Virtual Panel Discussion: Supporting Today’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Programs- A Public Sector HR Approach
Includes a Live Event on 10/28/2021 at 1:00 PM (EDT)
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs are an essential part of the public sector HR professional’s area of expertise. Agencies strive to gain employee and upper management support to drive innovation. Many HR professionals struggle to find the right approach, starting place, and/or how to enhance their DEI program. A diverse workforce allows talent to thrive and truly understand the “why” behind DEI initiatives.
What can agencies do within today’s workplace environment to make everyone feel they are represented, understood, and valued? Join IPMA-HR and public sector HR professionals as they discuss how they are bringing their DEI initiatives to life.
Sonja Stanchina (Moderator)
Director of Diversity & Inclusion
Contra Costa Water District
With more than 20 years of California public sector human resources experience, Sonja currently serves as the first Director of Diversity & Inclusion at the Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) in Concord, CA, promoted in October 2020 from CCWD’s Human Resources & Risk Manager. Sonja possesses an MBA in human resources management (HRM) from California Coast University graduating magna cum laude and received her bachelor’s degree in management from Saint Mary’s College of California with honors. Sonja earned an Advanced Certificate in HRM from California State University East Bay is a CALPELRA Certified Labor Relations Master (CLRM), and has been an IPMA-Certified Professional (IPMA-CP) since 2009, receiving her Senior Certified Professional (IPMA-SCP) designation in 2016. Sonja earned the CPS HR Risk Management Practitioner (RMP) certification in April 2020 and the Certified Diversity Executive (CDE) credential through the Institute for Diversity Certification in December 2020.
Sonja retired from the Northern California Chapter of the IPMA-HR Board of Directors after 10 years of service, served on the Board of Directors for the Western Region IPMA-HR for 5 years including as President (FY 2017-2018), and began a three-year term as a member of the IPMA-HR Executive Council on January 1, 2021. Sonja considers her relationships with the individuals of IPMA-HR as the single best investment she has made into her career, and the most enjoyable.
In her free time, Sonja enjoys wine tasting with her retired fire captain husband Dan, spending time with her adult son and daughter and their spouses, cuddling her new grandson and watching romance movie classics (mostly from the 1930s and 1940s) with white cheddar popcorn, and in her lap, Jet, her curious and confident black cat.
Vanessa A. Gray
Human Capital Manager, Parks and Recreation Department
City of Dallas
Vanessa A. Gray is a certified Human Resources professional possessing more than 20 years of experience in Human Resource Management in the non-profit and public sector arenas. Vanessa is experienced and adept in the field of Human Resources specializing in Employee Relations, Diversity, Engagement, Recruiting, and Training delivery. Vanessa has served as the longtime Citywide Employee Relations Manager, the Ethics and Diversity Officer, and most recently as the Diversity, Inclusion, Culture and Engagement Manager for the City of Dallas, Texas. She believes that Human Resources is the heartbeat of the organization/department, touching employees at the beginning of their life cycle with the organization and throughout their tenure. It is important that organizations continue to be transparent, impartial/fair, equitable, and consistent in daily activities with employees and management.
To demonstrate her mastery in the field of HR and Diversity, Ms. Gray previously obtained the following professional certifications in HR and Diversity and Inclusion: IPMA – SCP, SHRM – SCP, and NDC-CDP.
Diversity & Inclusion/Recruitment & Outreach Spealist at FDA/CDER/OM/Division of Management Services
Ileana joined the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2017 working for the Office of Strategic Initiatives and shortly after, joined the Division of Management Services. Ileana currently works as a Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement Specialist and supports the Center of Drug Evaluation and Research in their Diversity program.
Dr. Lindsey Wilson
Equity Officer, Office of Equity & Inclusion
City of Dallas
Dr. Lindsey L. Wilson is the Equity Officer for the City of Dallas’ Office of Equity and Inclusion – Equity Division. In this position, Dr. Wilson leads the citywide equity efforts across city departments, with the goal of embedding Dallas’ core value of Equity in all that the city does from budgeting, policies, programs, community engagement and overall service delivery. As the Equity Officer, Lindsey supports staff, leadership, and the community in normalizing, organizing, and operationalizing equity to help shape a city government and Dallas where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.
Dr. Wilson works internally with city departments to provide professional development, technical assistance, and education surrounding equitable principles and practices. In addition, to facilitating critical conversations about targeted efforts to reduce racial disparities, the analysis of policies and procedures, and building and strengthening robust community collaborations.
In her previous role as the Senior Program Coordinator for Snohomish County, Dr. Wilson served in various capacities advancing equity in Everett, Washington. She holds over 10 years of experience in local government and has a background in postsecondary education as she supported the University of Washington’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion through the development and oversight of graduate student programming for racially diverse populations.
Dr. Wilson holds a master’s in counseling and doctoral degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Washington, Seattle, where she examined the intersectionality of race, community engagement, gender, and socioeconomics. Throughout her career, she has focused on racial disparities and the impact of narratives. Her work challenges the status quo and has been published in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Wilson’s motto is equity is everyone’s work and seeks to centralize it in all of her endeavors.