
Diversity Wheel-The Many Dimensions of Diversity
Family Engagement Toolkit Module 6 – Diversity & Inclusion
Global Service-Learning-A Program Guide for Local YMCA Leaders
Global YMCA Movement Map
Newcomer-Immigrant Infographic
Our Changing Communities Infographic 2018
Strengthening Inclusion-Engaging Asian and Pacific Islander Communities in Your YMCA
Strengthening Inclusion-Engaging Communities of Diverse Faiths and Beliefs in Your YMCA
Strengthening Inclusion-Engaging Hispanic-Latino Communities in Your Y
Vietnam World Service Trip 2019

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