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.

The National Assembly is proud of an ongoing equity partnership with the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, an organization with a proud 47-year history of delivering front-line health and human services annually to over 15 million in underserved communities. Included in this partnership, the Alliance is providing leadership support and hosting National Assembly’s new national headquarters at the Alliance’s historic headquarters building in Washington, D.C.

Additionally, 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 Race, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) efforts throughout the sector.

New Equity Resources

Avoiding the Glass Cliff BoardSource and Building Movement Project developed a new resource, “Avoiding the Glass Cliff: Advice to Boards on Preparing for and Supporting a New Leader of Color.” The report offers insight and advice for boards about how to help avoid these pitfalls, both leading up to a transition and after a new […]

Black Youth Excel with Research-Informed Policies and Practices

Racial disparities in many indicators of child well-being illustrate the need to improve Black children’s and adolescents’ experiences and outcomes across multiple domains, including education, health, child welfare, and criminal justice. To promote a deeper and more varied understanding of youth, Child Trends recently published the report “Black Children and Adolescents Can Achieve Greater Heights […]

Pillars of Health Equity

“Access, Data, Power, and Resources: A Roadmap to Health Equity” is a white paper co-authored by NHSA member, Social Current, and other members of the Vaccine Equity Cooperative. It provides recommendations based on lessons learned from the collaborating organizations’ shared experiences at the local, state, and federal levels in responding to COVID-19 and in addressing […]

Communicating About Racial Equity in Adolescence

The FrameWorks Institute and Health+ Studio released a new messaging playbook “Framing Racial Equity in Adolescence: Messaging Strategies for Social Change.” The playbook helps practitioners, advocates, policymakers, and journalists communicate more accurately and effectively about racism and equity and their impact on adolescent development. In addition, FrameWorks published a messaging supplement that distills these recommendations […]

Race To Lead: Trading Glass Ceilings for Glass Cliffs

Building Movement Project (BMP) released another Race to Lead report, “Trading Glass Ceilings for Glass Cliffs,” focused on the experiences of nonprofit leaders of color. It provides data on the added demands on executive directors of identity-based organizations, the challenges that BIPOC leaders face when taking over from white predecessors, and other realities of being […]

Advancing Equity in Juvenile Justice

New Data on Youth Incarceration The Sentencing Project released a new report, “Black Disparities in Youth Incarceration,” showing the racial inequities that still exist in our juvenile justice system. Despite long-term declines in youth incarceration, the disparity at which black and white youth are held in juvenile facilities has grown. Black youth are more than […]

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.

Celebrating 100 years of service!

This year, we are turning 100 years old. Read more on the NHSA blog and look for our Centennial Celebration date to be announced.