MOST Network VISTA Program Announcement
Baltimore, Maryland– The MOST Network is invested in increasing access to high-quality youth development opportunities as a solution to alleviating the adverse effects of childhood poverty. To become even more responsive to the greater needs of the youth development field, and thus better serve diverse and marginalized communities and achieve the mission of AmeriCorps VISTA, we are pleased to announce the completion of a year and a half project with consultant group, THRIVE Paradigm. During our sessions with THRIVE, we have been able to evaluate, train staff, and refit our AmeriCorps VISTA program to include better Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion practices within our organizational goals.
This refreshed design is an opportunity to address inequity in our own work while advancing the youth development field’s effort to address systemic inequities. As a result of this redesign, we hope to make lasting programmatic changes that will better equip and support our AmeriCorps members and their service sites for the crucial capacity building work that they undertake, while ensuring the long-term sustainability of the VISTA program.
It is our belief that, investing in extensive and intentional DEI programming equips our VISTAs and their placement organizations to meet the needs of diverse and marginalized communities, and deliver on the mission of the AmeriCorps VISTA program. With a mission to fight poverty in America through empowering communities, finding sustainable solutions, and building capacity – there is a clear case for DEI capacity building. Providing the opportunity for personal, organizational and systems exploration of DEI is good for the VISTA, good for the project site, and good for children and families served.
The overall goals of our program update are to:
- Ensure the program is responsive to the diversity, equity and inclusion needs of the youth development field to better serve diverse and marginalized communities.
- Build the capacity of youth development organizations to deepen and expand their efforts to alleviate the effects of childhood poverty.
- Develop a diverse workforce pipeline that is equity and justice-centered to strengthen the capacity of the youth development field and meet the needs of communities impacted by poverty.
- Provide equity training to our VISTA members on root causes of poverty and the intersection with race and racism.
- Invest in the capacity building and career advancement of the youth development workforce (i.e. our VISTA members), recognizing that a workforce that is poverty free and thriving in school, work and life is good for our children and communities.
- Provide training and technical assistance in equity-centered management and leadership practices to project host sites.
To read our program refresh plan, click here
To learn more about our VISTA program, visit: https://www.mostnetwork.org/initiatives/americorps-vista/