Of the two extant “Y’s,” the YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) has generally been seen as more socially minded, with decades-old explicit guidelines around social justice goals and a mission that vows to “eradicate racism by any means necessary.” But now, the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) is stepping forward with the Biden Foundation to announce a three-year program to boost LGBTQ inclusion in programs throughout the nation.
The program, which will inaugurate a dedicated new staff position at the Y, will have a local focus, working with families and through community outreach, as well as directly with the LGBTQ community. Pilot programs will launch in select Y’s, with an eye to scale up across the nation. (Currently, the 2,700 YMCAs in the US serve 22 million adults and children.) Funding from the Gill Foundation and the David Bohnett Foundation will help support the initiative.