CIEE Diversity Initiative Nominated for Global Youth Travel Award

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CIEE is delighted to be nominated for a Global Youth Travel Award (GYTA) in the category New Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. The award recognizes a travel or tourism organization that has successfully implemented a new program to measure and improve diversity and inclusion in its operations. The GYTAs are held annually by WYSE Travel Confederation and reward organizations that make an outstanding contribution to the youth, student and educational travel industry. You can vote for CIEE through September 9. 

The initiative that is being nominated for this award is CIEE's summer 2020 pledge to do more as an organization to overcome systemic racism and injustice. We pledged to take concrete action to advance our founding mission to create a more peaceful, more just world. Since then, we have systematically tracked, measured, and shared our progress on diversity and inclusion initiatives focused on participants, programs, and people.

In addition to providing scholarships and grants that enable the highest percentage of diverse students to participate in CIEE programs, and developing innovative programs, such as the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship, designed to increase access to international programs for exceptional diverse students, a primary focus of our pledge was a commitment to recruiting and retaining staff from diverse backgrounds.

Our goal is to have a staff that represents the diversity of the communities in which we live and work, as well as the students we serve. With that foundation, CIEE will be better equipped to advance diversity and inclusion across all our operations.

In 2020, CIEE pledged to expand our U.S.-based workforce to include at least 30% people of color by 2026 and at least 50% people of color by 2031.

Since January 2021, 40% of CIEE’s new hires in the U.S. have been BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color), more than doubling the diversity of our U.S. staff from 13% in January 2020 to 31% in May 2022.

CIEE also set a goal of investing in the development of diverse professionals both at CIEE and in the field of international education. We believe that diverse professionals often lack access to the keys of professional development and career advancement, including proactive mentors, diverse role models, and formal training programs. CIEE established a professional development department to recruit and train young, diverse professionals. Stacy Benjamin was promoted to Director of Professional Development and now leads a company-wide recruitment and professional development program for new college graduates and early career professionals.

CIEE also has partnered with AIFS to establish a program for professionals in the field to attend national conferences led by NAFSA, Forum, and Diversity Abroad. AIFS and CIEE will donate $100,000 over three years to support the Ping - Taylor Professional Fellows Grant, which is open to U.S.-based education abroad professionals with special consideration extended to diverse professionals and individuals employed at MSIs, HSIs, and HBCUs.

We recognize that there is a lot to do to make our world a more equitable, peaceful place. We hope our intense and intentional efforts will make a small, positive difference. We’re grateful for our many partner schools and organizations who have joined us in this quest. And we hope that our progress will inspire others to join in the hard work.

CIEE was also nominated, alongside partner InterExchange, in the category of Notable Innovation, for the  Ambassadors Fund for Summer Work Travel Media Literacy, Leadership & Community Building Seminar held earlier this summer in NYC.  

Voting for the GYTA awards is open through September 9. 

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