The Y believes that, in a diverse world, we are stronger when we are inclusive, when our doors are open to all and when everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.

The La Crosse Area Family YMCA is made up of people of all ages and from every walk of life working side by side to strengthen our community. Together, we work to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability, age, cultural background, ethnicity, faith, gender, gender identity, ideology, income, national origin, race or sexual orientation, has the opportunity to reach their full potential with dignity. Our core values – caring, honesty, respect and responsibility – guide everything we do.

For more than 160 years, the Y has played a central role in knitting together the vibrant fabric of America. There have been times of peace and times of conflict, times of unity and times of discord. Through it all, the Y has been a safe, welcoming place for people from all backgrounds.


For all is a simple but powerful phrase. Without it, our mission is incomplete. Our commitment to inclusion and diversity creates better individuals, a better community and a better world.

We know that the key to effectively empowering young people to reach their full potential, improving individual and community well-being, and inspiring action in our communities is a passionate, experienced and diverse array of staff, volunteers and members who value what everyone brings to the table. We…

  • Recognize that a diverse and inclusive organization is foundational to developing and engaging everyone across the entire Y spectrum. Our volunteers, members, program participants, families, leaders, staff, vendors, suppliers, donors, collaborators and the community at large all contribute to our efforts to make positive, lasting personal and social change.
  • Believe we all benefit from the unique talents of our diverse staff. We encourage our staff to participate in organizations and groups, which offer opportunities to contribute, learn, network and share experiences as they progress in their careers.
  • Offer Y staff and volunteers professional development and training programs that build key competencies to welcome, engage, serve and advocate for all segments of society.

We are passionate about strengthening communities and know that our ability to achieve it begins with reflecting and partnering with people from all walks of life.


On July 1, 2020, African American CEOs from Y’s across the country hosted a virtual town hall on Unlearning Systemic Racism. Attendees heard from a host of knowledgeable, passionate and influential speakers on the devastating intergenerational impact of racism that leads to deeply embedded misinformation, bias and fear in all of our communities. Together, as staff and volunteers across thousands of communities, we can begin to dismantle the systems designed to divide us and rebuild in order to achieve equity for all. 

Click here to visit the YMCA of the USA webpage, where you will find recordings from each speaker along with links to referenced content (books, films, websites) and additional tools to help you move forward on the path of individual and institutional change.


The terms equity and equality are sometimes used interchangeably, but while these concepts are related, there are also important distinctions between the two. Equality is defined as treating everyone the same, while equity is giving everyone what they need to be successful. Everyone should have the opportunity to be successful and live a fulfilling life.

Unfortunately we don’t all start off in the same situations, or have the same lifestyles, backgrounds, needs and wants. Far too many people, especially those in underserved groups and communities, lack equal access to resources, opportunities or support systems. To truly promote equity,  we must “level the playing field” by identifying and eliminating barriers, and helping to develop solutions and support systems – so that all individuals can successfully realize their potential.