Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council

Diversity Equality hero image

In addition to the very real, necessary work of promoting gender and social inclusion in our programs with young people, we at the International Youth Foundation know that meaningful, long-lasting change requires looking inward, too. We're committed to advancing social inclusion ideals and goals within our organization and how we operate. To drive continual progress externally and internally, we have established a staff Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council.

With a commitment to being locally led, the council collaborates with staff from around the world. As a global institution, IYF relies on local insights into diversity and inclusion priorities on the ground, which we know can vary greatly among cities, countries, and regions.

"I joined the DEI council so I could bring a new perspective to IYF as a South Asian American and be an active participant in change. The council presented a safe space for us to discuss ideas, learn about people’s backgrounds, and implement change- all while collaborating with fellow IYF’ers from all over the world. I’m glad that at IYF conversations about race and equality are encouraged."

Manpreet Dhanjal, Global Finance Coordinator, DEI Council Member

Four Pillars of Focus

To give structure to this far-reaching work and begin tackling these challenges, the DEI Council has identified four areas of focus that include external and internal objectives:

  1. People & Culture: This pillar supports the development and implementation of policies and practices to promote increased diversity and inclusion among staff by elevating and celebrating diverse voices, backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences.
  2. Programs: The Programs pillar supports the design and implementation of inclusive programming and products, promotes adherence to IYF's Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) Approach and policy guidelines, and engages staff with inclusive development expertise to ensure greater access and equity for historically excluded or disenfranchised youth populations.
  3. Education: The Education pillar supports cultural competency, antiracism, equity, and inclusion within the organization. Pillar co-leads spearhead a team to help identify training and learning opportunities to cultivate DEI-centered skills and techniques for maintaining an inclusive workplace.
  4. Communications: With support from all staff, the Communications pillar co-leads work with IYF’s Marketing & Communications team to communicate IYF’s work and thought leadership with increased consideration and use of language and focus on diversity and inclusion.

"The council helps IYF maintain a DEI perspective in everything we do. One of the biggest challenges we face is finding global DEI solutions since the contexts and needs of each region are very different. I enjoy being part of the council because it is composed of IYF staff from all over the world and from all types of contexts, which helps us to have a broader perspective about the DEI issues young people all around the world are facing."

Ana Sigala, Program Coordinator, DEI Council Member

New Internship Program

With a focus on ensuring equity of access for all young people and increasing the percentages of BIPOC staff at all levels, IYF implemented an internship program to further these efforts. Fall 2021 saw the launch of IYF’s initial pilot program. Learn more here.

Reports and Blog Posts


Tools and Resources

"Ensuring everyone has a seat at the table benefits all. Recognizing the value of diversity, elevating the voices and contributions of those who come from underprivileged backgrounds while providing them with opportunities will move us forward and make us stronger."

—Council Founder Luis Quiñ​ones

To learn more about DEI at IYF, please contact the DEI Council at [email protected].