The YMCA is “For All”

Diversity, Inclusion, and Global Engagement (DIG) strategies are designed to advance our YMCA’s relevance, viability, and impact as a cause-driven organization.  A DIG approach puts our core beliefs into action that, in a diverse world, we are stronger when we are inclusive and our doors are open to 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 Y staff to participate in training 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.  To see a list of recent awards and recognitions, please click here.

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.

Program Innovation

The critical need:
Supporting diverse, under served, 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.

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.

Collaborations

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.

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.

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.

Resources:

ACEs and Trauma-Informed Care
ADA Update-A Primer for Ys
DIG Cornerstones Graphic
DIG Intro Session 9.19
Diversity Wheel-The Many Dimensions of Diversity
Global Service-Learning-A Program Guide for Local YMCA Leaders
Global YMCA Movement Map
Newcomer-Immigrant Infographic
Our Changing Communities Infographic

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