The Synergy of DEI and Service: How Be The Change Empowers Young People

In our ever-changing global landscape, the urgency for educators to embrace and prioritize Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is paramount. Far beyond mere classroom discussion topics, DEI stands as a critical pillar for forging a fairer and more empathetic world. The "Be The Change" (BTC) program, innovatively crafted for the youth, stands at the forefront of intertwining DEI with service activities. This vital integration is beneficial and essential, showcasing the profound impact that can be achieved when young minds engage with their communities through a DEI-focused lens. The time for educators to act and adapt is now, leveraging DEI as a transformative tool in shaping the next generation of global citizens.

DEI Principles

A deep comprehension of DEI is integral to effective service. Our BTC lesson provides an excellent platform for applying DEI principles, allowing young participants to address varied community needs through a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The key question is, "What areas in your community might benefit from DEI engagement?" Such exploration enables participants to grasp DEI's practical implications in various real-world contexts.

For those driven to promote DEI actively, BTC facilitates the design of service initiatives aimed at nurturing a more inclusive society, considering diverse identities such as race, gender, and socioeconomic status. This journey cultivates an understanding of individual and collective DEI roles, encouraging reflection on its wider importance for building a more equitable and inclusive future.

Privilege and Its Role in Education and Service

Privilege, often unearned and disproportionately available to dominant groups, plays a significant role in societal dynamics. In educational settings, it's crucial to acknowledge that privilege exists on personal, interpersonal, cultural, and institutional levels. Understanding privilege is not about guilt but leveraging one's position to engage with community members and service partners positively. The "Be The Change" program emphasizes using mindfulness techniques to integrate DEI understanding into a more effective service experience, recognizing neuroplasticity's role in learning and relearning, especially in challenging areas.

Activating DEI in Real-World Contexts

BTC lessons transcend disciplinary boundaries, actively embedding DEI principles into practical experiences. This immersive, dynamic approach guarantees that DEI teachings are actively applied in community settings. We invite educators to seize this opportunity to guide students in translating their classroom insights into impactful DEI advocacy through meaningful community engagement and student-led initiatives. This call to action allows educators to elevate their teaching, fostering a new generation of informed, empathetic, and proactive DEI champions.

BTC offers a bright and inspiring path for schools and educators ready to bring Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into the heart of their service and global citizenship programs. As our world grows and changes, incorporating DEI into education is essential. BTC is an exciting journey that prepares young people to actively participate and make a difference in their communities and beyond. We warmly invite schools and educators to discover the joys and benefits of BTC to nurture them into socially aware, empathetic, and proactive global citizens.

Shei Ascencio is a dynamic educator specializing in service learning, community engagement and global citizenship, collaborating with educators, youth, and organizations worldwide. Shei is a co-founder of Orenda Learning, supporting many aspects of the organization's growth. She also played a pivotal role in developing the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion component of Be The Change.

Watch our Free 35 minute Professional Development Presentation: How To Level Up Your Service Program

Scroll to Top