DHS Vision, Mission, and Values: Centering Race

Why are we leading with race?

Our new guiding principles are different in that they center race. This is essential because racial inequities persist in every system across the country, without exception: Health, Education, Criminal-Legal, Employment, and so on.

We will lead with race because when you look within other dimensions of identity — income, gender, sexuality, education, ability, age, citizenship, and geography — there are inequities based on race. Knowing this helps us take a more intersectional approach, while always naming the role that race plays in people’s experiences and outcomes. Our work will be race explicit, but not race exclusive.


A just and equitable community that is healthy, safe, and economically secure, and free of systemic racism.


In solidarity with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, create equitable access to the resources and
opportunities needed for every community member to be healthy, safe, and economically secure.


Racial Equity

DHS intentionally removes structural and historical barriers for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color,
and provides the resources and supports that meet each person’s unique circumstances and needs.


DHS customers receive equity-driven services with ease, choice, and dignity.


DHS programs are stronger when they honor and recognize the diverse voices, cultures, and individuality in the community and Department. DHS responds to community and staff needs by building relationships, listening to lived experiences, and taking meaningful action to ensure equitable representation, participation, and decision-making.


DHS values the voices of its staff, and is invested in creating a work environment in which employees are supported,
passionate about what they do, and empowered to be their authentic selves.


DHS pursues continuous improvement, shares information in a transparent manner,
and collaboratively works toward outcomes that eliminate racial inequities.