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

JEDI Training Series

All too often, youth are confronted with systemic inequities, inherent biases, historical traumas, and social constructs that erase or diminish their identity. As a youth professional, you have the power to make your afterschool program a space for children and teens to live every day as their authentic selves. You are in a unique and challenging position to create positive change.

That change starts with the New York State Network for Youth Success’ carefully curated Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) training series for afterschool and youth professionals. This *free* training continues to be made possible with funding from The Allstate Foundation and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.

From March through August 2023, the Network will host JEDI trainings led by compassionate, engaging experts on topics and issues critical to New York youth: racism, bias, LGBTQIA, gender, Latinx, intersectionality, Native American cultural competency, and youth autonomy.

The JEDI series is best experienced as a complete curriculum. We encourage you to attend as many trainings as your schedule allows.

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

We hope you’ll join us.

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.

This training session is about my own community. Should I still attend?

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

Justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are sensitive and 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.

To register for these free trainings, please visit

How is the JEDI training series structured?

JEDI trainings fall into one of six overarching categories:

  • 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.).
  • Intersectionality: Find common ground on intersectionality about race, gender, religion, class, and sexual orientation. Over four trainings, participants will open themselves up to identify what they need to learn more about in their quest to grow as an educator.
  • 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.
  • Accessibility: Learn what accessibility is and how to develop disability allyship. These sessions include practices in the workplace and navigating changing language around accessibility and inclusion.

In March, the JEDI series opens with trainings on LGBTQIA 101 and bias. These foundational courses flow into the four-part series on intersectionality. As the series progresses, each lesson will continue to build on one another. Sessions on Native American culture and youth empowerment will be incorporated later this spring and throughout the summer.

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.

To register for JEDI training sessions, please visit the Network’s events page. JEDI Training Series events are highlighted in grey. To register for an individual training, open that event and click on the link listed under “website.”