Greater than the Sum

Here at the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City, we work hard to not just talk the talk of our “for all” mission, but to walk lockstep with it. We seek to ensure people of all backgrounds can access the Y and feel welcomed, including those in the LGBTQ+ community. We recognize that there has been […]

A Place to Call Home

Written by Shade Jalo “Everyone should have a space where they feel like they are included, visible, and valued. We have to be that space, especially for those who may not have that anywhere else.” As we march through Pride month, this particular line from our Summer Day Camp Diversity and Inclusion training really hits […]

Home Is Where the Heart Is

Just before North Side YMCA member Hisham Kanaa was born, his uncle, Nazih Zuhdi, M.D., emigrated from Lebanon to the United States; a move that would profoundly shape the future of their family and countless others in the world. Dr. Zuhdi arrived on a mission to build upon his medical training. His specialized education would […]

MONDAY MORNING JOE: A Quick Introduction

THE VERY FIRST EDITION: July 11 Hi, I’m Joe Kendrick and I am the new Executive Director of Christian Mission. I’m not a mind reader but I do know what you’re thinking. What does that mean, exactly? It means quite a few things but most of all, it means I am here to support you. […]

Hungry for Summer Vacation or Just Hungry?

When you think of summer vacation, you may think of swimming pools, popsicles, and fun evening barbecues. After all, our kids are excited to be out of school and partaking in the worry-free summer fun, right? Unfortunately for many kids in our state, that just isn’t the case. Instead of being filled with energy and […]

LGBTQ+ Identity, Child Development and How We Move Forward

LGBTQ+ IDENTITY THROUGH THE LENS OF CHILD DEVELOPMENT Anytime legislation is being discussed in the news and the impacted group doesn’t have a voice, it gives me some pause. The groups that seem to be removed from tough conversations around LGBTQ+ youth are probably the ones that matter most, such as Child Development professionals, education […]

How to Be Welcoming and Affirming In Your Community

It’s increasingly important that more and more spaces are places where LGBTQ+ individuals can feel accepted, seen, and loved. Many people want to provide that safe space, but they aren’t quite sure how to go about it. Today, I want to share some tips on how to be a welcoming and affirming individual. TIPS FOR […]

The Importance of Welcoming and Affirming Spaces

Written by Shade Jalo Last year, I wrote about what it means to be a gay young man working for the YMCA. I discussed how it had grown to become a home and family for me. It was easy to discuss something of that nature, but I think this year’s post might be a little […]

What Are You Doing for Others?

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The year was 1957, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was speaking to an audience in Montgomery, Alabama. He challenged the people who had come to see him speak to consider their impact on their communities, […]