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

Coping with Racial Trauma

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What is Prejudice?

We often use words like prejudice, bias, and bigotry interchangeably, and there are aspects to each of these concepts that overlap. But when addressing prejudice, it’s important to understand some of the subtle distinctions.

To understand prejudice, we also need to understand stereotypes. A stereotype is an oversimplified and widely held standardized idea used to describe a person or group. A form of social categorization, stereotypes are a shortcut for the brain when grouping information.

Prejudice can dictate how people treat each other, resulting in any of the following:

Bias: an inclination, tendency, or particular perspective toward something; can be favorable or unfavorable. When bias occurs outside of the perceiver’s awareness, it is classified as implicit bias.

Microaggressions: an indirect, subtle, or unintentional comment or action that is prejudicial toward a marginalized group.

Bigotry: the intolerance of different opinions, beliefs, or ways of life.

Hate: disgust or contempt for another group that facilitates a desire for separation, strong emotions of fear or anger, and dehumanizing beliefs. Hate can take the form of:

Hate Speech: a form of expression intended to attack or incite hatred of a class of persons.
Hate Crime: criminal offense motivated by a bias.
Hate Group: an organization that attacks or condemns a class of people.
Discrimination: unfair and negative treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.

Oppression: a cruel and unjust abuse of power that prevents people from having opportunities and freedom.

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Have Questions?



Kristen Jones