Our Commitment To Diversity, Equity And Inclusion

At NAMI, we believe a diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization (or Alliance) is one where all employees, volunteers and members -- regardless of gender, race, gender identity, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation, education, disability, veteran status or other dimension of diversity-- feel valued and respected.

We are committed to providing informed, authentic leadership for cultural equity and to modeling diversity and inclusion for the entire NAMI alliance. We shall:

See diversity, inclusion, and equity as connected to our mission and critical to ensure the well-being of our staff and the NAMI alliance we serve.

  • Identify and dismantle inequities within our policies, systems, programs and services and continually update and report organization progress.
  • Explore potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.
  • Advocate for and support board-level thinking about how systemic inequities impact our organization’s work and how to address that them in a way that is consistent with our mission.
  • Practice and encourage transparent communication in all interactions.
  • Lead with respect and tolerance.

We expect all leaders and employees to embrace this notion and to express it in workplace interactions and through everyday practice.

We are committed to a nondiscriminatory approach and to providing equal opportunity for employment, participation and advancement in all programs and worksites.

NAMI Board DEI Champions Coordinating Committee

President, NAMI Board of Directors
Ex Officio, NAMI Board of Directors
DEI Committee Chair, NAMI Board of Directors

Board DEI Champions and Respective Committees

Joyce Campbell
Board Policy and Governance
Connie Mom-Chhing
Connie Mom-Chhing
Strategic Planning
Stacey Owens
Public Policy
Strategic Partnerships and Development
Vanessa Price
Vanessa Price
Finance and Audit

CEO’s Vision

Dan Gillison
NAMI Chief Executive Officer

As an organization, we are making new investments and commitments to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Through our work, we will;

  • model diversity and inclusion for the NAMI alliance
  • establish processes, procedures and policies that enable diversity, equity and inclusion
  • create and maintain a positive work environment that reflects our commitment to equity and supports full inclusion and participation by all staff and members so that all voices are heard and valued.
  • live up to our stated and aspirational organizational values [Link here to values]
  • Leverage DEI to achieve our mission

We will lead with inclusion and will help set goals and expectations that deeply influence workplace interactions, everyday practice and long-term outcomes for the National Office and the entire Alliance.

DEI Commitment

We are in the process of anchoring our DEI Plans to our 2020-2025 Strategy [Link] which solidly identified Diversity and Inclusion as powerful accelerators [Link] to achieve our goals and mission.

Our Approach

Mónica Villalta
NAMI National Director of Inclusion and Diversity Officer

In partnership with the CEO (the DEI Executive Sponsor), other Senior Leaders and guidance from the Board DEI Work Group and the DEI Staff Council we are designing an strategic, comprehensive and systematic approach to cultural transformation. Our efforts include:

  • Building a solid foundation and an organizational structure that supports DEI
  • Defining diversity, equity and inclusion for our organization and use our shared language to advance our understanding
  • Assess current status and plan for a desired future
  • Enable training and development that enhances our human capacity to interact effectively with colleagues and members of our surrounding communities
  • Invest in and design activities that advance DEI
  • Launch and prioritize targeted efforts and initiatives that support the Alliance
  • Ensure periodic updates and report our organization progress.

COMING SOON: DEI Staff Council

NAMI is in the process of establishing its first chartered DEI Staff Council. The group -- comprised of voluntary staff members — is a core component of NAMI’S strategic DEI leadership group.

Together with the Board DEI Work Group, the DEI Staff Council provides thought leadership, guidance and recommendations to the DEI Executive Sponsor and the DEI Office. Collaboratively with colleagues and business units, they promote activities and model behaviors.

Lessons learned from the council work and other resources identified and used by the council will be shared to support the work of State and Affiliate Offices via NAMInet.

NAMI's DEI Leadership

DEI Approach

NAMI’S Current Policy On Diversity And Inclusion For Affiliates And State Offices


NAMI shall actively recruit, engage and serve members from every race, culture, ethnicity, age, religion, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability and shall not discriminate in the requirements for membership, provision of service or support or in its policies or actions.

Membership Demographics

The NAMI Board of Directors will regularly review their own composition and membership demographics compared to those of the country using national census data, in order to aspire towards reflecting that composition.

In keeping with NAMI’s values regarding nondiscrimination and with applicable federal law, NAMI shall include in bylaws, operating policies and procedures and other relevant policy documents, explicit statements that require the organization to embrace the broadest possible definition of inclusion and nondiscrimination.


NAMI shall collect a baseline of members’ voluntarily supplied demographic information. Systems shall be put in place to protect the confidentiality of this information; demographic information will only be reported in the aggregate.


NAMI will reach out to and welcome the community at large through our recruitment, marketing, public education, and awareness activities. NAMI will strive to support recruitment and retention of a diverse and inclusive membership and leadership.


NAMI will promote and mentor NAMI State Organization and NAMI Affiliate diversity and inclusion efforts. Whenever there is a demand and the interests of members can best be served by support through groups sharing some affinity, including but not limited to lived experience or primary language, NAMI shall encourage its affiliates to move beyond their baseline.