JUNE 16, 2022 - The Berkeley Heights YMCA was packed with color, smiles, and warmth as dedicated activists and community members joined to celebrate our largest annual PRIDE event yet! Our partnership with the Berkeley Heights Diversity Council, Governor Livingston SAGA Club, and The Columbia Middle School Prism Club Council, is a testament of growth and acceptance in our community.
The Berkley Heights Y parking lot was transformed into a bright, vibrant, and welcoming space for all in attendance. Informational flyers were provided to help educate and spread the message of love and equality amongst our community. Guests gathered with their friends, family, and the community for an eventful evening that included; arts and crafts, friendly games of corn hole, exhilarating Gaga Ball, a DJ booth where Thoro played upbeat music, Zumba, hula hoop, sweet treats and more. More importantly, everyone proved to be an ally that embraces, respects, and, honors the LGBTQ+ movement.
The Y strives to be welcoming and inclusive for all. By celebrating diversity, having open conversations and educating others, we hope our community will continue to grow stronger and more inclusive each day. "It was amazing to see our community come together and appreciate each other and their individuality. Our Y's mission is to provide opportunities for our members of all ages to express themselves, and our Pride Celebration is just one example of how we bring people together of all different backgrounds and accept on another. We can't wait for next year's event to be even bigger!" said Tiffany Escott, Mission Advancement and Development Director of the Summit Area YMCA.
“The Summit Area Y was honored to join our allies in our community to celebrate Pride. The SAY welcomes ALL and we would like to particularly thank our partners in Berkeley Heights for putting together an incredible event that educated, inspired, and celebrated our diversity. We look forward to continuing to work with everyone in the community to build a spirit of respect and love for ALL to flourish" said Paul Kieltyka, Summit Area YMCA President & CEO.
The Summit Area YMCA is the first Diversity, Inclusion and Global Innovation Network YMCA in New Jersey committed to creating a culture in which diversity and inclusion are integral to everyday operations. Through welcoming, inclusive practices and environments, we welcome and engage all people from all diverse groups of the community to help and create lasting, meaningful change. We at the Y realize that in order to better the world around us and for the future, we must unite and work towards the strengthening of the individual in mind, body and spirit. For a stronger individual. For a united community. For a better us.
>> Learn more about Diversity, Inclusion and Global Innovation at the Y
>> LGBTQ+ Resources
In 1886, we were founded as the Young Men's Christian Association, but today, we are The Y. An association that values, and is made stronger by, its diverse people. We stand for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility — For a better us. We are committed to creating equal opportunity for all regardless of gender, age, disability, income, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious affiliation. We strive to create a welcoming and inclusive culture in which our four core values — responsibility, honesty, caring and respect — are integral to everyday operations.
Each year, as one of the area’s leading 501(c)3 charitable organizations, the Summit Area YMCA serves more than 15,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the New Jersey communities of Berkeley Heights, Gillette, Millburn, New Providence, Short Hills, Springfield, Stirling and Summit. Our history is rooted in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those in need.