Two black men sharing affection with a gentle touch on the shoulder and face

Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity

Our Goals:

  • To ensure the YMCA of Greater Toronto is intentionally anti-racist, and makes continued efforts to dismantle anti-Black racism.
  • To ensure the YMCA of Greater Toronto is intentionally racially and culturally diverse.
  • To ensure the development of consistent equitable practices, programs and education that address inequities related to race, ethnicity, religion and intersecting identities.

Addressing racism-reinforcing systems of White privilege at the Y is part of this work. We aim to ensure no one, including racialized people, upholds or reinforces these systems. In its Recognition statement regarding the International Decade for People of African Descent, the United Nations calls on states to “remove all obstacles that prevent the equal enjoyment of all human rights, economic, social, cultural, civil and political, including the right to development” for people of African descent. Through the Y’s work, we can respond to this call by acting on our commitment to dismantle anti-Black racism; providing ongoing support for existing programs that address anti-Black racism; and developing new initiatives with Black communities at the Y and in the GTA. At the YMCA we put an emphasized focus on anti-Black racism because of the pervasiveness and consistent experience of this type of discrimination that is present globally and in the GTA. By understanding how anti-Black racism exists within our society and learning to dismantle it, we are better equipped to dismantle all types of racism. To learn more about this work please see the Y’s regular updates on dismantling anti-Black racism.

An example of the Y's equity programming under the focus area is the Black Achievers Mentorship Program, a program designed and offered by the YMCA specifically for Black youth to address barriers stemming from Anti-Black Racism.

It’s important to note that in the GTA specifically, increased expressions of anti-Asian hate – including those resulting from COVID-19-related discrimination – need to be addressed through action at the Y. We’re committed to identifying and addressing barriers across the Y that limit full participation by Asian people. Our approach will centre the voices and experiences of Asian folks of all ages within the Y and in the wider community.

If you’d like to learn more about anti-racism and cultural diversity work at the Y, please contact