Our DIG Statement:
(Diversity, Inclusion, Global)

 

The Y is made up of diverse people working side by side to strengthen our communities. Together, we work to ensure everyone -- of any income, faith, ability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, ethnicity, national origin, cultural background or other unique personal characteristics -- has the opportunity to live life to its fullest. We share the values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility, which are the foundation for everything we do.

 

The path toward Anti-Racism at the Y:

 

2020 was a difficult year for the Y and for most people around the world. It was also a record-breaking year for social justice. Following the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, our President and CEO, Harold Sparrow, put out a statement condemning violence. We also set out on an internal Listening Tour on Race. Instead of making blanket public statements of support for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities, we intentionally took the first step of listening very seriously, because we can't make progress without acknowledging where we are and what we need to do better.

 

2020 Listening Tour:

 

We met with each of our teams to hear input from our staff on their experiences, thoughts, and testimonials about race, discrimination, and microagressions. 

 

Here's what our staff said:

 

1. We have directly experienced racism and discrimination, sometimes at the Y
2. We want the Y to be an inclusive, welcoming place for all
3. We need additional tools and resources in how to be actively anti-racist individuals
4. We would like to see the Y be more vocally anti-racist in our communities

 

With the help of a student intern from the University of Hartford, Olivia Bucci, we anonymously transcribed everything that was discussed on the Listening Tour. We also kept an anonymous survey open for our staff for all of the second-half of 2020. 

 

Thank you to our staff for sharing your stories, thoughts, and ideas and for sharing an integral role in this work!

 

2021 Anti-Racism Task Force:

 

With the dozens of pages of collected input from staff, we invited a cross-functional and diverse group of staff to take place in our Anti-Racism Task Force. With the guidance of Lori Lehan, Chief Human Resources Officer, and Robin Thibault, former Manager of Diversity & Inclusion, the purpose of this team was to take what we learned on the Listening Tour and compile a list of recommendations to bring to our CEO and Board of Directors. Thank you to our Task Force members!

 

  • Laura Floyd
  • Ronny Segura
  • Karima Abdul-Salaam
  • Wali Burney
  • Abby Poirier
  • Dustin Nord

Here is a list of our recommendations.

 

Ongoing Anti-Racism Committee:

 

Members of this task force quickly realized that our work was just beginning and a few have signed on to continue the work. (A task force has a clear, time-bound objective.) We have also added a number of other staff who've expressed interest in being on a longer-term Anti-Racism Committee. This team will help support putting our recommendations into action.

 

To be a part of our Anti-Racism committee, contact inclusion@ghymca.org (volunteers and community members welcome!)

 

Board of Directors, DEI Task Force:
(Diversity, Equity, Inclusion)

 

While the staff were analyzing the information from our Listening Tours, our Board of Directors was also taking steps to expand our DEI efforts. They voted to create a DEI Task Force; the purpose of this team is to review the recommendations of the Staff Anti-Racism Task Force and to make other recommendations to our Board of Directors in the areas of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In April of 2021, they helped bring the Staff Anti-Racism Task Force recommendations to our Board of Directors and $30,000 was approved to start implementing the recommendations immediately. Thank you to our Task Force members!

 

  • Carmen Sierra (Chair)
  • Marilyn Alverio
  • Adam Cloud
  • Ruth Grobe
  • Eric Clapprood
  • Harold Sparrow
  • Robin Thibault
  • Lori Lehan

 

Resources:

 

Y-USA has created a number of free online courses and is working to make more courses, which used to be available in-person, available online. A handful are excellent Diversity, Inclusion, Global  courses.
Click here for a list of free online DIG courses for Y staff and volunteers.

 

If you don't have an account on LINK yet, you can create one here: https://ymca.link.net (For Y staff and volunteers)

 

More resources to come!

 

Inclusive Hiring Practices:

 

The YMCA of Greater Hartford recognizes that being an equal opportunity employer makes us stronger. YMCA staff and volunteers are committed to celebrating diversity, practicing inclusion, and embracing a global mindset, and we are dedicated to the equity of our team. 

 

We hire staff of all backgrounds and abilities, and we provide employees with training and leadership development opportunities. 

 

 

Previous DIG work:
 

Here are some highlights from across the Greater Hartford Y from 2017 - 2019:

 

2019 DIG Newsletters

2018 DIG Newsletters

2017 DIG Newsletters