Big news! Au Pair in America is proud to announce we’ve won the WYSE Global Youth Travel Award in the category of New Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives!
WYSE describes the award as recognizing, “a travel or tourism organisation that has successfully implemented a new programme to measure and improve diversity and inclusion in its operations.”
In 2021, as part of our commitment to diversity and equity, Au Pair in America created a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) group for employees to learn, explore, and discuss topics in equity, especially as they relate to the work of cultural exchange. This initiative kicked off with a 21-day DEI Learning Series.
The goal of the series was to bring together members of our team from across the US and around the world for learning and discussion opportunities, centered around equity and inclusion.
For three weeks in May, participants in the Au Pair in America DEI group chose from a hearty “menu” of DEI content. Participants received a daily email, offering an appetizer (a small snippet of information), entrée (more in-depth content), and a to-go bag (an action item). A weekly Zoom call gave group members the chance to discuss the week’s resources.
The Au Pair in America Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) group has hosted:
- Book clubs: suggested reading material focused on important DEI topics that led to meaningful discussions. For example, the group read “The Other Black Girl” by Zakiya Dalila Harris, “Recitatif” by Toni Morrison, and “For Today I Am a Boy” by Kim Fu. Members came together to compare and discuss regularly.
- Movie nights: Group members viewed important works such as “The Hate U Give,” “13th,” and “Crip Camp” and reflected together during a Zoom discussion.
- Guest speakers: DEI initiatives often were led by a leader in the DEI field. One of our discussions was led by special guest Dr. Craig Rustici of Hofstra University focusing on Toni Morrison’s “Recitatif” — a work he explores with his students in several classes.
We continue our journey with our Global Awareness program, which brings expanded educational and cultural opportunities, as well as resources, to the forefront for all Au Pair in America participants. With ongoing opportunities to “meet our global neighbor” and build “cross-cultural bridges,” the aim is to encourage better understanding of other cultures, improve communication between cultures and support the concept of mutual acceptance.
We look forward to continuing this work, growing participation, and supporting the Au Pair in America DEI mission. Au Pair in America is proud to work as a team to break down barriers, become more educated and aware, and pursue a more equitable and just society. We will continue to increase our understanding and sensitivity around inclusivity and belonging.