EDI Peer Community

In 2021, APHSA created an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Peer Community. This community of leaders is charged with advancing racial equity outcomes and collectively informing EDI practices in human services systems across the country.

The APHSA EDI peer community is comprised of EDI experts committed to tackling racism and marginalization human services. To do this, the members focus on policy and practice related to advancing racial equity at the state, local, and community levels.

In addition, this community provides opportunities for sharing ideas, offering peer support, and developing innovation that will help transform the human services sector. The goals of decreasing/eliminating disparities and increasing outcomes for communities of color set the agenda for every meeting.

To fully inform EDI culture nationally, the EDI Peer Community has recruited strategic leaders from multiple states and communities. These leaders have extensive experience in advancing equity and justice.

Targeted areas for discussion and development for the EDI Peer Community include:

· Agency Culture: Discuss and learn about advancing organizational culture focused on eliminating racial disparities inside human services organizations and for the communities served. Learn from current efforts by looking at the outcomes and barriers to outcomes.
· Community-Based Organizations and Partnership: Discuss the use of data to assess service impact on communities of color. Learn about disaggregating data to adjust programming and educational goals to keep pace with the changing needs of the communities and measure improvement using baseline data to see if program solutions positively impact outcomes for communities of color.
· Data and Analytics: Discuss tools and ideas to measure the cultural responsiveness of policies and programs for employees, stakeholders, and communities. These policies and programs track coordinated diversity activities aligned with organizational direction and measure race equity outcomes using quantitative and qualitative data.
· Education: Discuss how training can achieve organizational change and advance EDI in the workforce.
· Human Services Program Service Delivery and Outcomes: Examine system service delivery through a race equity lens.
· Policy: Examine racial disparities' root causes in policy by looking at data and outcomes.
· Well-being and Health: Discuss how to advance well-being and health equity for communities of color through service delivery.
· Budget Priorities: Opportunities to advance EDI through state block grants, highlighting potential engagement with community-based organizations serving diverse racial and ethnic communities.

For more information about the APHSA EDI Peer Community, please see the contact information below.

Office of the President & CEO

Wanda Cowart

Wanda Cowart

Division Director for the Community Assistance Division
Jefferson County Department of Human ServicesColorado

[email protected]

Michelle Davis

Michelle Davis, MS, LPC, PCC

Assistant professor and the director of equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice (JEDI)
The Kempe Center, University of Colorado–Anschutz

Tracy Davis

Tracy Davis

Academy for Workforce Development
Connecticut Department of Children and Families

[email protected]

Adolph P. Falcon

Adolph P. Falcón

Executive Vice President
National Alliance for Hispanic Health
Washington, D.C.

[email protected]

devon gilchrist

Devon Gilchrist

African American Well-Being Unit
Minnesota Department of Human Services

[email protected]

caronina grimble

Caronina Grimble

Office of Strategy, Equity, and Transformation
Illinois Department of Human Services

[email protected]

dr jessica jones

Dr. Jessica Jones

Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services

[email protected]

dion jordon

Dion Jordon

Office of Equity and Multicultural Services
Oregon Department of Human Services

[email protected]

edwin lebron

Edwin Lebron

Training-of-Trainers (TOT) / Virtual Learning Specialist
Ohio's University Consortium for Child and Adult Services (OUCCAS)

[email protected]

dr breanca merritt

Dr. Breanca Merritt

Chief Health Equity and ADA Officer
Indiana Family and Social Services Administration

[email protected]

nichole ossa

Nichole Ossa

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Organizational Development Administrator
State of Washington

[email protected]

florence racine

Florence Racine, MSW, LSW

Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity & Belonging
New Jersey Department of Children and Families

stacy reinstein

Stacy Reinstein

Arizona Deputy Child Care Administrator with the Department of Economic Security

[email protected]

jessica ruffin

Jessica Ruffin

Deputy Director Office of Community Relations and Inclusion
Allegheny County Department of Human Services Pennsylvania

[email protected]

bianca shaw

Bianca Shaw

Grassroots Manager All Voting Is Local Wisconsin

[email protected]

terrance stroud

Terrance Stroud

Deputy Commissioner
New York City Department of Social Services

[email protected]

genet stewart

Genet Stewart

Director of Strategic Initiatives
The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, Florida

[email protected]

denise syles-ballard

Denise Syles-Ballard

CRC Assistant Division Director- Valerie C. Woodard Center Department of Community Resources
Mecklenburg County Government, North Carolina

[email protected]

latrece thompson

LaTrece Thompson

Deputy Director
Indiana Department of Child Services

[email protected]

brandi turner

Brandi Turner

DEI Officer Organizational Health and Development
Kansas Department of Children and Families

[email protected]

donna l wilson

Donna L. Wilson, Ph.D., LPC

Director of Operations & Community Engagement for Child and Family Services
Mental Health Center of Denver

[email protected]


Natalie Williams

Natalie Williams

Chief Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (EDIB) Officer APHSA

[email protected]

Alexander Figueroa

Assistant Director of Learning and Development (OE) APHSA

[email protected]

Adrian Saldana

Organizational Effectiveness Consultant APHSA

[email protected]