Diversity and My Inclusion Resolution

YMCA Logo

Good Morning!

This week’s Teen Resource, the YMCA, had an action item for us to complete. To write an Inclusion Resolution.

Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity is understanding that there are differences between people. When we talk about diversity and inclusion, we are making strides to include people who may be different from us. By creating our own Inclusion Resolution, we are coming up with a way we are able to include those who are different from us and make the committment to do it.

My Inclusion Resolution

I talked about writing one in my post this week. So, I went to the website, printed off the template and filled it out. See the picture of it below

My resolution includes,

Being open to learning about others and understanding their stories.

Reading more about others who are different from me.

Writing about their story and sharing it on my blog.

That’s the inclusion resolution I made. If you would like to make one of your own, follow this link to the YMCA and download a copy of the Y’s Inclusion Resolution template. Fill it out and share it on your social media profiles.

We can all do a better job of embracing people who are different from ourselves by,

  • Reaching out to others.
  • Starting conversations.
  • Taking the time to listen and learn.

Want to learn more about the YMCA?

If you want to learn more about the YMCA and what they can do for teens and the community, here is a link to my most recent blog post. Teen Resource – YMCA

What will you do to include more diversity in your life? Let me know in the comments below.

Teen Resource – YMCA

Teen Resource - YMCA labeling

Good Morning! Here’s the Monday Morning Blog!

How was your week? Our oldest son left on a trip to Arizona on Saturday, so we are down to one young adult for the next couple of weeks. It will be a fun trip for our oldest while we’ll enjoy some one-on-one time with our youngest.

Black History Month

Black History Month

February is Black History Month. The posts this month are focusing on leaders, issues and pioneers who have had an effect on the history of the different races in our country. The teen resource I am featuring today is no exception. The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) is a worldwide youth organization that helped create Black History Month.

Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA)

According to YMCA.Net, the YMCA (also known as the Y) was founded by George Williams and eleven of his friends in London in 1844. It started as a refuge of Bible study and prayer for young men seeking refuge from the hazards of life on the streets.

The first YMCA in the United States was founded by Thomas Valentine Sullivan. He was a retired Boston sea captain who was working as a marine missionary. He noticed a need to create a safe “home away from home” for sailors and merchants. Now there are more than 2700 locations nationally.

Their Mission

Their committment is to Make a Better Us. How do they do that?

For Youth Development – Empowering young people to reach their full potential

For Healthy Living – Improving individual and community well being

For Social Responsibility – Giving back and inspiring action in our communities

Diversity and Inclusion

In my Teen Challenge – Respecting Diversity and Inclusion post earlier this month, I talked about the Respect Diversity Foundation and their “Different & The Same” program. The YMCA also has a commitment to Inclusion by offering opportunities for people from all walks of life to reach their full potential.

Have you thought about ways to improve Inclusion of diversity in your life? The Y has a way for us to do just that by declaring our Inclusion Resolution for this year. Head over to the YMCA Diversity and Inclusion page and dowload the Y’s Inclusion Resolution Template to declare how you will be more inclusive of others this year. Share your committment on your social media and include the hash tags #BeCauseY and #YForAll. I will share my committment later this week, so be sure to check back.

How Black History Month and the YMCA are connected

Carter G. Woodson

According to an article written by the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, in 1915, Carter G. Woodson arrived in Chicago to attend a celebration of the 50th anniversary of emancipation of Black Americans. The three week celebration included exhibits which highlighted the progress their people had made since the end of slavery. Woodson and a small group of people met at the Wabash Avenue YMCA and formed the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). This group created Negro History and Literature Week which would evolve into Black History Month.

YMCA as a Teen Resource

In their committment to Make a Better Us, the YMCA offers many Youth Development programs. They are set up to nurture the potential of all kids and teens.

  • Camps
  • Child Care
  • Education and Leadership
  • Food Programs
  • STEM
  • Swim, Sports and Play

Do you know about the YMCA? Do you know of one near you? Please let me know in the comments below. If you don’t know for sure, you can check on their website Find Your Y. With COVID guidelines, the Y is offering as many programs as they can with everyones health and safety being the first priority. If you find a program you want to get involved in, be sure to contact your local Y and see how they may be offering it.

Deep Valley Book Festival

Looking for a book festival? It’s hard to find one to attend in person. How about attending one virtually? I have just the one for you. The Deep Valley Book Festival will be taking place online March 6-7, 2021 in their Cabin Fever edition.

I will have an author page and The Hard Way will be available for purchase! Be sure to check it out.

Deep Valley Book Festival

Have a great week!

Black History Month 2016 – Carter G. Woodson

After focusing on libraries, I decided to change the focus of the blog for this month. What a better topic than Black History Month, which along with Valentine’s Day, is what February is known for.

I discovered an interesting story about the origin of Black History Month. According to Wikipedia, Black History Month was originally called “Negro History Week”. It was created in 1926 by an historian by the name of Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. The second week of February was picked since it was when the birthdays of former president Abraham Lincoln (February 12th) and abolitionist Frederick Douglass (February 14th) would traditionally fall on the calendar. These two important dates were celebrated together by the black community since the late 19th century.

Carter G. Woodson has been called the Father of black history because he was one of the first scholars to have studied and published journals and books on the subject. He was the son of two former slaves and his father, James, helped Union soldiers during the Civil War. James moved his family from Virginia to West Virginia upon hearing the news that they were building schools for blacks to attend there.

Carter was one of seven children from a poor family and had to instruct himself in common school subjects. He mastered them all by the age of 17. Since he had to work to help provide for his family, he couldn’t focus on getting more education until he saved some money of his own. He entered Douglass High School at the age of 20 and earned his diploma at age 22. He went on to become a teacher and worked his way up to principal at Douglass High School in 1900. While working in the education field, he founded Associated Publishers in 1920, which is the oldest African-American publishing company in the United States.

According to Wikipedia, Woodson believed that education and creating social and professional contacts among blacks and whites could reduce racism. He promoted the organized study of African-American history partly for that purpose. I think he has a great vision here. The more personal knowledge that we have about people we work and deal with, the easier it is to talk about things that aren’t working and work together to try and make them better. It might be a good way to open communication and bring all of us Americans together as one nation.

He dedicated his life to education and furthering the knowledge of the Negro in American and World History. So dedicated in fact, he never married or had any children of his own. Dorothy Porter Wesley, was an African American librarian, bibliographer and curator. She was known for building the research collection at the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at Howard University into a world class one. She said about Woodson’s dedication to his work, “Woodson would wrap up his publications, take them to the post office and have dinner at the YMCA.” He would teasingly decline her dinner invitations saying, “No, you are trying to marry me off. I am married to my work”.

In recognition of his contributions to Black History, he has many places named after him throughout the United States including The Woodson Institute for Student Excellence, a public charter school here in Minneapolis.

When I was brainstorming the theme for February’s blogging, I originally thought that I’d focus on black women. But after starting my research into Black History Month, I think I’m going to open my mind and change my idea to look at all of the people that we are recognizing this month. With my experience on the first blog, it looks like I may find some interesting people to write about on this writing journey.