As part of our 10-year vision to support healthy and thriving communities, VOA has committed to building a more equitable and inclusive future for our organization and those we serve. We have made intentional efforts to partner with socially-conscious organizations committed to social justice, anti-racist leadership and spiritual diversity.
Volunteers of America values the rich diversity among all people to create a world of greater justice and hope.
- Affirm that all people are created equally while acknowledging that some have wrongly endured unfairness, discrimination, and inequity.
- Celebrate our differences while recognizing the common humanity that unites us.
- Embrace diverse perspectives to deepen understanding, provide innovative solutions and strengthen our impact.
- Promote an inclusive environment where all people feel accepted and valued.
- Pursue equity as reflected in equal access, treatment and positive outcomes for all.
- Partner with others that share a commitment to diversity, equity, equality and inclusion.
Volunteers of America is a Christian church without walls dedicated to serving ALL people. We embrace the fullness of cultural, denominational, ethnic, political, racial and theological differences. We acknowledge and respect the plurality of sexual and gender identity; and the diversity of voices that comes with differences in age, life experience and socioeconomic status. We believe every individual is made in the image of God and deserves to be lifted up to the glory of God.
We especially seek and strive to:
- Reflect Jesus’ love for all people, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized, through authentic engagement with the communities we serve;
- Pay attention with sensitivity to every individual’s cultural narrative and the possible influence of our actions, words, prayers, and praise;
- Have courageous conversations amid differences; and
- Uphold the values of diversity and inclusion in our acts of social service, worship, and communal life.
Robert Gibson’s Interview With Dr. Sheryl Neverson, Vice President of Maryland Programs, VOA Chesapeake & Carolinas
Robert Gibson’s Interview With Dr. Janikaa Sherrod, Director of Community Health & Equity, Volunteers of America Mid-States
Lead with Equity
We will lead with equity and promote diversity internally and externally, monitoring progress while providing transparency and accountability.
- Close leadership diversity gaps
- Promote health equity AIMM (Assess, Intervene, Monitor, and Maintain)
- Expand diversity-aligned partnerships
- Engage diverse suppliers
Spotlight: VOA’s Health Equity Framework
Volunteers of America is committed to ensuring that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Meeting this commitment takes intentional action across multiple dimensions. We have developed the following framework to guide us and hold ourselves accountable to this commitment. To measure our health equity capacity growth, we have developed an assessment tool to accompany this framework. After the piloting phase in 2022, we look forward to making the assessment tool and framework publicly available to other organizations that share our commitment to Healthy Communities for All.
Empowering Language Guide
The following language guide is our compass. It will assist us in communicating more effectively with the communities we serve, helps us connect with one another more deeply, and through empowering language, affirms people reflecting a broad range of identities, perspectives and cultural backgrounds. Use it to validate individuals and their experiences, and avoid using language that victimizes, shame, and/or strips clients of dignity and choice.