The Y is a diverse organization of people joined together by a shared commitment to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive. This movement is a force for building bridges among all people to further our cause of strengthening community. Establishing a Diversity, Inclusion, and Global (DIG) committee was a purposeful step towards advancing diversity, inclusion and global efforts to ensure all segments of society feel welcomed and have access to the YMCA of Central Florida.
The YMCA of Central Florida devised our DIG committee in 2017 along the following guiding principles:
- Recognize and value all dimensions of diversity
- Champion multicultural understanding and the development of globally minded YMCA leaders at home and abroad
- Understand the needs and wants of all segments of the community; develop solutions that ensure the greatest possible inclusion
- Lead interpersonal and community engagement with empathy
- Connect and build bridges between diverse individuals, groups and communities
- Promote the safe exchange of ideas, beliefs and perspectives at the local, national and global levels
- Deep commitment to share with the global YMCA Movement through learning exchanges, volunteerism and philanthropy
The YMCA is nationally collaborating with the Biden Foundation on an initiative to strengthen organizational capacity to advance inclusion and equity for LGBTQ youth, adults and families. In 2018, the YMCA of Central Florida was chosen to be part of a pilot cohort of 10 Ys to develop and implement locally focused strategies, fostering LGBTQ inclusion and equity.
This organization is committed to addressing critical social issues and supporting the well-being and safety of LGBTQ youth and adults. Despite progress over the last decade, LGBTQ youth and adults continue to face discrimination and challenges with family and community inclusion. LGBTQ youth are five times more likely to attempt suicide and represent 40% of the homeless youth population. LGBTQ individuals and families experience disproportionately high rates of poverty, food insecurity and hate violence. In partnership with the Biden Foundation, we hope to make a difference in our community, together.
This initiative aligns with the Y’s longstanding commitment to serve all segments of society, build bridges between communities, and advance social inclusion and equity for all. The Y has a long history of connecting people within and across communities to break down barriers and foster greater empathy.
If you or someone you know would like to share ideas with the YMCA of Central Florida DIG committee to help support our community, or collaborate on an upcoming project/initiative, please contact [email protected].