Why DEI? YIPA believes that youth work is social justice work.
Our mission is rooted in equity. This is our just cause.


Belonging – We believe belonging is about building community that reflects diversity, expects equity, and welcomes all to participate, engage, network, and collaborate.

Perseverance – We recognize the challenge of bringing about systemic change may seem an insurmountable task. But if each of us does whatever we can, no matter how small, collectively we all make progress. We will do our part and support others in doing their part.

Fairness – We recognize that not everyone is in the same place in their understanding of equity. We value all diversity and strive for the highest level of inclusion with our team, our board members, and all our association members. Our trainings will be welcoming and accessible to all, recognizing and honoring the fundamental value and dignity of all youth workers and young people. We will provide diverse, intentional, and relevant training content that celebrates the full range of youth work.

Disrupting Status Quo – We are committed to intentionally working to recognize and unlearn systemic norms that support inequality. As antiracist and social justice champions, we advocate for all youth all the time. We seek learning and development opportunities for ourselves and all our association members.

Empathy – We understand that empathy is key to supporting healthy and meaningful dialogue about DEI. By putting ourselves in others’ shoes, we rightly center their perspectives. Empathy helps us bring others along in this journey no matter where they’re starting from, with no shaming or blaming.

Learning – We accept that we have much to learn and unlearn to become effective change agents for achieving equity. It is a life-long process for everyone so we will provide resources to raise awareness about equity challenges and opportunities. Our team and board members will participate in DEI training on racial and gender justice annually.

Accountability – We commit to holding ourselves and each other responsible for prioritizing DEI practices throughout our organization, in everything we do. We will conduct an annual review of our progress.

Transparency – We will openly communicate actionable goals, measure, and report our progress toward those goals.

Please join us in working to make YIPA a community where everyone is welcome, everyone is respected, everyone belongs.