Diverse group of matches

JEDI: Building Stronger Communities

At Big Brothers Big Sisters, our mission has always been to ignite the inherent potential in every child. Central to this mission is our unwavering commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI). These principles are not just buzzwords; they are the foundation upon which we build relationships, inspire growth, and foster communities that are inclusive and equitable for all.

Understanding JEDI: A Pillar of Our Mission

Justice in our context means ensuring that every child and family we serve has access to opportunities and resources that allow them to thrive. We work to identify and dismantle systemic barriers that disproportionately affect marginalized communities. By advocating for fair policies and practices, we strive to create an environment where justice prevails and every individual is treated with dignity and respect.

Equity goes hand in hand with justice. It involves recognizing the unique circumstances and challenges that different individuals face and providing tailored support to meet their needs. We understand that equity is not about treating everyone the same but about leveling the playing field so that everyone has a fair chance to succeed. This principle guides our programming, outreach, and the support we provide to our Bigs (mentors) and Littles (mentees).

Diversity is celebrated and valued at Big Brothers Big Sisters. We recognize that diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives enrich our community. By embracing diversity, we foster creativity, innovation, and understanding. Our efforts to promote diversity are reflected in our recruitment practices, mentor-mentee matching process, and the inclusive environments we create for our events and activities.

Inclusion ensures that everyone feels welcome, respected, and valued. An inclusive environment is one where differences are not just tolerated but celebrated. We strive to create spaces where all voices are heard, and everyone feels a sense of belonging. Inclusion is about actively involving diverse individuals in decision-making processes and recognizing the contributions of all community members.

The Importance of JEDI in Our Program and Our World

JEDI initiatives are crucial in building stronger, more resilient communities. When we promote justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, we create a foundation for mutual respect and understanding. This, in turn, leads to healthier relationships and more cohesive communities. By supporting our Littles and Bigs through a JEDI lens, we are contributing to a society where everyone can flourish.

Empowering Youth

For the young people we serve, understanding and experiencing JEDI principles can be life-changing. Our Littles come from diverse backgrounds, and many face significant challenges. By promoting JEDI, we help them develop a strong sense of self-worth, resilience, and the confidence to pursue their dreams. They learn the importance of standing up for justice, embracing diversity, and advocating for inclusion in their own lives and communities.

Creating Lasting Impact

Our commitment to JEDI is not just about immediate change; it’s about creating a lasting impact. By integrating these principles into everything we do, we are helping to shape a future where equity and inclusion are the norms, not the exceptions. Our Littles will carry these values into adulthood, influencing their families, workplaces, and communities. In this way, the ripple effect of our JEDI initiatives extends far beyond our immediate reach.

Moving Forward: Our Commitment to JEDI

As we look to the future, Big Brothers Big Sisters is dedicated to deepening our commitment to JEDI. This involves continuous learning, reflection, and action. We are committed to:

  1. Ongoing Training and Education: Providing our staff, volunteers, and families with the tools and knowledge they need to promote JEDI in their interactions and communities.
  2. Inclusive Programming: Ensuring that our programs are accessible and relevant to all individuals, regardless of their background or circumstances.
  3. Advocacy and Outreach: Working with community partners and stakeholders to advocate for policies and practices that promote justice and equity.

In conclusion, JEDI is more than a framework for Big Brothers Big Sisters; it is a way of life. It is the lens through which we view our work, the compass that guides our actions, and the beacon that lights our path towards a more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive world. Together, we can empower every child to realize their full potential and build a brighter future for all.