Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
We, the County of Ventura, are committed to developing, nurturing, and sustaining an equitable community and workforce where all individuals can thrive. We pledge to amplify the voices of under-represented communities or those who were historically excluded, by removing barriers that result from racial and social injustice and inequities. We strive to ensure that equity, diversity, inclusion are embedded at all levels of Ventura County programs and departments through acknowledging, analyzing, and addressing the root causes of inequities. We advance equitable polices, practices and procedures, including, but not limited to County services, recruitment and retention, policies and practices, budgeting and procurement. We commit to being transparent and will continually evaluate and update our strategies when identified goals and objectives are not being achieved or sustained. We, the County of Ventura, strive to create an inclusive environment where every community member feels like he/she/they belong.
The Ventura County Board of Supervisors (BOS) adopted a resolution on November 10, 2020, declaring racism a public health crisis. The resolution and its implementation reenforces the diversity, equity and inclusive work initiated by the County in 2017 and are integral to fostering and promoting a racial equity and justice-oriented organization in service to our community. The County chooses to lead with race and be direct about race but is not exclusively focused on race, in order to allow for a framework that also extends to additional equity issues, including sexual orientation, gender identity, and ability.
DEI Leadership Groups
Formed in 2017, DEI Council (formerly the DEI Taskforce) is building momentum to advance equity with agency representatives at all levels of the organization. The DEI Council meets monthly and provides recommendations to County leadership on policies, programs, and initiatives, while also serving as a link between all County of Ventura Agencies and the community.
Formed in 2021, the DEI LAT sets overall direction and oversight for DEI efforts in collaboration with the DEI Council and the Office of DEI. This team consists of six directors and the DEI Officer serving as liaison to the CEO. Its role is to serve as the sponsor of DEI efforts & to hold leadership accountable for integrating DEI efforts throughout the County.
Formed in 2021, PSREAG fosters communication and identifies public concerns related to policing. The committee membership is comprised of community group representatives and law enforcement representatives.
Formed in 2021, HEAC brings together representatives of county agencies and the community to enhance DEI within our healthcare services.
DEI Momentum Milestones
- 2015: The Board adopted a Health in All Policies framework to ensure County leaders and decision makers have the tools they need to view all decisions through a health equity lens when developing policies that impact population health outcomes.
- 2017-2020: Developed and implemented a mandatory employee cultural competency training and Mentorship Program
- 2018: Created a DEI Library on the County’s Intranet as a staff resource
- 2020: Hosted public and employee forums regarding race and law enforcement
- 2020: Adopted a Board Resolution declaring racism as a public health crisis
- 2020: Transitioned the DEI Task Force to an ongoing DEI Council in which all agencies and departments are represented
- 2020: Recruited & hired a Diversity Equity and Inclusion Officer
- 2021: Launched Talking Together in Challenging Times racial equity dialogues for county staff to begin normalizing conversations about race in the workplace
- 2021: Formalized a Diversity Calendar of Events and Celebrations for the County of Ventura
- 2021: Expansion of the DEI Office Staffing
- 2022: Launched the Healthcare Equity Advisory Council and the Public Safety Racial Equity Advisory Group
- 2022: Launch of the DEI Learning Series for Staff Members
Moving forward 2022-2023
Over the past year, in collaboration with the DEI Council, the Office of DEI has begun to normalize DEI concepts, skills, and language with a focus on racial equity with an intersectional approach. Thousands of Ventura County staff across all agencies and departments have participated in this work and infrastructure is being built to lead and sustain the work.
There is a commitment to the work that is evident alongside the recognition that while this is long-term work, it also requires a sense of urgency due to the real-world impacts on the quality of life for Ventura County residents and County of Ventura staff.
In the coming year, there are many exciting efforts to support DEI, including employee assessment and training, action planning, equity data, and history projects.
We will continue to frame our work through Normalizing, Organizing and Operationalizing.
Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
800 South Victoria #1940
Hall of Administration 4th Floor
Ventura, CA 93009
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