Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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.


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

  1. Programs: An experienced work group supports IYF program teams in designing programs and products for delivery to the diverse youth populations we serve. To learn more about this focus area, read about IYF's Gender and Social Inclusion Approach and Policy.
  2. Internal practices and policy: IYF's Finance, Accounting, and IT department is developing human resource policies and institution-wide practices that promote increased diversity and inclusion among staff.
  3. Professional development: This focus area supports the development of trainings and learning opportunities to increase staff cultural competency.
  4. Organizational culture: This D&I Council sub-group works to give staff a platform to share their diverse experiences through celebrations and other inclusive activities. Events have included "Lunch and Learn" panels centered on discussion of Asians in the American workplace, awareness for development organizations serving and employing Black people, and Pride month.
  5. Communications: IYF's Communications team is working to ensure our web presence, publications, and other materials reflect our focus on and the importance of diversity and inclusion, including through the language and images we use and topics we discuss.

To learn more about DEI at IYF, please contact the DEI Council at DEI@iyfnet.org.