"For all" is a simple but powerful phrase. Without it, the Y’s mission is incomplete. Our commitment to inclusion creates better communities, a better country, and a better world.
Communities across the nation are changing rapidly and today, many are experiencing critical social divides. At the Y, we are uniquely positioned to build bridges in communities and create spaces for people from all backgrounds, walks of life, and viewpoints to come together.
On a small scale, the Y’s initiatives impact anyone who is welcomed into a branch, but they stretch beyond the walls of the Y to improve quality of life for children, adults, and elders in surrounding neighborhoods - regardless of age, religion, language, sexual orientation, income status, or background.
On a large scale, the bonds and partnerships that the Y has forged with other organizations in Central Ohio in the name of diversity serve to lift up the community as a whole.
The Y recognizes the critical need for programs such as these to expand, for new ideas to surface and for the entire Central Ohio community to join forces in this important work.
In 2017, the Y delivered the following programs and services to foster a more inclusive community:
- Designated Global Center of Excellence YMCA, signifies that the YMCA of Central Ohio met the Y's national standards for implementing behaviors and policies that make it easier for a diverse combination of people to call the Y home
- Opened the New American Welcome Center at North YMCA to connect refugees in Central Ohio
- Celebrated New Americans Festival, which honored the rich culture and heritage of immigrants and refugees with hundreds of newcomers at North YMCA
- Partnered with Refuge Columbus to host a dinner series to build bridges, create safe spaces with refugees, and empower local residents to be welcoming hosts
- Participated in New American Forum with other Columbus-area organizations
- Offered our first Spanish-speaking YMCA Diabetes Prevention class at Hilltop YMCA
- Continued to serve the Linden community through the YMCA Without Walls program, now in its second year
- Ensured parents and children with special needs and diverse abilities have access to the tools and resources to learn, grow, and thrive through our Early Childhood Resource Network Plus program
- Welcomed 350 Y Leaders from the U.S. and 10+ countries to Columbus for the 10th annual Diversity & Inclusion Global Innovation Network Conference
In coordination with other YMCAs across the nation and the world, the YMCA of Central Ohio strives to make the world a better place - for all.
*Source: Projections of the Size and Composition of the U.S. Population: 2014 to 2060 by U.S. Census
**Source: 2016-2017 The Global Report, Columbus Council on World Affairs