A Safe Place for All
“Inclusion is in our DNA.” That’s what our banner at the Buffalo Grove Pinta Pride Parade last weekend read. Staff from across the agency walked alongside the Apachi Day Camp and Camp Chi bus proudly wearing this year’s Pride t-shirts and waving to a crowd that was thrilled to see the J en route.
At the J, inclusion practices are at our very core. We pride ourselves in providing a safe space to all, where everyone feels a sense of belonging. Our littlest learners are taught to love and accept from day one, learning about the world around them and celebrating kindness every day. Programs focused on understanding and inclusivity are open to community members of all ages, recognizing that we are all always learning. This essential value is also seen online where our website and social media pages are accessible to all. JCC Chicago is built on the belief that everyone benefits when everyone is part of our community.
While we always seek to make our spaces more inclusive, there is also more that we can do. Recently, we shared with all agency staff how to add pronouns to their email signatures. While not mandatory, we know that it is important and believe in sharing the why so everyone can make an informed decision. You may have heard about identifying pronouns through your school, workplace or in the news, if you’re unfamiliar with why listing pronouns is important, you can learn more about these efforts here.
JCC Chicago Inclusion Coordinator Rena Rosen shares the importance of being an ally to the LGBTQIA+ community, “With growing research showing that members of the LGBTQIA+ community are at a higher risk for experiencing mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, it is important to take steps towards creating safe spaces. Sharing our pronouns is a great way to help foster this safe space and allows others to feel like they belong.”
This month and all year long, we are excited to continue these efforts and we hope you’ll join us in our allyship. Take a moment to learn more about the history of Pride and… Save The Date! JCC Chicago is walking in the Chicago Pride Parade on Sun., June 26 at Noon. Come out and support our incredible, diverse community!