Our Commitment to DEI

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.

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.

Action Steps

DEI Committee

Established in 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. This includes creating a strategic plan that will act as a road map and that will ensure leadership takes actionable steps toward furthering the AYF’s commitment to DEI.

DD Danforth Burlin (she/hers)

Mads “Earl” Chomentowski (they/she)

Andi Van Cleve (she/hers)

Romuald Dugue (he/his)

Gray Danforth

Colleen Green (ikwe, ella, her)

Kareem Hakim (he/his)

Dr. Julia Wilkins Kohrmann (she/hers)

Andy Mulcahy (he/his)

Hannah Patterson (she/hers/they/their)

Jackson Pincus (he/his)

Jennifer Rhodes (she/hers)

Mary Dee Schimdt (she/hers)

Joseph “Joe” Tang (he/his/they)

Ayn Dietrich Williams (she/hers)

Marty Willis (he/his/they)

The committee will work closely with:

Ambrean Ford, AYF Director of Community Life, Diversity and Inclusion

Liz Marshall, AYF Vice President

Dusty Clitheroe, Strength Perspective

Polly Williams, Strength Perspective

Strength Perspective Partnership

The AYF is taking a critical look at its history, traditions, and structure. Education is the first step forward, and we’re pleased to partner with Strength Perspective founders Jen (Dusty) Clitheroe and Polly Williams. They are working with the AYF board and staff to help our organization grow in diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and leadership.

Mulcahy Fellowship

The AYF is now accepting applications for the Mulcahy Fellowship. This initiative intentionally honors, supports, and uplifts seasonal staff who identify as historically underrepresented members in AYF program communities. The goal is to address the lack of diversity in leadership positions within our programs and recognize that individuals with these identities provide more emotional labor than other camp staff.