DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION

At Valley Youth House, we believe diversity and inclusion are key to achieving our mission. We celebrate the diversity of culture, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, and economic status of our team members, our clients, and our partners.

Valley Youth House (VYH) embraces the principles and practices that acknowledge that all people are to be valued and treated with dignity. Our Agency is dedicated to welcoming, respecting, and appreciating the combination of everyone’s individual differences, life experiences, originality, self-expression, distinctive abilities, knowledge, and unique skill that our youth and families invest in our programs, and our employees bring to their work.

At Valley Youth House, we believe diversity and inclusion leads to higher satisfaction and empowerment, brings new ideas that promote creativity and growth, and ensures an environment where everyone’s unique skills and perspectives are valued.

RECENT NEWS

Black History Month 2022 at VYH

As our nation celebrates Black History Month, our DEI Committee has put together a 2022 Black History Month Commemorative Guide for all to utilize. In this guide, you will find historical facts, photos and videos that highlight the contributions of African Americans to our society. We hope that this serves as a guide to help […]

VYH Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Observance 2022

On Monday, January 17, 2021 our nation will commemorate the 93rd Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  This holiday celebrates this civil rights leader’s life and legacy, as he worked tirelessly to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive world. As our nation and local communities continue to struggle with a global pandemic, racial injustices, and […]

Valley Youth House’s Project Silk Staff Members Highlighted in Good Morning America’s Inspiration List: Who’s Making LGBTQ+ History Now!

Valley Youth House is excited to announce that two of our Project Silk staff members, Chloe Cole-Wilson and Kenny Screven, were highlighted in Good Morning America’s GMA Inspiration List: Who’s Making LGBTQ+ History Right Now! Kenny nominated Chloe for her passion, dedication, and advocacy in her everyday work to empower and support the LGBTQ+ youth […]

Juneteenth 2021 Resources

On this day, we honor and celebrate the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by Abraham Lincoln two years earlier, news regarding the emancipation of slaves had been suppressed by slave owners who were waiting for the war to end. Juneteenth originated in Galveston, Texas in 1865 when General Granger […]

As an agency we commit to using our voice and platform to fight against injustice. While we may not have the solution to change the world, we do have the power, resources, and heart to change ourselves and our community.

With this commitment and urgency in mind, we are taking the following steps to bring about equality, civility and justice for all:

Listen with our Hearts – Valley Youth House will provide opportunities for youth, families and staff to openly discuss how the issues of racism and discrimination have impacted them personally.  By providing Safe Spaces for people to share, we will build understanding and compassion for each other as a foundation for our continued work.

Plan with our Heads – Valley Youth House staff will work with youth and community leaders to develop an annual strategy to address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion both within our agency as well as in our local communities.  We will share these plans publicly and hold ourselves accountable to improve the climate and reality within our agency and our respective communities.

Speak Up with our Voices – We are committed to making Valley Youth House an actively anti-racist organization. This means we will actively speak out and address acts of racism, racist comments, and racist practices, policies and procedures. We know that racism and injustice disproportionately impacts many of the youth that we serve, and we will advocate for them with our public officials and the general public.

RECENT STEPS TOWARDS GOALS:

  • Established 5 year DEI Strategic Plan
  • Published monthly newsletter, The Catalyst,  for VYH staff and community
  • Created 5 agency-wide Affinity Groups
  • Instituted a Hiring & Promotion Policy
  • Developed an Anti-Racist Policy
  • Launched a pipeline for emerging leaders from historically under-represented groups called Leadership Valley Youth House
  • Participated in our 2nd Annual George Floyd Memorial Walk
  • Established a Community Garden at our Lehigh Valley office
  • Hosted the B. Braun Black History Connection event
  • Increased program funding from the Philadelphia Foundation

DEI Affinity Groups: Alphabet Housemates, BIPOC – Black Indigenous People of Color, LV Star, White People Confronting Racism, and Alphabet Housemates, and York County Social Justice Committee

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION COMMITTEE

CHAIR

Richard Liu, MPH
Associate Director, Global Marketing, Virology
Merck & Co.
pronouns: he/him/his

COMMITTEE

Kevin Greene
Chief Operations Officer
Faces International

Chris Hunt
Vice President & Dean for DEI
Moravian University

Natasha Ljujic, MBA
HR Business Partner
Air Products

Marci Martinez-Howey
Associate Vice President, DEI
The United Way of Greater Lehigh Valley

Heather Morris
Director, Contracts Management & Supplier Diversity
Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW)

Dr. Erica Patterson, DM
Director, Contracts Management & Supplier Diversity
Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW)

Forrest Patterson
Managing Director, Corporate Client Banking
JP Morgan

Jameel Rush
Director, Workforce Center of Excellence
Google

Alma Scott-Buczak, SHRM-SCP SPHR
Associate Vice President, Human Resources
Lafayette College

STAFF ADVISOR

Shawn Mack
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer
Valley Youth House

smack@valleyyouthhouse.org

STAFF ON COMMITTEE

Tom Harrington
President & Executive Director
Valley Youth House

Elizabeth Allen
Staff Development, Supervisor
Valley Youth House

reek Bell
Office Manager & Assistant to VP of Philadelphia
Valley Youth House

Kylin Camburn
Case Manager at Project Silk
Valley Youth House