City Year’s core values represent the deepest beliefs and highest aspirations of the organization and mission.
Every day we strive to ensure that these values reflect our culture of idealism, inspire our actions, and inform our decisions. In October, the City Year Milwaukee site centered on the core value of inclusivity.
What does Inclusivity mean to City Year?
We embrace differences as strengths that magnify our capacity to achieve shared goals. Inclusivity involves more than the celebration of diversity. It means actively embracing differences as vital assets that enrich our community, spur transformation, and strengthen the ability to make a positive impact. To be inclusive at City Year is to create the strongest force for good from the most diverse membership possible. Inclusivity informs how we engage young people in our service, as well as our commitment to engage partners from across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in an effort to address pressing public problems. Every day, we inspire to create a unique culture that makes all feel welcome, valued, empowered and engaged.
How do we put inclusivity to play at Milwaukee Public Schools' Hopkins Lloyd Community School?
Because the M&I Foundation team at Hopkins Lloyd Community School was purposely assembled as a diverse group, we are uniquely positioned to solve a wide variety of problems. Before coming to City Year, members from our team have tutored English in Africa and physics in Florida, started a Gay Straight Alliance at an MPS high school, and mentored ballroom dancers in Connecticut. Some team members are products of Milwaukee Public Schools, and others are from across the country. We intentionally draw on these talents to have the best possible impact. For instance, because AmeriCorps member Kia Semons-Booker was involved with her high school's debate team, she helps lead debate practices in the after school program at Hopkins Lloyd.
We strive to create inclusive environments in City Year tutoring and after school spaces. We do this by drawing on City Year culture pieces like spirit breaks, which powerfully unify students by bringing them together for a motivational cheer at the end of every session, and NOSTUESO (No One Speaks Twice Until Everyone Speaks Once). We also draw on the unique talents and interests of our students to generate the best learning for everyone.
By focusing on inclusivity within the team and between our students, we strive to create a more powerful impact on the lives of our students.
Written by Ryan Birschbach, City Year Milwaukee AmeriCorps Member serving on the M&I Foundation Team at Hopkins Lloyd Community School