Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI)

BBBSAZ maintains a policy of non-discrimination which states the parent/guardian and youth are not excluded on the basis of race, religion, national origin, color, gender, marital status , sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression,veteran status or disability. Volunteer Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Board Members and agency staff as volunteer Bigs are not excluded on the basis of race, religion, national origin, color, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status or disability. BBBSAZ will comply with all federal, state and local anti-discrimination laws.  

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona believes a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization is one where all employees, volunteers, youth, and families, whatever their race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, education, income, or health condition feels valued and respected. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are valued and heard. 
Our vision at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona is that all youth achieve their full potential. We recognize that while all children have equal potential, they do not have equal opportunity. Too many children are struggling with generational poverty, limited academic opportunities, familial incarceration, violence, and a lack of access to positive adult role models. Inequities that impact our youth often result from systemic biases that "sort" people into resource-rich or resource-poor neighborhoods and school systems--largely on the basis of race and income. With this context, we are committed to serving children and youth who are the most impacted by adversity. 

Our program helps build up children's resilience and enhance their self-esteem, opportunities, and employability. Our goal is to reduce the frighteningly high economic and health imbalances that damage educational opportunities, health care, and wealth accumulation. 

Adverse Childhood Experiences
At BBBS of Central Arizona, we use a trauma-informed care approach in working with our families, Bigs, and youth, based on the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study. This study correlated childhood experiences with current health and behaviors of adults and found that more than 67% of the adult population had an ACE score of at least 1 adverse childhood experience. One in eight adults has a score of 4 or more, which correlates to a 4.5 times higher likelihood of being diagnosed with depression and 12 times greater risk of suicide.  They found that the higher your ACEs score, the worse your health outcomes as an adult. Determine your own ACEs score here
**Please note: taking the ACEs questionnaire may bring up some upsetting feelings for some. Please reach out to United Way or other mental health resources, should you need to process your results.

Resiliency Building
Research also shows that resiliency is the number one protective factor against adverse childhood experiences and inequities. This is powerful! Being a positive mentor for a child directly impacts their health, wellness, and success. You can make this level of impact for a child by simply playing ball a few times a month. YOU can make a BIG difference!

Black Youth Town Hall
Webinar hosted by Dr. Torie Weiston-Serdan and
​the Youth Mentoring Action Network