Boys & Girls Clubs of the Greater Chippewa Valley have received a $24,000 grant from Pablo Foundation to advance its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative at the Lee & Mary Markquart Center in Eau Claire.
In June 2020, leadership within Boys & Girls Clubs began an intentional effort to evaluate and build upon the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in its youth development programs. By focusing on developing expert staff, quality programming, community partnerships, and strategic promotion, the Clubs at all four locations are advancing their efforts to provide an environment where all feel respected, understood, appreciated, and valued for who they are. Pablo Foundation funding supports the DEI Initiative at the Eau Claire location to create structure and strategic focus on breaking down barriers of racism and inequity for youth, staff, volunteers, and families at the Club.
Lee & Mary Markquart Center Director, MarLee Johnson, stated, “Boys & Girls Clubs are committed to the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all its activities. Kids at the Clubs learn about their own cultures and various cultures and beliefs throughout the world. Youth development staff also model and foster kind, caring, and respectful conversations to create understanding between Club kids. It’s great to see how open kids are to learning about and appreciating each other. It helps all kids feel special and valued and helps them grow and thrive.”
In February, the Pablo Foundation shared, “The death of George Floyd renewed attention to the racial injustices and inequalities that have been a part of our nation’s history for too long. We are taking a hard look at the inequities in our own backyard and assessing how our grants can be used to support people who have been historically marginalized, including people from different races, ethnicities, age groups, gender identities, socioeconomic statuses, and disabilities.”
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Greater Chippewa Valley provides youth development programs in Black River Falls, Chippewa Falls, and Eau Claire, for youth in 2nd grade through 18 years old, and youth 2nd through 5th grade in Menomonie. Programs focus on fostering academic success, addressing social, emotional needs, providing meals and snacks, and creating opportunities for social recreation and exploration through the implementation of Boys & Girls Clubs of America research-based programs. The mission of the Boys & Girls Club is to enable all youth, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens.