At the YMCA, we have committed ourselves to combatting injustice and owning our social responsibility toward a more equitable community. In so doing we expect that we will help create a community, nation and world that will benefit everyone.
The way in which we all witnessed George Floyd’s death and the arguments put forth in Derek Chauvin’s trial have tested my patience as well as my faith. I am grateful for the trial’s conclusion and hopeful that the verdict will bring peace to the family of George Floyd. May this verdict continue the momentum in the efforts to create a safer and more just society in which people of color can live and thrive.
We live in a country where rule of law is a sacred promise, yet at times, our system does not apply justice in an equitable manner. We still have much work to do and are determined to continue our efforts on behalf of all citizens in the Greater Houston region. While we mourn the tragic death of George Floyd and so many others, we also find space for compassion for all of the families and individuals whose lives have been impacted.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of George Floyd. We are grateful for the courageous actions of bystanders who became upstanders, witnesses that testified, and police officers who told the truth about what they saw.
Our work does not end with this trial. It is only beginning. Accountability is not achieved during one moment in time, as the work of community strengthening is a life-long commitment. We must not become complacent. The YMCA of Greater Houston will continue to work with our partners to advance equity and own our social responsibility in doing better, together. We will continue to strengthen our communities through education by engaging in brave conversations while advocating for those who still do not feel safe.
Here are some ways the YMCA of Greater Houston has begun to address racism and will continue to work toward fulfilling our commitment to equity and inclusion in Houston:
TheYMCA of Greater Houston Equity Innovation Center creates shared spaces for inclusive programs promoting humanity and inclusivity while advancing equity and working toward undoing institutional racism. The Center has hosted virtual experiences and engagement opportunities available to the community.
We have formed an internal Social Equity Advisory Team that includes executive leadership and a diverse representation of our staff team. The group contracts and consults with experts in racial equity to process and address the YMCA of Greater Houston’s systemic racial inequities and provide trainings for all staff and board members. Trainings include implicit bias, dimensions of diversity, cultural lenses, courageous conversations and allyship.
Since July 2020, 20% of the YMCA of Greater Houston full-time staff have engaged in a racial equity institute. We have opportunities for full and part-time staff and have a long-term strategy to train all staff.
We have launched a Youth Changemakers cohort for young people who are ready to be on the frontlines of meaningful, inclusive and lasting change in their local community.
We encourage staff and members of the community to speak up when they see something unjust happening in their community knowing that staying silent could be a matter of life or death and have provided training to our staff members on how to effectively do so.
We are committed to being an anti-racist, welcoming, and inclusive organization to serve all.
The responsibility to advocate for humanity belongs to all of us. We must recognize our own biases and judgements and work towards ensuring inclusivity and liberation for all people.
WE AREN’T JUST SPEAKING CHANGE. WE’RE SPARKING IT.
The Y is continuously fighting the systemic problems that plague Houston. Keep scrolling to get an inside look at some of the ways that the Y has created positive change in our community, and check back to see how the Y continues to be not a place, but a purpose.
YMCA of Greater Houston President & CEO Stephen Ives Appointed Chair of the Newly-Reformed Independent Police Oversight Board (IPOB) by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner
Apr 29, 2021 |
Mayor Turner announced selection during April 29 press conference about the City of Houston’s policing reform investments and organizational improvements […]
Texas State Alliance of YMCAs Partners with Ambetter from Superior HealthPlan to Provide Healthy Choices and Rewards for Ambetter Members
Apr 26, 2021 |
Apr 26, 2021 |
Recently, our President & CEO, Stephen Ives, had the opportunity to be a guest speaker on the Causenetic podcast alongside […]
YMCA of Greater Houston statement in response to the violence towards the Asian and Pacific Islander community
Apr 06, 2021 |
The YMCA of Greater Houston’s commitment to strengthening communities prioritizes the safety and well-being of our staff and community. The YMCA of Greater Houston condemns the hateful and harmful discrimination and violence towards Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities. […]
YMCA of Greater Houston Makes Significant Mark in Houston in 2020
Dec 30, 2020 |
Critical Efforts focused on food distribution, child care, seniors, teens, and addressing racial and social inequities and garnered an $18 […]
YMCA Of Greater Houston Receives Historic Gift From Author And Philanthropist Mackenzie Scott
Dec 15, 2020 |
Gift to accelerate the Y’s innovation and outreach efforts and expand local equity initiatives HOUSTON (December 15, 2020) – The YMCA […]
YMCA Of Greater Houston Hosts 5th Annual Triumph Of The Human Spirit Virtual Art Show And Auction
Nov 30, 2020 |
Art showcase that celebrates the work of refugee and immigrant artists from around the globe who now call Houston home […]
YMCA Of Greater Houston Receives Additional Funding To Provide Child Care For Essential Personnel On The Front Lines In The Battle Against Covid-19
Nov 09, 2020 |
Programs provide free tuition to help families in need get back to work HOUSTON (November 9, 2020) – In response to […]
YMCA Of Greater Houston Hosts ‘Five Days Of Action’ Awareness Building Initiative To Combat Childhood Sexual Abuse
Oct 30, 2020 |
The weeklong initiative kicks off Oct. 26-30 and features a no cost training, resources and call-to-actions encouraging Houstonians to protect […]
Oct 12, 2020 |
Capital One’s Impact Initiative to Catalyze Economic Growth in Houston New commitments with Change Happens! and the YMCA of Greater […]