YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City

Monday Morning Joe: Pride Takeover

Kind. Dependable. Dedicated. Friendly. Changemaker.  These words truly reflect the character of Shade, Senior Program Director at the Midwest City YMCA. Shade’s Y journey began all the way up in Anchorage, Alaska back in 2008 where he was a Before and After School Care Counselor. Since joining the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City in 2010, […]

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 […]

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 […]

We Wear Blue on April 1

This April, we recognize National Child Abuse Prevention Month, an initiative rooted in communities working together to serve children and their families in meaningful, impactful ways that provide families what they need to thrive, even throughout adversity. Last year, an estimated 618,000 children were found to be victims of child abuse or neglect nationwide.  The […]