WASHINGTON, May 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Biden Foundation and YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) today announced a joint three-year effort to foster LGBTQ inclusion and equity at YMCA locations nationwide. Driven by a shared commitment to ensuring all people are treated with dignity and respect, this collaboration will first establish a pilot cohort of Ys that will develop and implement locally focused strategies designed to engage and support LGBTQ individuals and their families. These strategies may include staff training; member outreach and engagement; program innovation for LGBTQ youth, adults, seniors and families; and community collaborations. In following years, the best practices and tools developed by the cohort will be scaled to reach Ys nationwide.
This new initiative is made possible thanks to generous funding by the Gill Foundation and the David Bohnett Foundation. The Biden Foundation and Y-USA will provide technical support and strategic guidance to Ys, and the initiative will be supported by a Biden Fellow and a new Y-USA staff position dedicated to LGBTQ inclusion.
“The Biden Foundation is committed to changing our culture so that everyone, including LGBTQ people, feel supported and affirmed,” said Louisa Terrell, Executive Director of the Biden Foundation. “We could not ask for better partners in this work than YMCA of the USA, with its history, reach, and impact in communities across America. The Gill Foundation, which has supported innovative strategies to advance LGBTQ equal treatment for decades; and the David Bohnett Foundation, which has invested significant resources in supporting and empowering local LGBTQ communities are equally powerful partners in this work.”