Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA), the largest and most experienced youth mentoring organization in the United States, announced its inaugural Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Council, to support the organization’s long-standing commitment to empower all young people. The group made up of business and nonprofit leaders and experts, will bring their expertise and compassion to BBBSA to cultivate strategies, curate concepts, and advise on JEDI issues affecting youth, staff, volunteers, and communities across the country.
Ensuring the opportunity for all voices and perspectives to be heard and honored is an integral part of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ values and mission. The formation of this cohort is part of BBBSA’s responsibility to create a nondiscriminatory and anti-racist approach to dismantle any inequities within its policies, systems, programs, and services, so all young people can experience a strong mentoring relationship in their lives.
The JEDI Council is comprised of selected experts and leaders in, and allies of, diverse communities, including BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), LGBTQ, higher education, including Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Greek letter organizations, and representatives from government, healthcare, and mental health institutions.
BBBSA will work with this council on recommendations to enhance policies and practices to create more equitable outcomes for the Big Brothers Big Sisters workforce and young people, as well as assist with the creation of surveys, training and curriculum materials and tools for volunteers, mentors, and staff.
In addition, members will participate in BBBSA’s webinar series, Race, Relationships, and Resources, a series of conversations providing diverse perspectives on issues related to young people and innovative solutions to empower their futures.
The members of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America JEDI Council include:
- Jana Brown, co-chair, EVP, Chief Human Resource Officer, Centurion Health
- Sadiq Ali, MENTOR, Maryland | DC Executive Director
- Sonia Aranza, CEO, Global Diversity & Inclusion Strategist, Aranza Cross Cultural Strategies
- Zyahna Bryant, Student, activist, community organizer
- Christine Cariño, Founder, Managing Partner, Conscious Thrive Consulting
- Dr. Nia Imani Fields, Maryland 4-H Program Leader and Assistant Director of Extension
- Edwin M. Green, Jr., Ed.D., MSW, Executive Director of The 413 Center, Inc.
- Jared Karol, Author, upcoming book entitled A White Guy Confronting Racism an Invitation to Reflect and Act
- Roberto Rivera, CEO, Alliance for the 7th Generation
- JT Saunders, Chief Diversity Officer, Korn Ferry
“We are an organization born out of the justice system, to create equity for youth, bringing together diverse communities, so that all kids can feel included for the promise of opportunity and a better life,” said Artis Stevens, President and CEO, of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. “But it’s not enough to say we are committed to JEDI. We must work intentionally and diligently to bring about change in our organization and our communities. Having the insight and expertise of our JEDI Council allows us to continue to evolve to meet kids and communities where they are. I’m grateful for this group of leaders and their commitment to ensuring Big Brothers Big Sisters is the most diverse, mission-driven, youth empowerment organization.”
To learn more about Big Brothers of America’s JEDI Council visit https://www.bbbs.org/justice-equity-diversity-inclusion/.