At the heart of the YMCA lies the power to transform—both yourself and the world around you. From our exceptional fitness, personal training, sports and aquatics programs, to our extensive preschool and school-age programs, to our fun family and community events, the Y offers an array of options focused on strengthening bodies, minds and communities.
When you are involved with the Y, you help bring about lasting personal and social change. Whether you want to nurture the potential of children, improve your family’s health, or give back to your neighbors, your involvement with the Y will positively impact your community.
At the Y, we know our communities are strongest when everyone has an opportunity to reach their potential and contribute their talents for the greater good."
At the Y, we know our communities are strongest when everyone has an opportunity to reach their potential and contribute their talents for the greater good. We work every day to welcome, educate and build bridges between people of all ages and from every walk of life, so that our changing communities are united and strong.
October is Diversity Awareness Month— an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the backgrounds and experiences that make each of us unique. The collective perspectives and contributions of all individuals, regardless of age, gender, income, faith, sexual orientation or cultural background, are a powerful force for change and help to move our communities and nation forward.
With more than 2,700 YMCAs across the U.S., and a presence in 119 countries, the Y builds bridges between diverse populations and brings people together to identify and meet the most pressing needs of our time. Here are a few examples:
The YMCA of Greater Seattle helps immigrants and newcomers get involved in their new communities. Connecting them with Y programs and area resources related to services like education and health care empowers newcomers to serve as their own advocates and contribute their time and talents to enhancing community well-being.
Through partnerships with YMCAs in Africa, the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities provides cross-cultural learning opportunities for staff, volunteers and members that foster a deeper appreciation of diverse cultures. For example, the Emma B. Howe YMCA branch in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, uses video conferencing to collaborate with the Durban YMCA in South Africa, which enhances global understanding and facilitates discussions on important shared issues such as helping young people thrive.
The YMCA of the University of Illinois in Champaign connects students from diverse backgrounds so they may learn from one another and grow as globally minded leaders. By engaging students, including the university’s international students, Y programs encourage dialogue about their different cultures, backgrounds, faiths and perspectives, all with a focus on working together to create meaningful social change.
To learn more about how the Y connects people from all walks of life to strengthen and unite communities, visit ymca.net/diversity-inclusion.