Forever Welcoming

As an organization open to all, the YMCA strives to provide opportunities for social engagement, education, and inclusion in our diverse communities.

With support from the non-profit organization Welcoming America, the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges will be running a series of virtual programs that are open to all for participation at no cost. This series aims to educate and equip participants with the knowledge and/or skills to understand and navigate conflict and unrest, and engage with people they may not typically work with, while working toward positive change in their communities.

Following is a schedule of programs. To RSVP for the entire series of programs, please fill out this brief form.

For more information, contact Dustin Hausner, Jewish Outreach and Program Director at the Wayne YMCA, at or 973-758-9039.



Dec. 8: Starting the Conversation About Social Media with your Children

Time: 6:30 pm

Program Synopsis:

In these times when so much information and misinformation is put on social media. How do you help your children understand and navigate through social media in a safe and positive manner? This panel will discuss these issues. 


Michael Lockett is a designer, art director, and artist, and a lifelong storyteller. From the time he first picked up a crayon, he has been designing, storytelling, and creating. Outside of work, he has volunteered at food pantries and taught and coached martial arts, soccer, and baseball. In his hometown of Nyack, NY, he runs the YMCA's after-school program at Upper Nyack Elementary School, serves on the Planning Board, Environmental Committee, NAACP, and is training to become a part of the VCS and the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, a Louisiana-based organization dedicated to the work of undoing racism everywhere. 

Christine Gritmon empowers small business owners and solopreneurs to tell their own stories on social media. You CAN do it – she’ll teach you how! She’s spoken on stages worldwide and is a frequent expert guest on podcasts, live streams, Twitter chats, and blog posts, as well as hosting her own weekly live show.

Lynette Marshall works for the Nyack Union Free School District as Nyack Basics Coordinator, where she builds readiness for life and for learning by putting tools into the hands of all parents. She is focused on the imperative nature of intentional early engagement with young children from birth to age 3, when 80 percent of brain development occurs. She spent 21 years as an Early Childhood Educator at Riverview Nursery School in Nyack, NY. She serves on the Rockland County YMCA Board of Directors and Rockland County YMCA Executive Committee, is a YMCA Youth and Government Advisor, and member of the NY State Y Foundation Board. She is a member of the Nyack Branch NAACP, and the Lower Hudson Valley Perinatal Network Board, and volunteers at the Nyack Center.

Lauryn Tuchman, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, currently works as the Clinical Director at The Bridge, Inc. After graduating from Skidmore College in 1999, Tuchman worked in the Children’s Book Publishing Industry before deciding to pursue a career in social work. In 2006, she graduated from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service with a Master’s degree in Social Work where she was asked to give the opening convocation at the graduation ceremony. Tuchman’s clinical experience has centered around assisting children, adults and families in dealing with a variety of issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, life transitions, parenting and family conflict in an outpatient setting. She later developed her psychiatric experience working with adolescents in a day treatment setting. She trained with the State to provide treatment to children who had been sexually abused.  She was also selected to participate in a mental health delegation in Nahariya, Israel. Since 2013, she has transitioned into an administrative role with a focus on clinical supervision—which has become her passion. When Lauryn is not working, she enjoys toying with mixed media art, and spending time with her family and dog, Sadie.


Dec. 15 & 17: Compassionate Conversations with Kim Loh 

Time: 6:00 pm

Kim Loh

Program Synopsis:

Loh will lead a conversation related to our differences and how they often produce strong feeling states: including anger, fear, sorrow and guilt. Strong emotions undoubtedly bring people together, but they just as often can set us apart. To engage in wholehearted discussions about topics that matter to us, it is essential to learn how to be present to strong feelings in ourselves and in others, and regulate ourselves back to balance when we are overwhelmed. Loh will share a process for transmuting emotions from Compassionate Conversations: How to Speak and Listen from the Heart, so that we can reap the intelligence and energy from emotions in healthy ways, and relate more truthfully with others.