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Building toward a diverse, inclusive and equitable culture

As we strive to become an anti-racist organization, City Year commits to being an organization that actively promotes diversity, inclusivity, and equity, ensuring that everyone in our community experiences a deep sense of belonging.

How we’re building diversity, belonging, inclusion and equity at City Year

Through equity checks, job role reviews, and by working with partners we aim to understand not just where we are but to set goals for what we need to do to actualize our vision. Ultimately, we want a diverse workforce at all levels and make sure we have supports and structures in place that equitably promote, retain, develop, and engage members of our community.

We understand that in order for organizational improvements to be made, we must encourage our staff and our corps to grow in their personal anti-racism journeys as well. To guide us in this work, we’ve established a National Equity Advisory Council and Office of Equity. They’re leading and designing learning series where staff and corps can explore equity, unpack systemic racism and discuss how what they’re learning impacts their work.

Additionally, we’ve established affinity groups to create safe spaces for continued learning and support.

Our Why

City Year was built on the belief that uniting and empowering diverse teams of idealistic young people and charging them with solving some of our country’s most difficult challenges can change the world for the better.

Our anti-racist journey over the past thirty years has taken many forms, but we continue to learn and evolve along the way. We haven’t always hit the mark. While we still have a lot of work to do to get it right, the passion, courage, and commitment of members of our community continue to push the organization to deepen its understanding and practice of this work.

At our core, the importance of diversity, belonging, inclusivity, and equity (DBIE) is and has been our foundational values. We know this takes ongoing courage, commitment, and discipline from all members of our City Year community.

Our Work

With focus on students and schools, DBIE is not only fundamental to our values, it is critical for our mission. Our AmeriCorps members work to address educational inequity in diverse teams deployed to classrooms across the country.

And while City Year commits to promoting DBIE across all dimensions of identity, we are prioritizing our focus on racial and ethnic identity as it is critical for us to achieve our mission and vision.

Issues of societal inequity manifest because of inequitable access to educational opportunities. For example, students with needs that approach crisis-levels as a result of concentrated poverty and other factors comprise 20% of most urban schools, whereas they comprise 29% of the schools that City Year serves, nearly 1.5x the national average[i].

Research shows that children living in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty experience more trauma and graduate high school at rates that are nearly 22 percentage points lower than their middle/upper-income peers. Yet districts serving the largest populations of low-income, and Black and Latinx students receive significantly less state and local funding. Unequal access to opportunity along lines of race, class, gender, and other aspects of identity has deep roots in both our country and our education system.


[i] Some states define economically disadvantaged by the percent of students eligible for free or reduced price lunch. Some states define it as students who are receiving certain state-administered benefits. Typical urban school data from PEAR institute partner schools (n=5192); City Year data from HSA results from students in grades 6-8 from Boston, Los Angeles and Columbus (n=246).

Explore our equity work

City Year AmeriCorps members ready to work with students
Equity May 24th, 2021

Get ready to put your digital #NosesOn to help Red Nose Day raise funds that support students, teachers and AmeriCorps…

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City Year morning greeting hands in
Equity October 8th, 2020

City Year is committed to becoming an anti-racist organization as part of our ongoing efforts to center diversity, belonging, inclusion…

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close up of student writing a math assignment
Education August 31st, 2020

An equity-based approach to research matters because it ensures that the research will benefit everyone. At a moment when education…

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