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City Year promotes welcoming spaces

In honor of National Coming Out Day, City Year is reasserting our desire to create welcoming spaces where we work and serve for all members of our community. These spaces include City Year Headquarters, our 29 U.S. sites, and the 250 schools where our AmeriCorps members serve every day alongside partner teachers to support student growth and development.

As part of the organization’s work to deepen and expand our commitment to diversity, belonging, inclusion and equity (DBIE), and in recognition of the extraordinary legislative measures being taken against people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, two-spirit, transgender, queer & questioning, intersex, asexual, pansexual, and nonbinary, City Year’s Office of Equity is launching the Welcoming Certification Program.

This program, rolling out this fall, is designed to ensure that LGBTTQIAP+ corps and staff feel safe, supported, and affirmed at our 29 U.S. sites.

City Year launches new welcoming program

“City Year is grateful and proud to serve students in school districts across the country and we believe that our diversity is one of our greatest assets as an organization and as a nation,” said Chief Equity Officer Stephen Spaloss.

“The City Year community is diverse in many ways—racially, ethnically, geographically, socio-economically, and in terms of gender and sexual orientation—just like the general population,” Spaloss said.

The Welcoming Certification Program includes professional development components; designed collateral for City Year spaces to provide visual cues that all identities are welcome and supported; staff support and site equity point people who corps and staff can reach out to when facing challenges or with a question; affinity group resources that provide chances for connection and information sharing; and community engagement, such as lists of local businesses and organizations that are LBGTTQIAP+ friendly.

“We want to ensure that all City Year corps and staff have a positive experience working at City Year and serving students in schools,” Spaloss said. “We continue to make progress in creating welcoming and equitable spaces for our community and supporting engaging and joyful learning environments where everyone in the schoolhouse can feel a sense of connection and belonging—both students and the adults who work with them.”

The Office of Equity is planning a series of events to spread the word about the new initiative and share details with City Year sites about the steps involved to our community over the next several months.

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