Who are We?

We believe we're stronger together when individuals can freely express their authentic selves. Our YMCA is focused on addressing our Greater Waterbury Community's most critical needs and is dedicated to Urban Engagement, Diverse Abilities, LGBTQ+, and much more.  Our communities are intertwined and what happens here makes an impact in communities around the world.  Here at the Y, we seek to lead as an anti-racist, multi-cultural organization more effectively and acknowledge that there is much work ahead of us towards adapting anti-racist principles and ensuring equity and inclusion for all. As we embark on this journey together, we do so with humility, fully cognizant that we have so much more work to do as a local and national institution.

The Diversity & Inclusion Committee has been established to ensure that our Y has the checks and balances that we need to ensure that our Y is inclusive and that no one voice is left out. The committee meets quarterly to discuss the organization's DIG priorities to ensure all society segments have access to the Y. The following are questions that drive the work of the committee:

  • How do we respond to changing community demographics?
  • How do we engage a diverse population and ensure access to the Y?
  • How do we strengthen our diversity and inclusion practices?
  • How do we adapt policies and procedures to ensure relevancy to diverse populations?

What Can you do?

We invite all Y communities to take this journey with us and begin to unpack what it means to be an anti-racist. We know that the first step includes unlearning previous notions and educating ourselves as individuals committed to this journey. We encourage you to begin your individual anti-racism educational journey with us by diving deep into understanding racism from its origins to its impact on society today.

Please CLICK HERE to read a powerful statement from our National President, Kevin Washington.

To learn more about our efforts regarding advancing our Anti-Racism Journey in the YMCA Movement, please CLICK HERE.

Looking for ways to talk to your family and friends about racism? Here are some resources to help you:

  • Anti-Racism Activities for Kids  – CLICK HERE
  • Let’s Talk! A Guide from Teaching Tolerance – CLICK HERE
  • A list of resources from PBS on how to talk to your kids about anti-racism – CLICK HERE
  • Teaching Ideas for Classroom Conversation on Race – CLICK HERE
  • Resource List – Center for Racial Justice in Education – CLICK HER
  • Understanding racism and inequality in America – CLICK HERE.
  • Anti-Racism Resources from the Y-USA African American CEOs – CLICK HERE

Discover the Y's Connection to Black History Month

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Did you know that Black History Month has roots associated with the YMCA? In 1915, Carter G. Woodson, a University of Chicago alumnus, arrived in Chicago to attend a national celebration of the 50th anniversary of emancipation sponsored by the state of Illinois.

Inspired by this three-week celebration where thousands of African Americans had traveled from across the country to see exhibits that highlighted the progress of their people since the end of slavery, Woodson met at the Wabash Avenue YMCA in Chicago with a small group and formed the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). This began the foundation that would create Negro History and Literature Week, renamed Negro Achievement Week, later Negro History Week, and eventually Black History Month.

Known as the “Father of Black History,” Woodson wanted the study of past black life to have a significant impact stating, “We are going back to that beautiful history and it is going to inspire us to greater achievements.” It is important to note that the focus of Black History month has been on black achievements since enslavement in the US, however, Woodson’s intent was to explore modern black history as a starting point to deeper exploration beyond the arrival of enslaved Africans in the Americas.

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Have Questions?

Contact:

 

Kristen Jones