Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

To fulfill our purpose of strengthening community for all, the Y is committed to being an inclusive, anti-racist organization and leveraging our collective impact to address social inequities.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Global Engagement

The Y is made up of people of all ages, from all walks of life, working side-by-side to strengthen communities. Together, we strive to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability, age, cultural background, ethnicity, faith, gender, gender expression, 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.

OUR COMMUNITIES

  • 40%

    of the population today represent BIPOC (Black, Indigenous people of color) backgrounds

  • 1 in 4

    kids under age 6 are the children of immigrants

  • 43.1 million

    people are living in poverty in the U.S.

  • Millennials

    are now the largest generation in U.S. history

  • 19%

    of Americans live with disabilities

  • 9 million

    U.S. adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, as of 2018

Graphic of six people standing on crates between trees illustrating equality and equity

Advancing Equity for All

We are committed to ensuring everyone reaches their full potential with dignity. While we haven’t always lived up to that inclusive vision, we have been on a steady journey toward making that powerful aspiration a reality for everyone in the communities we serve.

Today, we recognize that in order to be truly “for all,” we need to lead with equity. That means working with local and global partners to identify and remove the barriers that historically have prevented some of those in our communities from thriving, while ensuring that each individual can access the unique support they need.

Group of people holding YMCA banner

Becoming an Anti-Racist, Multicultural Organization

We recognize that the effects of systemic racism show up in every aspect of society, from disparities in health care and education to housing, employment and more.

We're on a journey to become an anti-racist, multicultural organization within all areas of the Y. That means intentionally promoting all aspects of inclusion, ensuring diverse representation in our leadership, and partnering with communities to lead social change through anti-racist policies, words and actions.

our ongoing commitments

Here are some of our ongoing commitments as we progress on our organizational anti-racism journey:


  • We hold ourselves accountable for our complicity in perpetuating systemic racism throughout our 170-year history in the United States and are committed to fostering a culture of truth, reconciliation, transformation and healing
     
  • We firmly assert that Black Lives Matter
     
  • We are committed to supporting and advancing a racially diverse leadership pipeline at every Y in the U.S. through our multicultural leadership development strategy and programs
     
  • We will build bridges between people of all walks of life and create brave spaces for the safe exchange of diverse ideas and perspectives
     
  • We are partnering with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond to make anti-racism training and resources available to Y staff
     
  • We uphold high standards for intentional, inclusive language to ensure that people of all dimensions of diversity feel welcome and included at the Y
     
  • We support national employee resource groups for Y staff who identify as Asian/Pacific Islander, Black, Hispanic/Latino, LGBTQ+, women and young leaders to facilitate peer-to-peer mentorship and support. Learn more

Member Stories

Learn how our commitment toward diversity, equity and inclusion has impacted lives — for the better.

Watch more Y stories

  • They've Made us Feel Welcome

    Ashley and Tracy were looking for a place with something for the whole family. At Heart of the Valley YMCA, they found all that — and then some. The Y is a place where they can exercise, connect with staff and other members and watch their kids play — all in a welcoming, accepting environment. This is their Y. Their camera. Their story.

  • An Opportunity to Share Culture

    Jackie wanted to connect her adopted daughter Sena to her Cambodian culture, so they learned traditional Cambodian dance together. Then, they teamed up with the Simmons YMCA’s New American Welcome Center to provide dance lessons for the local Cambodian community — not only sharing and celebrating their culture, but building community bridges and making friends in the process. This is their Y. Their camera. Their story.

  • We Want to Achieve Something Bigger

    As a college student striving to better his diverse and inclusive community, Shane is exploring opportunities at YMCA of Honolulu that improve not only his life, but the lives of his friends and neighbors, too. This is his Y. His camera. His story.

Find Your Y

In the U.S., the Y is comprised of YMCA of the USA, a national resource office, and more than 2,700 YMCAs with approximately 19,000 full-time staff and 600,000 volunteers in 10,000 communities across the country. Find the nearest Y by searching below (Ex: Chicago, IL).

Coordinates

Our Commitment to Change

DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION

Learn more about how we strive to support and empower diverse communities — and individuals — across the globe.

  • Supporting Diverse Communities

    Opportunities are for everyone. From early learning to job training, the Y offers programs and services that strengthen communities across the U.S.

  • Our Culture & Values

    Our core values are caring, honesty, respect and responsibility — they guide everything we do.

  • Our Vision

    The Y is committed to helping support and develop new generations of changemakers who will create better communities across the country — for all of us.