Creating and encouraging conversations and effort around race, gender, privilege and LGBT issues was the focus of the third annual Department of Human Services Leadership Forum. The theme, "Come on in – let's talk," helped encourage agency directors, managers and program employees to push through the discomfort of tough conversation to fulfill the DHS mission of integrating equity, diversity, and inclusion into the delivery of services to Oregonians.
From left: DHS Director Clyde Saiki, former OEMS Director Gloria Anderson present the first annual Gloria M. Anderson Diversity & Inclusion Award to District 7 Manager Betty Albertson and Case Manager Patrick McKnight
The keynote speaker, Michael Hulshof-Schmidt, Executive Director of EqualityWorks, NW led most of the day's discussions and activities. He Highlighted opportunities found in day-to-day encounters, provided defined terms, and built on established practices. In general, Hulshof-Schmidt guided the group in talking about real and equitable outcomes for Oregonians.
The forum also was opportunity for DHS Director Clyde Saiki to present the first annual Gloria M. Anderson Diversity and Inclusion Award. The award is named in honor of Anderson, the first Director of the Office of Equity and Multicultural Services. The award recognizes DHS employees who show exceptional dedication to diversity and inclusion in their work and who lead by example.
The 2016 recipients of the award are District Manager Betty Albertson and Case Manager Patrick McKnight, both from the Coos and Curry counties area. Albertson and McKnight accepted their awards on behalf of their local Diversity Committee that has worked throughout the year to initiate and continue community engagement efforts across their districts. The local events and outreach by their Diversity Committee with consumers, providers, employees and partners were hugely successful and offer opportunities for continued progress moving forward.
Attendees participate in open forum discussion on diversity and inclusion and the impact on DHS services.
The day also included the sharing of personal and professional experiences as a way to further learn about the issues of equity and inclusion. Action items were established at the local and state level. Keeping the needs of those receiving services in mind resonated throughout the day. Each attendee pledged to take what they'd learned back to their co-workers to share the forum experience and to further ongoing efforts toward better outcomes for Oregonians.Learn more about the Office of Equity and Multicultural Services.
To find out more about what you can do to further efforts around Service Equity, Diversion and Inclusion, email the OEMS Office at: OfficeEquity.MulticulturalServices@dhs.oregon.gov