Diversity, Equity & Inclusion News

Holding Hands


The Whatcom Family YMCA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee has been meeting regularly since August of 2020.  

The Goals and Objectives of this committee include identifying, monitoring, and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts across the association’s strategic priorities. The committee will ensure DE&I initiatives work in six areas of opportunity, and develop an annual Chart of Work that identifies and prioritizes objectives and time lines.

The following are tasks that have been completed or are being worked on in the six areas of opportunity:


Membership Development:

  • Actively reach out to Latinx population by having more of our communication in Spanish and exploring ways of providing more translating for Spanish speaking individuals. 

  • Collect the most recent demographic data on our community/service area using resources such as Y-USA demographics reports, the U.S. Census Bureau website, schools and universities, etc.

  • Create a method of data collection to determine ethnicity of members and program participants.

  • Create effective ways of communicating with membership regarding DEI efforts.

  • Have board members and staff make themselves available to the community –put out publicly who board and staff are and have excerpts from the board members and team –saying what your hopes and dreams are for the Y.


Program Innovation:

  • Explore the initiatives that other Ys, who are actively engaging in DEI, are implementing to see if they would be a good fit for our community.
  • Add educational materials on the website on how to be anti-racist.


Staff and Leadership:

  • Evaluate our hiring/employment/benefits policies to ensure that we are recruiting and retaining diverse, specifically BIPOC, candidates, including job posts and job descriptions.
  • Create staff and volunteer orientation tools, activities and experiences that introduce the new leadership to the breadth and depth of our organization's commitment to diversity and inclusion including setting goals with specific outcomes.
  • Audit hiring and retention practices. 
  • Offer DEI training opportunities such as Dimensions of Diversity, Cultural Lenses, and the Engaging Series and see if there are good candidates to be in-house trainers for these trainings. 
  • Evaluate DEI training methods, establish required annual DEI training for all staff, and determine the priority in implementing new training requirements. 
  • Create ways to encourage staff to learn about DEI issues on their own.


  • Have our staff volunteer and serve with community agencies that work with populations that are not well represented in our membership or programs.
  • Position the YMCA as a convener of dialogue towards identifying and meeting community needs; enable community partners to utilize space in the YMCA at free or reduced costs.
  • Work with community partner organizations who serve a population that we may not currently be reaching and see if there are potential funding opportunities & work with the community partner to complement their program offerings by leveraging the strengths that the YMCA brings to the table. 


  • Infuse messaging on our YMCA website and social media channels that highlights diversity and inclusion work making sure we are intentional about using the anti-racist words, and using symbols that represent diversity like the Equity Flag, Black Lives Matter materials, etc. without worry of offending others.
Category: Y News