Meets pressing community needs by mobilizing caring New Yorkers in volunteer service.

Equity Through Service Part IV: Preparing Team Leaders for Service

Group of volunteers smiling while standing outside school building

At New York Cares, we are committed to listening and learning from the communities we serve to understand how to foster the most thoughtful and intentional interactions. Last winter, our entire staff underwent racial equity training, and though this training was not an end-all-be-all, it was a necessary first step toward understanding the diverse communities within our five boroughs. It also holds us accountable and underscores our approach to meeting pressing community needs by mobilizing New Yorkers in service.

Our volunteer Team Leaders are on the front line of volunteerism in New York City, one of the most diverse cities in the world. As New York Cares reinforces our commitment to building and modeling a workplace culture that reflects the clients and communities we serve, we have taken the next step by requiring DE&I (diversity, equity, and inclusion) training for our Team Leaders. 

Our DE&I values hold that: 

We see and celebrate diversity in all its many forms

Representation matters

We care about creating positive impact

We believe everyone has value but not everyone has opportunity

We strive to build a workplace where every employee feels valued, finds a place of belonging, and brings their true self to work

The virtual Team Leader DE&I training gives volunteers insight into the perspectives and experiences of individuals with identities that may be different from their own. The training also includes definitions and concepts related to DE&I, such as identities and perspectives, unconscious bias, microaggressions and forms of exclusion.

“We are thrilled that we can now offer online training and professional development training to all of our active Team Leaders. This year’s launch of our DEI training for active Team Leaders is just the first step in equipping them to bring their best to the communities we serve,” said Michael Gamber, Director of Volunteer Relations & Support at New York Cares. 

This training is supported by The Gutenstein Foundation, a long-time supporter of the professional development of our Team Leaders. Thanks to their thoughtful and generous support, we have engaged 1,000 active Team Leaders in DE&I principles and practices so they are prepared to show up in the communities we serve as culturally competent as possible. 

One Team Leader named Andrew commented, “Thank you for these Team Leader meetings! The DEI&I training class is one of the best I’ve taken—those I’ve experienced at work have not gone into disabilities and issues like bipolar. Really well done and kudos to New York Cares for selecting this one!” 

Volunteers are eager for information about how to best serve their local communities. Our hope for the near future is that every volunteer will have access to this DE&I training as part of their orientation process so they are ready to take on whatever challenges the community may be facing.

Would you like to learn more about our community of Team Leaders? Join us as we continue the work of serving our resilient communities.

Erin Hiatt's picture