EMBRACE, EMPOWER, AND ENGAGE!
Welcome to the Department of Corrections Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Diversity recognizes and values our individual differences and Inclusion brings us together to become a high performing, cohesive group. The department knows that a fully engaged and empowered workforce is more productive, creative, and satisfied. To that end, the department is committed to embracing diversity and enhancing inclusion.
In 2013 Director Colette S. Peters appointed Gary Sims as the Administrator of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Under Mr. Sims’ leadership the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council was formed. The council combines a wide variety of knowledge, experience, and perspectives into one dedicated taskforce. From curriculum advisement and development to utilizing best practices in the creation of new diversity initiatives, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion is committed to the department’s most valuable resource: our staff.
Upcoming Events, Activities, and Festivals around the State
The Oceans Connect Us, Navigating Micronesian Culture
Presented by the Salem Multicultural Institute
Open daily Monday - Friday 10am-2pm at the World Beat Gallery
Meet Business: Explore Careers with the State of Oregon
Open to Job Seekers with Disabilities, Job Developers, and Job Coaches
Thursday, October 9th from 1:00pm - 5:00pm
At the Labor and Industries Building in Salem, Oregon
Douglas County Veterans Monthly Forum
Veteran organization leaders discuss and develop common support issues for all veterans in SW Oregon.
Every third Tuesday of the month at 5:00pm
Roseburg American Legion Post 16
||From the Director's Office
A Message from the Director
"It is known that diversity and inclusion help drive performance, productivity, and mission success. Led by Gary Sims, Administrator of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Department of Corrections is developing a strategic plan along with our CORE initiative that will help create an organizational culture that respects and values diversity. This plan recognizes that diversity and inclusion are critical to the Department’s continued success.
The Department of Corrections is committed to helping our staff achieve their full potential. It is through our staff that we are able to provide the citizens of Oregon the highest levels of customer service.
Our goal is to create a climate of inclusion where mutual respect and understanding enable collaboration and problem solving for staff at all levels and where individuals are valued for their unique contributions. I envision our workforce populated by skilled and dedicated staff members who reflect all the best characteristics of Oregon’s talented and diverse population."
Colette Peters, ODOC Director
|“The bottom line is that our nation and our workforce are becoming increasingly diverse. The Department of Corrections is taking the initiative to seize this opportunity and maximize the vast potential diversity brings us. Diversity and inclusion allows our Department to be strong yet flexible; able to grow and advance. This ability to grow and take advantage of the many different perspectives, ideas, and talent our employees possess is vital to bringing best practices to our operations.
Recognizing, valuing, and affirming diversity directly relates to the success of our department and enhances morale. Whether a new recruit or senior staff, we want employees at all levels of the agency to feel involved, acknowledged, and engaged. We strive to have a workforce that maintains enjoyment and enthusiasm for a career with the Department of Corrections from recruitment to retirement. The Department takes pride in fostering an atmosphere where our employees feel they have made the right decision in becoming part of the organization.
The Department of Correction’s commitment to Diversity and Inclusion is nothing less than a commitment to excellence.”
Mitch Morrow, ODOC Deputy Director
|Department of Corrections Diversity and Inclusion Staff|
Gary Sims, MBA, MA.Ed., M.Div
Diversity and Inclusion Administrator
2575 Center St NE
Salem OR 97301
Diversity and Inclusion Executive Support
2575 Center St NE
Salem OR 97301
Representing diverse locations and and varied workforce classifications, the members of the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council serve on a voluntary basis.
Council members include:
Claudia Arndt, Office Specialist Salem, OR
Patricia Solomon, Admin. Specialist Salem, OR
Carla Padilla, Asst. Sup. Correctional Rehabilitation Salem, OR
Patrick Vance, CTRS Health Services, Pharmacy Salem, OR
CTRS Population Management
Programs and Volunteer Admin.
OMR Chief Administrator
Food Srvs. Manager
Asst. Phys. Plant Manager
Inmate and Community Advocacy Administrator
TRCI Asst. Sup.
Pathfinders of Oregon
OCE General Manager
Region 4, OR
Laura Sterling Correctional Lieutenant
The Governor of the State of Oregon is committed to the right of all persons to work and advance on the bases of merit, ability and potential. The Governor has delegated authority to the Director of the Affirmative Action Office to follow ORS 243.315. The Director will assist in implementation and monitor affirmative action plans in all state agencies. This will foster work environments that recruit, retain and promote employees who represent the broadest possible spectrum of society which includes women, minorities and people with disabilities.
