JEDI: The Allstate Foundation, NYS Network for Youth Success, The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation

JEDI Training Series

Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, the world we live in does not offer an even playing field for all children and youth.

The young people in our care may face any number of barriers to success because of their backgrounds or identities, and it is our job to understand those barriers if we want to help those youth feel seen and understood. That is how we help them succeed.

As youth professionals, we are in a unique and challenging position. We can either unknowingly perpetuate harm and inequity through our words and actions – or we can create positive change. The difference lies in how we choose to educate ourselves.

If we choose to take every available opportunity to learn and grow, we can help our youth do the same.

That’s why, along with funding from The Allstate Foundation and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, the New York State Network for Youth Success is pleased to offer a FREE training series on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) for afterschool and youth professionals.

We encourage every youth professional to participate. The lens of your own experience is just one perspective, but with JEDI training you will be able to see the entire landscape.

What is JEDI?

Justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are not buzzwords. JEDI is a set of core values that strives to dismantle systemic inequities that permeate our society.

How does JEDI help youth?

The impact of a JEDI philosophy in afterschool, summer, and expanded learning programs is profound.

When your program embraces JEDI, you free youth from fears of being regarded as “other”—or worse, “lesser than.”

Programs that lead with JEDI will see entirely new levels of engagement among their youth. When we understand the systems that hold youth back, and come from a place of deep understanding, empathy, and informed care, we can establish a resilient foundation of trust in our relationships with young people.

Ultimately, JEDI will create better outcomes for youth. You are sending them out into a world feeling seen, valued, and appreciated for who they are.

You can do that. Your program can have that impact. And it all begins with JEDI.

Why do I need JEDI training? 

Justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are complex topics. This is not an area for independent learning. The Network’s trained professionals will help guide you through the many facets of JEDI.

Over the course of 20 training sessions, we’ll address topics at the core of JEDI, including:

  • Racism and bias: Learn to recognize and combat racism in all its forms. Trainings will cover topics from diversity and inclusion to anti-racist tools and intersectional identities (e.g., Afro-Latinx).
  • Supporting LGBTQIA2S (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual and/or agender, two-spirit) youth and families: These trainings will help you support your LGBTQIA2S youth and colleagues from both an operational capacity (inclusive forms, a welcoming workplace, representative programming) and an interpersonal one (understanding gender identity, pronouns, allyship, etc.).
  • Native American cultural competency: Discuss cultural concepts and challenges to Indigenous health, education, and youth development services. These sessions will help you engage more successfully with Native American youth, their families, and communities to support and nurture improved health and well-being.
  • Ageism and youth empowerment: Explore how to keep young people safe while still encouraging independence and respecting their agency and right to privacy.

When are the training sessions?

The JEDI training series begins in June and concludes in December 2022.

We strongly recommend participation in the entire series, but it is not required.

PLEASE NOTE: Select courses (e.g., LGBTQIA2S 101, Bias: A Human Condition) are prerequisites to attend additional trainings on the topic. You MUST attend those trainings in order to take additional courses for that same topic.


To register for JEDI training sessions, please visit the Network’s events page.

JEDI training is one of those rare opportunities where you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The knowledge and empathy you obtain through JEDI training could be life-changing for the youth, and even adults, whose paths cross your own.

We hope you’ll join us.