Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


What is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

Diversity refers to the full range of human differences.

Workplace diversity is the understanding, acceptance, and value that is placed on the differences between co-workers. These differences may include but aren’t limited to:

  • Race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, physical ability or attributes
  • Education, personality, skill, experience, knowledge
  • Inclusion is the environment that you create in order to collaborate, support, and respect these differences.

Our Commitment to DEI

Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is an integral part of our values and mission. We embrace and encourage DEI and seek it across the organization and within our Network. And we strongly believe in the value of inclusiveness in the workplace. We are committed to providing an environment of fairness and equitable treatment for everyone. We believe it is important to embrace individual uniqueness, which brings creativity, differing points of view, and vitality to our workplace.


Companies with a diverse workforce are 35 percent more likely to outperform those without diversity initiatives. (source)

In the United States, there is a linear relationship between racial and ethnic diversity and better financial performance: for every 10 percent increase in racial and ethnic diversity on the senior-executive team, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rise 0.8 percent. (source)

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of America's (BBBSA) LGBTQ Youth Mentoring Enhancement Initiative, funded by the Altria Group, is a national pilot that began in 2016 with five BBBS agencies. In 2017 we expanded to 20 agencies. Working with intentionality, our goals include enhancing awareness of LGBTQ-focused issues and best practices through training and guidance; and integrating LGBTQ-informed mentoring practices, policies and procedures, as well as, anti-bullying, self advocacy, identity exploration into our programming across the BBBS network.



In 2019, the National Football League Foundation selected Big Brothers Big Sisters of America as a recipient of their Social Justice Grant.  Attracted by our bold new brand, the Foundation learned of our network’s overwhelming need for more male mentors and our work to attract more volunteers who may have been involved with the justice system in the past.  The NFL Foundation awarded Big Brothers Big Sisters of America $1 million to grow or expand programs that involved police officers as Bigs (Bigs in Blue/Bigs with Badges), could attract more male volunteers (Sports Buddies), or would help youth affected by familial incarceration (Children with an Incarcerated Family Member).  Thirty Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies are involved in this grant, though all agencies have benefited from the Foundation’s investment in our recruitment collateral.



Bigs in BlueSM (BIB) and Bigs with BadgesSM (BWB) are programs focused on building relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve.  The term BIB refers exclusively to matches that include a Big who works or has worked in law enforcement for a police department.  BWB is a broader term that encompasses matches with Bigs who work or have worked for any law enforcement agency.  The BIB/BWB programs vary depending on the priorities, resources, and needs of local communities and share the same goal of strengthening relationships between police and communities through one-to-one mentoring relationships.

Results from pre- and post-surveys with officers and youth show the program has the potential to improve perceptions of law enforcement in the eyes of our Littles.  Our Bigs are also reporting a greater understanding of their community’s needs and youth through their involvement in the program.

Presently, 100 agencies have active Bigs in Blue or Bigs with Badges programs, serving more than 1,300 matches.


DEI Champions Committee List 

Hillary Bardwell - BBBSA, Foundation Grants

Louis Garcia - BBBSA, Agency Support

Tanya Gibson - BBBSA, HR

Eve Hemby - BBBSA, Fund Development

Melissa Hutchins - BBBSA, Training

Jessica Mitchell - BBBSA, Foundation Grants

Julie Novak - BBBSA, Youth Protection

Akua Opoku - BBBSA, Fund Development

Yazmyn Presley - BBBSA, Marketing

Hannah Schell - BBBSA, HR

Michael Shaw - BBBSA, Agency Support

Daleska Siroki - BBBSA, Executive

Shonda Sterner - BBBSA, Executive

Susan Wilkins - BBBSA, Fund Development

Marcia Wynn - BBBSA, Fund Development



NLC DEI Committee Members List

Pam Iorio, BBBSA President & CEO

Tanya Gibson, DEI Liaison - BBBSA, VP, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & HR

Marcus Allen, co-chair - BBBS of Independence, CEO

Gale Nelson, co-chair - BBBS of Miami, CEO

Rebecca Ackerman - BBBS of Middle Tennessee, VP, Programs

Hillary Bardwell - BBBSA, Director, Foundation Grants

Mandy Bisceglia - BBBSA, Chief Agency Officer

Louis Garcia - BBBSA, Agency Support

Bobbi Jo Ortiz - BBBS of El Paso, Executive Officer

Linda Siegle - BBBS of the Mountain Region, Board Member

Harlan Stallings - BBBS of Northeast Florida, Director, Volunteer Recruitment

Jeri Swinton - BBBS of Kentuckiana, CEO

Adam Vasallo - BBBSA, Chief Development Officer

Steve Vassor - Campaign for Black Male Achievement, VP, Membership

Other Ways to Get Involved

Whether you get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters as a donor, potential Big Brother or Big Sister, partner, advocate, or family member, you have the power to change a child's future for the better.