Governor John Kitzhaber
The Governor's Affirmative Action office is designed to:
- Reaffirm the state's policy on nondiscrimination and affirmative action;
- Identify state agencies' goals and affirmative action plans for achieving goals for women, racial/ethnic group members, and persons with disabilities;
- Provide program specifics for promoting and assuring equal employment opportunity;
- Communicate the Governor's commitment to equal employment opportunity and affirmative action principles;
- Demonstrate the continued "good faith" efforts of the state of Oregon; and
- Act as a consultant and advisor to the agencies to assist them in meeting their goals and action plans.
State of Oregon Affirmative Action Director
You may direct complaints and concerns regarding diversity, inclusion, and cultural competency to Gary Sims, Diversity and Inclusion Administrator. From there we will notify Human Resources so that a thorough investigation may be conducted. The Diversity and Inclusion team will walk you through the process and track the complaint with you as it progresses and concludes.
Gary Sims, Diversity and Inclusion Administrator
2575 Center St. NE
Salem, OR 97301
|Awareness Months and Diversity Holidays |
September 10 is Paryushana, the most revered Jain festival comprising eight or ten days of fasting and repentance.
September 11 is the Ethiopian New Year. Rastafarians celebrate the New Year on this date and believe that Ethiopia is their spiritual home, a place they desire to return to.
We remember September 11th, 2001 as a day of tragedy.
September 15 – October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month. This month corresponds with Mexican Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16, and recognizes the revolution in 1810 that ended Spanish dictatorship.
September 22nd marks the autumnal equinox ushering in the fall season.
September 24 (sunset) is Rosh Hashanah, a holiday recognizing the Jewish New Year. It is the first of the Jewish High Holy Days, and is marked by abstinence, prayer, repentance, and rest.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This observance was launched in 1945 when Congress declared the first week in October as "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1998, the week was extended to a month and renamed. The annual event draws attention to employment barriers that still need to be addressed.
October is also LGBT History Month, a U.S. observance started in 1994 to recognize lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history and the history of the gay rights movement.
October 3 (sunset)- October 4 (sunset) is Yom Kippur. This holiday is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar and is a day of atonement marked by fasting and ceremonial repentance.
October 4 marks the beginning of Dussehra (Dasera), a ten day festival celebrated by Hinus to recognize Rama's victory over evil.
October 8 (sunset)- October 15 (sunset) is the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. It is a time of remembrance of the fragile tabernacles that Israelites lived in as they wandered the wilderness for 40 years. The first day of the holiday is celebrated with prayers and special meals.
October 11 is National Coming Out Day. For those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, this day celebrates coming out and the recognition of the 1987 March on Washington for gay and lesbian equality.
Second Monday in October is National Indigenous People’s Day, which recognizes 500 years of resistance and the continued existence of North American Indigenous people. This is celebrated in lieu of Columbus Day.
October 20 is Birth of the Bab, a holiday celebrated by the Baha'i recognizing the birth of the founder of the Baha'i faith.
October 23 marks the beginning of Diwali (the festival of lights), celebrated by Sikhs, Hindus, and Jains. The holiday is observed with decorating homes with lights and candles, setting off fireworks, and distributing sweets and gifts.
October 31st is Halloween, also known as All Hallows Eve or All Saints’ Eve.
|Question and Answer|
Q. What is Diversity and Inclusion?
Diversity and Inclusion: Each person has an inherent need to be valued as an individual and to feel part of a cohesive group.
- Diversity is understanding and valuing the range and variety of characteristics that define individuals.
- Inclusion is being a part of a high performance team that values and encourges the contribution of all individuals.
Q. What is cultural competency?
Cultural competency is the ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures and backgrounds.
Q. How do we categorize ethnic groups?
The Governor's Affirmative Action office categorizes ethnic groups this way:
- American Indian or Alaskan Native: a person with origins in any of the original peoples of North America through tribal affiliation or community recognition.
- Asian or Pacific Islander: a person with origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southwest Asia, Hawaiian Native, the Indian subcontinent or the Pacific Islands. This area includes, for example, China, Japan, the Philippine Republic and Samoa.
- Black/African American (not of Hispanic Origin): a person with origins in any of the black racial groups of African who are not also Hispanic.
- Caucasian (Includes European American and Arab Americans): a person with origins in the original peoples of Europe, North African or the middle East who is not of Hispanic origin.
- Hispanic: a person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central of South America, or other Spanish culture regardless of race. Only those persons from central and south America countries who are of Spanish origin, descent or culture should be included in this category. Persons from Brazil, Guiana, Surinam, or Trinidad, for example would be classified according to their race and would not necessarily be included in the Hispanic Category. In addition, the category does not include person from Portugal who should be classified according to race.
Ultimately, the choice of which group a person belongs to depends on which group the individual identifies him or herself with.
|Articles of Interest|
Harvard Implicit Test: Looking for Hidden Biases
Look to see what biases you have for or against different groups of people.
Understanding workplace values around the world:
Culture Card: A Guide to Build American Awareness: American Indian and Alaska Native: