At the American Youth Foundation, we believe that we are all responsible for building equitable community. Our organization’s work is to amplify the voice of youth and encourage them to speak out and take action against injustice. We know we don’t have all the answers, but we seek to work together to educate ourselves and others and to dismantle systems of oppression to create a more just world.
‘Under the leadership of Ambrean Ford, LLMSW, the new Director of Community Life, Diversity, and Inclusion, the AYF will launch a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee in early 2022. The DEI committee will advise our organization in the continuous integration of diversity, equity, and inclusion into all aspects of the American Youth Foundation.
We understand there are certain traditions, sayings, and names within the AYF that have unintentionally caused harm to some past and current community members. The DEI committee will address those issues head on and help us continue to grow. The AYF wants our programs to be spaces where all people who align with our mission and values feel like they belong. If you would like to help make that possible, consider applying below to join this committee and help the AYF advance further.
A strategic plan shapes and guides what an organization is, who it serves, what it does, and why. Although we will work through the tasks in order, you will find the process can be circular. As we move through the DEI strategic planning process, we may return to earlier tasks in order to change and/or expand on our original thinking. Treat this as a flexible — rather than a rigid — process.
The purpose within AYF’s mission of inspiring people “to discover and develop their personal best, to seek balance in mental, physical, social and spiritual living, and to make a positive difference in their communities and in the wider world,” stands out when applied to the organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
AYF’s dedication to improving the organization’s ability to deliver on their program outcomes (best self, balanced living, inclusive community, and making a positive difference) plays a critical role in the organization’s ability to address DEI. As the DEI committee creates the DEI mission/vision, it will be tied to the AYF’s overarching mission and reflect these ideals. To do so, the committee will need to identify how AYF defines diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The DEI committee will:
- Participate in continual education training provided by the AYF
- Review the AYF’s current definition of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
- Review the AYF’s culture and traditions
- Connect DEI activities to the AYF’s strategic plan and create a DEI Strategic Plan
- Continually work toward specific goals and hold the organization accountable