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​​​​​Who We Are

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

  • Community Engagement – working collaboratively with communities, building partnerships to mobilize resources and influence systems and serve as catalysts for changing policies, programs and practices
  • Service Equity – ensuring ODHS’s programs are available to all qualified Oregonians
  • Workforce Diversity and Inclusion – supporting a work culture where the uniqueness of all people is welcomed and valued

Staff Biographies

Dion JordanOEMS Director

Dion Jordan is currently the Director of the Office of Equity and Multicultural services where he helps lead the Oregon Department of Human Services to become more equitable, accessible, and racially just. Prior to serving as Director of OEMS, Dion was the Equity and Inclusion Manager of Multnomah County’s Human Resources Department. With over 15 years of experience in this field, Dion has helped to bring a sense of trust, safety and belonging to all while embedding equity and inclusion within organizations people, places, policies and practices.​​

Monica Gonzalez-LopezExecutive Support Specialist
​Monica Gonzalez-Lopez is currently the Executive Assistant for the OEMS Director Dion Jordan and the OEMS Team. She came to Oregon's Department of Human Services in October of 2014 as an Administrative Specialist working with invoicing and paying bills for the Director’s Office. She was given the opportunity to work as the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer before becoming the Executive Assistant to the Department's Deputy Director. At his departure she decided to make a change and went to work for the Director’s Office of Equity and Multicultural Services. She has been with OEMS since 2018. 

Less than a year after graduating from High School, Monica began working for a Catholic Church in Woodburn. After working there for more than 32 years she decided it was time for a change and came to work for the Oregon Department of Human Services. Monica has always had a position in which she helps and serves people, something she has always liked. She believes that we have all been called to serve one another.     ​​​​​

Yetu DumbiaEquity Project Manager
​Yetu Dumbia is currently serving as the Equity Project Manager with the Office of Equity and Multicultural Services (OEMS). Prior to this role, Yetu worked with the Oregon Home Care Commission within the Aging and People with Disabilities program as a Traditional Health Worker and Developmental Disabilities Coordinator. In that role Yetu was honored to Chair the Traditional Health Worker Commission advocating for health equity. Yetu has over two decades of experience working on equity issues and has over 14 years of demonstrated history of working in public and private sector and a background in education, public health, nursing, coaching and project management. Yetu is passionate about serving the community to bring light to their voices and dismantling all forms of barriers and racism.​

Yetu enjoys summer beach trips, traveling and spending time with family.

Melissa Sampson-GrierTransformation Manager
​Melissa Sampson-Grier currently works for the Oregon Department of Human Services as the Race & Equity Transformation Manager where she is tasked with re-imagining and supporting equity efforts across the organization. She has over 20 years of Child Welfare, Tribal and community engagement experience and is known for her skills as a facilitator, curriculum developer and leader in racial equity efforts. Prior to transitioning to the State, Melissa worked as the Foster Care Program Coordinator for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. She is a member of the Yakama Nation and proud alumni of Washington State University where she majored in Human Development and Sociology. Outside of work Melissa enjoys spending time with her three children, Brittany, Alayna and Eddie. 

LeMont BoydTransformation Manager
​LeMont Boyd started his career at the Oregon Department of Human Services in 2000. LeMont spent 19 years working in Child Welfare Programs as a caseworker, visitation program supervisor and protective services supervisor. He has served as one of the founding members and chair of the DHS Employee Resource Group, B.E.S.T. (Black Employee Support Team). Later serving as vice chair, and advisor for this group, LeMont supported B.E.S.T. through their development of many of their initiatives regarding community engagement efforts, and internal learning opportunities for the ODHS workforce. Currently LeMont serves as the Service Equity Transformation Manager for the Office of Equity and Multicultural Services. 

LeMont has been an active member of the Child Welfare Racial Equity Leadership Team and is the recipient of the 2018 Gloria M. Anderson Diversity Award. LeMont is the current co-chair of the African American Management Council (A.A.M.C.) Employee Resource Group for ODHS. LeMont shares a strong belief in honest and transparent dialogue and has a strong passion for diversity, equity, inclusion, and racial and service equity. He carries a strong background in child welfare practice and systems and brings a wealth of knowledge in facilitation and leadership. LeMont is passionate about community, workforce and service equity. ​ 

Stephanie D. StephensCommunity Engagement Manager
​Before coming to OEMS, Stephanie D. Stephens worked at the National Partnership for New Americans, serving as Campaign Manager for We Are All America, which upholds and strengthens our nation's commitment to welcome and protect those seeking freedom, safety and refuge in the United States. Previously she co-founded Unite Oregon, a statewide social justice nonprofit leading on issues impacting immigrants, refugees, people of color and low-income Oregonians. In 2007, Stephanie led the City of Portland's visioning project; the resulting "2030 Vision" lay the foundation for planning and development in the region. She previously worked as Communications and Development Manager at Western States Center. A public education advocate in her volunteer time, Stephanie was elected to her second term on the David Douglas School Board in 2021. She lives with her husband and twins in East Portland.​

Antonio TorresCommunity Engagement Coordinator
​Antonio Torres is the son of Mexican immigrants. 

Antonio first became involved in the social justice movement in 1996-1997, during his first year in college at Western Oregon University. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences with an emphasis on Community Action and Latino Issues and a minor in Chicano Studies. He also earned a Master’s Degree in Public Health in Health Promotion and Health Behavior from Oregon State University. Antonio Torres has developed state and national community outreach best practices.  ​

Antonio is the father to Antonio, Cesar, Ileana, Natalia, Santos, heavenly baby Victoria, and Jazbet. Husband to Marlen Torres Arias. Antonio is an advocate for underserved and underrepresented populations.​​
Maria WatersFaith Community Liaison
​Maria, an Oregon native, serves as the State of Oregon's first liaison to Faith Communities. She has spent the last 15 years focused on supporting partnerships between government and non-profit organizations. Maria is particularly passionate about developing relationships between faith-based organizations and public programs with the goal of collaborating to improve outcomes for individuals and families across Oregon.

Maria has served on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Social Workers - California Chapter and held a seat on the Oversight and Advisory Committee for the Department of Children, Youth and their Families in San Francisco. She holds a bachelor's degree in Social Work from and a master's degree in Public Administration.

When Maria isn't working, you'll find her adventuring with her husband and three teenagers, a daughter and twin boys.

Kelli HeflinRiSE Project Lead
​Kelli Heflin has been with ODHS for over 15 years. She began with the agency working in Information Security and Emergency Management before moving to special projects in the Office of Human Resources. In 2017 she relocated to the Office of Reporting, Research, Analytics and Implementation to help launch the RiSE Culture. In the summer of 2020, Kelli, along with the RiSE initiative, transitioned under the leadership of OEMS.

Marcella MillerRiSE Implementation Specialist
​Marcella Miller is an Implementation Specialist in OEMS and works on organizational culture. She joined ODHS in May of 2018, bringing a background in hunger prevention, food systems and social justice from across Oregon, Nebraska and national projects. Her experience includes coordinating community food programs, state and federal legislative advocacy, increasing access to federal nutrition programs and research and evaluation. She has worked with and volunteered for over a dozen Oregon community organizations and learned a lot from each of them. She earned a Master of Public Administration and Nonprofit Management at University of Oregon. Originally from Arizona, she has been grateful to be an Oregonian for many, many years.

Aimee FritschRiSE Implementation Specialist
​Aimee Fritsch joined ODHS in July of 2017 as a Hatfield Fellow working on data support for the Executive Project Team. From there she joined the Office of Reporting, Research, Analytics and Implementation as an Implementation Specialist working on disparities in Child Welfare for Native and Tribal children/families, other Child Welfare data analytics projects and RiSE, the ODHS organizational culture. In December of 2021 she joined the OEMS Team to work on RiSE full-time. Along with her work on RiSE, Aimee is an officer for the Westside PRIDE ERG.

Aimee earned a BA from the University of Oregon and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She's motivated to make systems work better for people and loves bringing that passion to ODHS every day. Her cat, Xerxes occasionally joins in on calls while working remotely. Outside of work, Aimee enjoys knitting, sewing, and riding her bicycle.

Dr. Matt FriesenREALD Manager - Equity and Inclusion Research and Data Analyst
​Matt Friesen serves as research and data analyst supporting Oregon Department of Human Service (ODHS) programs as they continue to integrate an equity lens into their research and evaluation. Gathering high-quality race, ethnicity, language, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity demographic data allows ODHS to support a diverse workforce and respectfully tailor its programs to all Oregonians.

