By: Sue Glass, President and CEO
As we look ahead in 2021, the YMCA of Metro Denver is renewed in our commitment to uplift communities. That includes facing deep truths about systemic racism in our society. As an organization, the YMCA of Metro Denver must own our history and acknowledge that we have work to do.
With the help of an amazing volunteer and staff committee, we spent the last several months of 2020 outlining the YMCA of Metro Denver’s new racial equity commitment to help guide us on our journey. Going forward, we have enlisted a staff committee who are passionate about implementing our work to be agents of change in our community. As a valued YMCA supporter, we feel it’s imperative to share this work with you.
We believe racial equity exists when race no longer limits one’s socioeconomic outcomes and inclusion exists when all people have fair and equal access to opportunity and resources to thrive.
Our commitment – as an organization and to our community - is this: we will do our part to overcome racism by addressing the systemic social, cultural and historical contributors to inequity. That means we will be transparent and accountable in all we do and contribute to advancing a more equitable and inclusive society.
To honor this commitment, we have given ourselves a series of organizational, community and societal goals with tangible outcomes that we hope to achieve in the coming months and years. These goals are integrated into our Organizational Strategic Roadmap and, together with YMCA leadership team and our staff committee, we will update policies and practices within our organization. We are intent on forming new community partnerships and advocating for policies that will help eliminate systemic racism. Last Fall, the YMCA of Metro Denver joined the efforts of Colorado Companies Uniting Against Racism. We will hold ourselves accountable and measure our success by sharing regular updates, conducting annual surveys and participating in listening tours with community members.
You are the backbone of our organization and as such, you play a vital role in this process. If you see something at a YMCA location that contradicts this new commitment, we want to know. When we send out surveys or opportunities for community voices to be heard, please join us. With your support, we know our goals can become a reality. I look forward to providing you with regular updates on our progress.
In closing, I want to thank you for being a part of our YMCA family. You inspire us to make our community a more just place for everyone. Together, we can build neighborhoods up so that ALL people thrive – in spirit, mind, and body.
We hope this new commitment makes you feel proud to be part of the YMCA.