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
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.
Every individual and community has dignity, respect and full measure of human rights.
|Lydia Muniz||OEMS 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 Mak||Diversity 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.
|Oscar Hererra||Service 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
|Alec Esquivel, J.D.||Civil Rights Investigator|
Alec Esquivel started with
DHS January 2013. He previously clerked for the Oregon Court of Appeals with
the Honorable Darleen Ortega and Honorable Lynn Nakamoto. Alec received his law
degree from Willamette College of Law and holds a B.A. in English with minors
in Political Studies and Women’s Studies from the University of Nebraska –
Lincoln. Currently, Alec is participating in the Graduate Conflict Resolution
Program at Portland State University.
Alec enjoys spending time
with his family and visiting extended family in Nebraska, where he was born and
raised. Hobbies include: skiing, kayaking, Compassionate Communication, and
watching end of the world movies.
|Emese Perfecto, J.D.||Language Access Coordinator|
(pronounced Emma-Shay) Perfecto works with the Office of Equity and
Multicultural Services (OEMS) as the Language Access Coordinator for DHS since
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.
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 Italy, and helped children
orphaned by hurricane Mitch in Honduras.
|Shawn Messick||Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator|
joined OEMS in January, 2015 as the Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator where
he applies his experience and insight to policy coordination and standing up
intra-organizational evidence-based practices for OEMS program areas. Prior to
joining DHS, he led Public Health informatics efforts at the Oregon Health
Authority and the Multnomah County Health Department. He served on the Oregon
Health Information and Technology Oversight Council/Legal and Policy Work Group
and on the ePublic Health Committee of the National Association of City and
County Health Officials. Mr. Messick is a veteran of the U.S. Army and
graduated from the John Hopkins University with a BA in International Studies.
2008, Shawn spent over 23 years leading and supporting international responses
to alleviate human suffering in complex humanitarian emergencies. In the 1990s,
he was a leader in developing the U.S. government operational policy and
practice for complex interagency programs in Iraq, Bosnia, African Great Lakes,
and Haiti/Cuba migration emergency at the U.S. Agency for International
Development and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He served as the U.N.
Humanitarian Field Coordinator in Liberia, where he also set up and managed the
disarmament and demobilization program.
part of the team that successfully translated the Nobel Peace Prize winning
International Campaign to Ban Landmines advocacy effort into a robust set of
field assessment and management practices to eradicate landmines and unexploded
ordnances. He was a leader in developing the policy, practice and organization
for the United Nations’ field based information management structure supporting
interagency coordination, interagency health information systems, and
interagency logistics operations deployed in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Lebanon,
Bosnia Herzegovina, Pakistan, Iraq, and for the response to the Indian Ocean
Tsunami (Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka).
|Douglas Bloom||Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator|
has been a leader in the fields of communication, educational/counseling
psychology and curriculum/lesson development for over thirty years. Douglas has
provided mental health services, training and supervision at the Oregon State
Hospital (OSH), and Multnomah County Health Department. He pioneered counseling
and testing programs at State Corrections and Alcohol and Drug treatment
facilities for adults and juveniles in both English and Spanish.
extensive work around Cultural Diversity and Inclusion concepts. He developed
and implemented “Connecting Generations” and “The Ladder of Inference and
Micro-Aggressions” for regional and national conferences. He presented at
Oregon’s Diversity Conference. From the University of Oregon’s Crisis Center to
Business Transitions, Douglas brings a diverse and multi-ethnic perspective on
generations of human behavior.
Mr. Bloom is
currently with the Office of Equity and Multicultural Services (OEMS). Douglas
is one of our Diversity and Inclusion Coordinators, and has been with OEMS
since January, 2015. He has taken the lead on several projects including: the
Services Equity Framework Campaign; Ask Diversity: An Introduction to PAUSE;
and training and development and video production.
|Mariah Forrest||ADA Manager|
Mariah Forrest earned a Master of Human Services
Administration degree from Antioch New England Graduate School and has written
policies and procedures, administered contracts, and performed management
duties throughout her long career. She has been working in DHS for over 18
years in disability services and administration. Before working for the state,
Mariah managed Head Start, employment, and senior housing programs.
Mariah is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor with
seven years of experience as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. She
provided employment assistance to youth in Minnesota through the state Job
Service; Head Start parents in Coos and Curry Counties, Vocational
Rehabilitation participants in Lincoln and Lane Counties, and currently assists
DHS employees and managers regarding reasonable accommodations.
Mariah enjoys outdoor activities, particularly
swimming, hiking, and canoeing, as well as spending time with her
|Diana Woods||Executive Assistant|
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 10 years and with the State of Oregon for over 28 years.
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.
was the executive support for the Tribal Affairs Unit of the Director’s Office
for six years staffing committees such as the SB 770 and ICWA Advisory. Diana
shares a passion for the work of OEMS and for providing service equity to all DHS
customers in Oregon.
spends much of her free time playing the hurdy gurdy (wheel violin).