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.

Leadership Resources on Race and Equity

This year has been a pivotal time in our history. It has called upon our sector’s leaders to confront an abundance of racism, equity, diversity, inclusion, and other issues heightened by the COVID-19 Pandemic and recent acts of police brutality. ProInspire and Building Movement Project have both advanced their work in these areas during unprecedented […]

Leading with Equity in a Time of Transition

Last month’s 57th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, once again, reminded all of us to re-examine our work and the path forward. The words still resonate today and compel us to commit to renewed calls for justice and to fulfilling the work which remains undone. As the Board of the National […]

Woke at Work

Woke at Work is a new resource from Equity in the Center (EiC) providing “frameworks, tools and ideas you need to build a race equity culture within your workplace.” The site is an extension of the ideas presented in “Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture,” and is designed specifically to help […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.

Care about Federal Legislation?

Then you'll want to check out our FREE public policy tool, PolicySource, to stay updated on tons of legislation and issues affecting the sector.