Matt graduated from the University of Oregon with a PhD in Sociology and mixed-methods research on environmental justice and social change. Over the years Matt has woven together the threads of rigorous research, social justice and local engagement as a community organizer in Chicago, Mennonite Church pastor in Kansas and Oregon, Sociology professor in Ohio and career advisor at Western Oregon University (although his fast food cooking, limousine driving, and rural lumber-mill adventures were pretty informative too).

Some of his favorite moments have included: cross-cultural study experiences in Nagasaki, Israel/West Bank, the US/Mexico border, and New Orleans. Canoeing the Minnesota Boundary Waters, kayaking, hiking and camping around Oregon come in a pretty close second. But 25+ years of marriage to his best friend and hanging out with their two adult children and slightly chunky Corgi top the list.

Melissa GomezLanguage Access & Systems Coordinator
Melissa Gomez began her career with ODHS as a bilingual migrant outreach worker with Self-Sufficiency Programs (SSP). Her Associate Degree in Retail Management, while not directly related, provided a foundation for her future work in the agency. Over the course of 28+ years she has worked in a variety of roles including case manager, community resource coordinator, supervisor, project manager and analyst.

Melissa left SSP in 2016 to join OEMS as the Language Access Coordinator. Melissa brings with her many years of networking and collaboration across the agency in addition to her Oregon Project Management Certification.

Melissa's interest in belonging, equity, inclusion and anti-racism began at a young age, perhaps fostered by the many cultures woven into her own family. Social injustices seemed to speak louder to her than to many of her peers She has a strong interest in languages, learning, transparency, connection and serving others.

Jason MakDiversity and Inclusion Manager
​Jason Mak currently serves as the ODHS Diversity and Inclusion Manager. Jason graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor’s Degree in Ethnic Studies and did their graduate work in Asian American Studies at UCLA. With respo​nsibilities 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.​

Shawn E. MessickDiversity and Inclusion Coordinator
Shawn Messick joined ODHS and OEMS in 2015 as the Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator. In this role he supports workforce diversity and inclusion policy, practice, learning and development initiatives, and data analysis. Prior to joining ODHS 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 (NACCHO).

Prior to 2008 Shawn worked 23 years in international humanitarian assistance leading and supporting efforts to alleviate human suffering in complex humanitarian emergencies. 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. In collaboration with likeminded thinkers he developed and implemented systemic changes and new field practices enabling United Nations agencies to better collaborate with other humanitarian responders to assess need and design and implement coordinated responses. To further these efforts, he co-founded iMMAP, an international NGO providing applied information management and analysis services. After too many near misses and extended absences Shawn sought quieter employment in 2008. Shawn is a veteran of the US Army, speaks German and Turkish and has a BA in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins University.​​

Frieda BikeleProgram Equity Manager for Central/Shared Services
​Frieda Bikele is the Service Equity Manager for Human Resources, Central and Shared Services. She worked for OHA Public Health Division prior to joining the OEMS team in November 2019.

She has 14 years of combined experience working for Government agencies, diplomacy, non-profit organizations in both Cameroon and the US. Frieda is fluent in French, Pidgin English, English in addition to a couple of native languages from Cameroon.

She holds a BA in Sociology and Communication, an MA in Socio-Anthropology of Health from the University of Douala in Cameroon and recently graduated from the University of Oregon with an MA in International Studies with a focus on Public Health. She is an avid advocate for social justice and a community activist for racial and gender equity.

Her passions include the outdoors, travel, spending time with friends and family. Her spare time is spent connecting marginalized communities to resources and advocating for the inclusion and empowerment of marginalized populations.

Melissa ElliottProgram Equity Manager for Developmental Disabilities Services
​Melissa (Missy) Elliott currently works as a Service Equity Manager for the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services through the Office of Equity and Multicultural Services with 4+ years of experience in policy and resource development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She brought her unique and quirky personality to the collaborative work with self-advocates, families, providers, and case managers across Oregon and California when evaluating services and transforming the service planning process. Melissa came to work within Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities services utilizing a background in supportive housing models and direct support experience with a focus on mental health. She used her love of capacity building to share this knowledge with various audiences, focusing on person-centered practices, service equity for all and Home and Community Based Services. She completed her Bachelor and Master’s in Social Work at Loyola University of Chicago.​ ​

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