Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Congratulations to MHALA for being a Nonprofit of the Year Finalist in the 2022 Los Angeles Business Journal's Diversity, Equity + Inclusion Awards!
MHALA is proud of the agency’s diversity, equity, and inclusion: More than 72 percent of those we serve are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), and more than 76 percent of MHALA’s staff are BIPOC. MHALA also employs many LGBTQ staff. Over 25% of MHALA staff have lived experience or family experience with poverty or mental or physical health challenges. Today, 64.1% of agency leaders (managers and above) are BIPOC. On our Board of Directors, 36% are BIPOC (18% LatinX, 9% Asian, and 9% Black). In addition, the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors is 50% BIPOC.
Believing that it is not enough to have a diverse staff population, MHALA embraces the goal of representative leadership and a seat at the table in all aspects of decision making and input within the agency. Today we are proud that our staff leadership and Board leadership reflect the make-up of those we serve and the makeup of our diverse staff.
To encourage and celebrate its diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the organization, MHALA does the following:
- All 36 members of the agency’s diverse staff leadership team meets monthly and all are encouraged to weigh in on agency strategy, initiatives, goals, and issues.
- Through frequent Town Hall meetings, MHALA’s CEO communicates with all agency staff (approximately 400 staff) about directions and issues. Staff are given the opportunity for discussion and questions both in the meeting and subsequently. In addition, all agency directors and team leaders meet with their teams weekly to ensure staff input.
- Task forces working on specific agency initiatives are made up of diverse representation from both leadership and staff.
- The agency regularly celebrates special days and events related to diversity. Juneteenth was celebrated as a holiday at MHALA before it became a national holiday.
- The agency has regular trainings that address diversity, equity and inclusion, including an all agency 4-part special training during the social unrest in 2020 that addressed diversity, equity and inclusion through topics such as allyship and communication.
- A key component of the agency’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts involves the facilitation of participation at every level of the agency. MHALA staff participated in an all-agency tribute to support the Asian American and Pacific Islander community following anti-Asian behavior in the general community. The agency similarly created an impactful expression of support and appreciation for the Black and African American community during the pandemic. Both of these efforts were widely distributed throughout the MHALA community and via social media to the larger community. MHALA regularly participates in LGBTQ celebrations and events.
Feedback from staff indicates that MHALA’s inclusive culture is a large reason for our low turnover. Staff want to work in an agency where all are included at all levels.