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Young people make Vermont better. This core tenet of our mission reflects our belief that Vermont and its communities are at their strongest when all voices—inclusive of every dimension of diversity, and most especially the voices of youth—are nourished, uplifted, and empowered.

In service to these values of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI), our staff and board have pledged a continuous commitment of our collective time and resources to challenging the systems, services, and policies—both internally and throughout the third-space realm—that have created inequitable, oppressive, and disparate opportunities for historically marginalized communities.

We recognize that the commitment to these JEDI values is ongoing and requires us to be intentional, socially-responsive, and ever-evolving in our efforts. Through the following actions, we will continuously strive to become a reflection of the children, families, professionals, and communities we serve and support, as well as be a guiding light for those seeking to dismantle immediate and systemic inequities:

• Creating an internal culture of cross-collaborative teams that support and hold one another accountable in our JEDI visioning and goals.

• Collaborating with new and existing partnerships dedicated to serving marginalized communities in order to foster our ongoing JEDI efforts.

• Revising organization’s internal and external language—mission statement, values, policy and professional development offerings, job postings, talking points, and all other communication materials—to be accessible and inclusive.

• Implementing transparent policies—budget, salaries, hiring process—informed by internal and external feedback to ensure accountability.

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• Updating our hiring processes to facilitate increased diversity of our staff and board.

• Providing equitable, accessible, and diverse avenues for feedback to ensure that our programs and policies are informed by our statewide network of youth, families, grantees, members, partners, and stakeholders.

• Measuring our overall JEDI impact—including how our procedures and policies increase access to programs, initiatives, and opportunities—to encourage continued growth and adaptation.

• Supporting the efforts of individuals, programs, and communities to dismantle inequities through trainings, workshops, and other learning opportunities in service of creating welcoming and inclusive environments.

• Structuring our member benefits in consideration of their diverse needs and facilitating opportunities for them to inform our efforts so that we can become fully equipped to support their work.

• Advocating for non-competitive and less-restrictive grant opportunities for afterschool and summer programs to ensure a more equitable distribution of funding state-wide.

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