National Human Services Assembly

Equity & Human Services

Excellence in Equity

The National Assembly is committed to fostering a culture of meaningful equity and inclusion in the human service sector. We are unique in our ability to inspire and represent services that work across populations, issues, and geographic locales. Our work in equity reflects this unique role and aims to strengthen the sector and move toward the systems changes required to build well-being across our communities.

Further, the National Assembly advocates for social equity of all types. Our goal is to establish the building blocks for initiatives for nonprofit excellence in equity measured in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation, or empowerment of older adults and persons with disabilities. A growing evidence base suggests that greater equity leads to more effective organizations, is a positive investment for businesses, and can spur economic growth.

The ultimate output will be a replicable and scalable set of best practices for human service organizations to address the structural problems surrounding equity and social equality. The example set by the leading organizations in our sector will incentivize other organizations to follow suit. Increasing equity throughout the sector will itself hone the programs human services deliver and, in turn, influence policy and funding.

Currently, the National Assembly is a member of the advisory committee of Equity in the Center’s movement to “create a more diverse and equitable talent pipeline so that all people in the US have equal access to opportunities.” In 2016, the National Assembly informally partnered with members to explore the role human service organizations can play in increasing well-being for boys and men of color in the U.S. Our thought leadership report laid the groundwork for the proposed partnerships to expand the National Assembly’s role on issues of organizational equity as a whole. We have also formed a Diversity Equity and Inclusion board task force to determine next steps both internally and externally.

Below are some additional resources on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts throughout the sector.

Featured Event

2018 Equity in the Center Summit – Oct. 9-10th in Baltimore, MD

The 2018 Equity in the Center Summit plans to build on the findings of the report and focus on “decolonizing the social sector, addressing race equity in an intersectional context, and the role of foundations in driving race equity funding strategies.” For more information on registration and lodging, click here.

Boys and Men of Color Thought Leadership Convening: Report & Call to Action

Convening Objectives On December 7, 2016, thirty-two leaders from a range of human service organizations convened to reflect on the sector’s existing and emerging role in increasing well-being of boys and men of color in the United States. Participants included direct service providers, research and advocacy groups, national membership organizations, and philanthropic foundations. The group […]

Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture

Awake to Woke to Work, a report from Equity in the Center, outlines ways that organizations can help dismantle structural racism and inequities both inside and outside their organizations. The report identifies three proactive organizational stages that build race equity culture — one that is focused on “proactive counteraction of race inequities.” The “awake” stage […]

Race to Lead: Confronting the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap

The percentage of people of color in the executive director/CEO role has remained under 20% for the last 15 years, despite the country becoming more diverse. Race to Lead utilized Building Movement Project’s Nonprofits, Race, and Leadership Survey, which asked employees about their current nonprofit job, interest in leading a nonprofit, personal background, and the […]

Working at the Intersections: LGBTQ Nonprofit Staff and the Racial Leadership Gap

Working at the Intersections focuses on the intersection of sexuality and race when evaluating nonprofit leadership. The report builds on Race to Lead, again utilizing the Nonprofits, Race, and Leadership Survey, and analyzing the answers of the 21% of respondents who self-identified as LGBTQ+. The findings of this report were significant, with nearly one-fifth of […]

Leading with Intent: A Closer Look at Foundation Board Responses to Leading with Intent 2017

BoardSource has consistently tracked trends in nonprofit board leadership since 1994. In the summer of 2016, board chairs and executives from roughly 1,300 nonprofit organizations responded to a survey asking about their board’s composition, practices, performance, and culture. Leading with Intent found that people of color comprise 10% of CEOs, 10% of Board Chairs, and […]

Peer Learning

Are you a staff member of an organization that is a member of the National Assembly? If so, check out our Peer Learning Councils.

Interested in Advocacy?

Are you a public policy professional in or around the DC area? Learn more about the National Assembly's public policy efforts, the Washington Policy Council, and getting involved in advocacy for the human service sector.