New YMCA Equity Innovation Center Intentionally Engages Individuals, Organizations and Communities to Become Change Agents

The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, offers the community unique experiential learning and simulations on equity, diversity, inclusion and global realities in the Y’s new Equity Innovation Center.

The Equity Innovation Center located in the new Douglas Dayton YMCA in downtown Minneapolis brings together diverse stakeholders from all sectors including arts and culture, corporate, faith-based, healthcare, law enforcement, nonprofit, education and social services to develop a common understanding of and design solutions to challenges related to equity, diversity and inclusion. This space is the first-of-its-kind within the YMCA national movement and provides an interactive simulator designed and built by the Science Museum of Minnesota.

“In an increasingly connected world, organizations must adapt to better meet the needs of diverse teams and communities,” said Glen Gunderson, president and CEO for the Y. “The YMCA’s Equity Innovation Center provides unique experiences for building transformational leaders and engaging diverse stakeholders from all sectors. By experiencing hands-on training designed to help foster innovative solutions to challenges regarding equity, diversity and inclusion, teams can create a safe environment for authentic conversation and build a lasting culture that values all perspectives.”

The Equity Innovation Center offers an array of programs and services for all ages and backgrounds, including:

  • Social Innovation Labs – participants will engage in human-centered design processes to intentionally engage internal staff and external stakeholders and community in addressing disparities and persistent opportunity gaps in the Twin Cities.
  • Social Responsibility Assessment – this online measurement tool helps organizations assess their current level of social responsibility.  The tool helps highlight successes within an organization and outlines areas to focus future efforts towards greater social responsibility.
  • Equity Leader Certification – leaders will gain the knowledge, skills, tools and resources that are needed for advancing organizational commitment to social responsibility in relation to diversity, inclusion and equity. 
  • The Simulator Room – this simulator provides an experiential hands-on learning space that includes state-of-the art simulations on equity, diversity, inclusion and global realities. 

See how the first ever Equity Innovation Center engages all sectors in the community to better understand and design solutions to address inclusion challenges – Equity Innovation Center.

Learn how Equity Leader Certification participants will foster intercultural competencies, help develop a positive work culture and develop effective communications for diverse populations – Equity Leader Certification.

Discover how downtown Minneapolis organizations are empowering their teams and building a more inclusive community by applying what they will learn from the Y’s Equity Innovation Center programs and services – Inclusive Downtown Think Tank.

To learn more about the YMCA Equity Innovation Center programs and services, please contact