Committing to Equity and Inclusion

DHS Director's Message
Message from DHS Director Fariborz Pakseresht​

October 30, 2018

As the largest state agency in Oregon, serving one in four Oregonians along the entire continuum of life, the Department of Human Services (DHS) is committed in its everyday work and its long-term goals to equity and inclusion. This is especially true in our commitment to create an environment and culture that appreciates and honors the dignity and worth of every individual.

Much work has been accomplished on this front and yet much more work remains for us to fulfill the vision of an equitable organization both internally and in terms of service equity. I want us to recommit to making equity and inclusion a central tenet of how we do our work.

Alberto Moreno, our Director of the Office of Equity and Multicultural Services (OEMS) and his staff will be working with all DHS program areas including our Central and Shared Services to help them develop and implement program specific Equity Plans and Equity Dashboards. To make this happen six Equity Managers will be hired by OEMS to help put structures, mechanisms, and metrics in place to incorporate the presence of equity and inclusion in our daily practice.

As an organization, we are committed to ensuring the quality of our services. We cannot do this if we are not providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services to everyone we serve. In addition to discussions, meetings and trainings, equity must also be reflected in our interactions, policies, staffing and practices.

A diverse and culturally competent workforce is central to achieving our equity and inclusion goals in DHS. Belinda Teague, our Interim Director of Human Resource and her staff are working with OEMS on a diversity recruitment plan for all management positions. The plan will be focused on people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ+, and other underrepresented protected classes. Fully supporting Diversity Committees and Employee Resource Groups and engaging them in recruitment and retention will be essential in increasing the diversity of our workforce. Human Resources and OEMS will work together to make this happen.

The DHS leadership will model participation in required equity trainings and will support all of you and your managers to attend these trainings and to be part of the conversations.

Working together in unison we will move our organization forward on the path to equity. Thank you for lending your unconditional support to fulfill our vision of equity and inclusion for all!​