OEMS

Who We Are

The Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Equity and Multicultural Services (OEMS) is responsible for:

  • Service Equity – ensuring DHS’s programs are available to all qualified Oregonians
  • Civil Rights, Affirmative Action, and Equal Opportunity – preventing discrimination and harassment and fostering a workforce that is representative of our state population
  • Workforce Diversity and Inclusion – supporting a work culture where the uniqueness of all people is welcomed and valued

Mission

The Office of Equity and Multicultural Services (OEMS) advances the mission of the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) by leading and empowering the agency to integrate equity, diversity, and inclusion into everything we do.

Vision

Every individual and community has dignity, respect and full measure of human rights.

Staff Biographies

  
  
Lydia MunizOEMS Director

Since April 2013, Lydia Muñiz has served as the director of OEMS. Lydia brings over 23 years of state government experience working in programs that focus on providing services to underrepresented and underserved communities. Prior to coming to DHS she served as the Governor’s Advocate for Minority, Women and Emerging Small Businesses for 16 years.

Lydia has a long and distinguished career in state government and is respected for her leadership as well as her volunteerism in the community. In 2004 Lydia was awarded the Athena Award in recognition of her leadership in the areas of mentoring and providing support to women business owners. Lydia is a founding member of the Oregon State Hispanic Employees Network and in 1994 she was a founder of Scholarships for Oregon Latinos (a scholarship program at Chemeketa Community College targeting Latino students for higher education in the professional fields).

Lydia comes from a place of personal commitment from opening doors for others, to helping organizations reach their objectives of diversity and inclusion in the workplace to be a champion of opportunity and change for a better future. 

Since becoming the director of OEMS she has focused the office on providing leadership in two key areas; Service Equity, and Community Engagement.​

Marisa Salinas, J.D.Civil Rights - EEO Officer

Marisa Salinas graduated George Fox University with Bachelor of Arts in Social Work/Sociology and Spanish. Ms. Salinas later attended and graduated from Willamette University College of Law. After law school, Ms. Salinas was a recipient of a two year fellowship from Equal Justice Works (formerly the National Association for Public Interest Law).

Ms. Salinas has dedicated her career to working with diverse communities in Oregon and ensuring that individuals’ civil rights are protected.

Ms. Salinas’ interest in civil rights began with personal experiences as someone that is multiracial, the grandchild of migrant farmworkers and the sibling of a person with disabilities.

Ms. Salinas has worked with Legal Aid Services of Oregon Farmworkers Program, the Oregon Judicial Department Citizen Review Board and volunteered as a board member on the Eugene Civilian Review Board. Ms. Salinas began working with the Department of Human Services in 2006 as a bilingual (Spanish) and ICWA permanency worker.

Jason MakDiversity and Inclusion Manager

Jason Mak currently serves as the DHS Diversity and Inclusion Manager. Jason graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor’s Degree in Ethnic Studies and did his graduate work in Asian American Studies at UCLA. With responsibilities for developing internal workforce Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, Jason has also served as the Diversity and Equity Manager at the City of Eugene; worked as the Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Analyst at Lane Community College; was the HR Recruitment Manager at Eugene School District; and taught Ethnic Studies courses as an adjunct instructor.

As a second generation Chinese American, Jason is actively involved in a number of local and national community groups and professional Diversity &Inclusion associations and enjoys mentoring and learning from the next generation of young leaders.

Christine B. JolinCivil Rights Investigator

​Christine Jolin recently joined OEMS as the Civil Rights and Conflict Resolution Coordinator. She is no stranger to conflict resolution, having spent many years as a litigation and mediation attorney in Montreal, Canada. Christine has also developed international training programs to futher empower minority groups and implement legal aid clinics in West Africa; she has also taught law in the Czech Republic. Christine has been with DHS since 2007, having recenly worked as one of the Legal Specialists with the Legal Unit. During that time Christine has actively participated in mediation.

Christine brings to the OEMS team, knowledge and experience to assist OEMS' mission of promoting diversity and inclusion and in her new role, she is responsible to assist employees resolve interculture work-related conflicts or disputes and find mutually acceptable solutions around issues of protected class and diversity. 

​Oscar HererraService Equity Manager

Oscar Herrera currently serves as the DHS Service Equity Manager. He has more than twenty years of experience in the field of human services in the states of California and Oregon. Throughout his career, he has worked with diverse communities and populations in the delivery of social services. In California, he served as a direct family care worker, as a Child Protective Services Social Worker in Sacramento, and later as a Head Start Social Worker. He moved to Oregon in 1994 to accept a position as Supervisor for Oregon’s Migrant Head Start Program and in 1996 joined DHS as a Supervisor for Child Welfare Agency at the Marion County Branch. In 2009, Oscar was promoted to the International Case Consultant position for DHS, where he led statewide efforts to ensure compliance with international rights and treaties for immigrant, refugee and other intercultural individuals. He brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and skill to the field of service equity for the state of Oregon both professionally and personally.

As an immigrant from El Salvador, Oscar holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce and Business Administration from El Salvador, has 45 units toward a Social Worker Bachelor Degree from San Francisco Community College, and is fluent in Spanish and English. Oscar also studied languages in El Salvador and speaks Italian and Portuguese.

​Emese Perfecto, J.D.REaL+D/Language Services Manager

Emese (pronounced Emma-Shay) Perfecto works with the Office of Equity and Multicultural Services (OEMS) for DHS since April, 2014.

Emese has always had an interest in languages and culture, focusing on the nuances that make up “communication” in different languages. She grew up in a multicultural home speaking several languages. At OEMS, Emese filled a new position that was specifically identified for someone that not only has the background of more than one language, but also an understanding about social and cultural aspects of communication. Emese’s goal for DHS is to provide employees with the tools and the resources they need so they can close the language gap for many of our clients who receive services from DHS.

Emese’s background consists of 15 years’ experience in teaching and training, working for Lane County Legal Aid as the Latina Outreach Attorney assisting monolingual Spanish-speaking clients needing representation in Domestic Violence cases, attorney for EX/IM Bank under the UN in Hungary, and helped children orphaned by hurricane Mitch in Honduras.

Melissa GomezLanguage Access & Systems Coordinator

Melissa (Jones-Clark) Gomez currently serves as the Language Access Coordinator with OEMS. Melissa's interest in equity and diversity partially comes from having many cultures woven into her own immediate family. Since she was young, she has possessed a curiosity and desire to learn about others through language and culture. In addition, serving others is something she truly enjoys.

She holds a degree in Retail Management, but has spent the last 23 years working for the Department of Human Services within Self-Sufficiency Programs. She started with the agency carrying Spanish speaking caseloads for migrant outreach programs and at different points in her career continued with language access related work. Melissa holds the Oregon Project Management Certification and has a background in project management along with earlier work as a case worker, case manager, and operations manager.

Shawn E. MessickDiversity and Inclusion Coordinator
Shawn Messick has over 7 years in state and local government and 18 years leading and supporting international responses to alleviate human suffering in complex humanitarian emergencies.
 
Working with a variety of US Government agencies, United Nations agencies, and International non-governmental organizations he worked across a broad range of programs and policies from food, water and shelter to the disarmament and demobilization of child soldiers in Africa, Asia, Central America and Southern Europe.
 
Shawn was part of the team that successfully translated the Nobel Peace Prize winning International Campaign to Ban Landmines advocacy effort into a robust set of evidence based practices to assess, manage and clear the socio-economic impact of landmines and unexploded ordnance. He was a leader in developing the policy framework and field practices enabling United Nations agencies to collaborate with other humanitarian responders.
 
Shawn changed careers in 2008 to be home with his family. He led public health informatics efforts at Multnomah County and OHA’s Maternal and Child Health program prior to joining DHS. Shawn is a veteran of the US Army, speaks German and Turkish and has a BA in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins University.
​Diana WoodsExecutive Assistant

Diana Woods came to the Office of Equity and Multicultural Services in April, 2014 as the Executive Support Specialist at the request of the OEMS director. Previously with Tribal Relations Office, Diana has worked for the Department of Human Services for 12 years and with the State of Oregon for over 29 years.

Diana began her career with the Oregon Police Academy in Monmouth. Holding positions ranging from reception to curriculum testing to curriculum development, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in office procedure.

Diana was the executive support for the Tribal Affairs Unit of the Director’s Office for six years staffing committees such as the SB 770, ICWA Advisory and coordinatord the ICWA Conference for several years. Diana shares a passion for the work of OEMS and for providing service equity to all DHS customers in Oregon.

Diana spends much of her free time playing the hurdy gurdy (wheel violin). She can often be seen outside of the Barbara Roberts Human Services Building playing during the noon hour.​​​​​​

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