7/7/22 - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training 2022

Dear Colleagues:

It has long been IDHS' vision that ALL people in Illinois achieve their full potential.? The unfortunate reality is that State agencies, like IDHS, which exist to provide relief and recovery have sometimes not done enough to reduce racial and ethnic disparities, and have been a part of causing undue harm. The people of Illinois, especially historically underrepresented and underserved groups, need all of us to live up to and carry out our agency's vision. To do this, we have been guided by IDHS' Plan for Equity, Racial Justice, Diversity, and Inclusion, which aims to address the entrenched and accumulated inequities experienced by marginalized and disenfranchised groups by accelerating organizational transformation.

First and foremost, we are committed to building an inclusive agency where all employees can thrive, where all have a sense of belonging and can reach their full potential. To this end, our Office of Equity, Strategy, and Transformation has facilitated a partnership with the University of Illinois at Chicago's Institute for Research on Race & Public Policy (IRRPP) to design a racial equity training to help us develop core competencies and skills necessary to advance racial equity. It is our goal to ultimately have every DHS staff participate in that training beginning in 2023.

A firm commitment to advancing equity and racial justice has long been a hallmark of the Governor's administration; as such, he has created the State's first ever Office of Equity, led by Dr. Sekile Nzinga. In partnership with the Illinois Department of Human Rights, the Governor's Office of Equity has created a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training to help increase the knowledge and skills of the state workforce. The goal is to ensure diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility standards of excellence are integrated into the strategic priorities of state agencies.

The DEI training has been added to the list of mandatory trainings, and will take you a minimum of 90 minutes to complete. This foundational training ensures all agencies will have a required training for employees so that we can have a shared DEIA awareness, knowledge, and professional expectation that we can all build upon and apply as we work to equitably serve the people of Illinois. You should notice that this training has been added to your 'Current Registrations'.

Advancing racial equity requires a multi-tiered, broad commitment; this training is one part of that commitment.

Please reach out to our Office of Strategy, Equity and Transformation, DHS.EquityRacialJustice@illinois.gov, with any questions regarding the training program.


Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS