Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative


CWDA DEI Initiative
Welcome and Overview

At the County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA), we know that the human services programs our county members operate have the power to transform lives, particularly for California’s most vulnerable.  At the same time, we are mindful of our privilege and position, and recognize that many of our clients are persons of color, identify as LGBTQ+ or come from other historically underserved communities, are of limited English proficiency, are new to this state and country, or are members of other marginalized groups. 

While CWDA and our member agencies and staff can’t undo past harm, we can take steps today to improve services and promote equitable treatment and inclusion now and in the future. That’s why we’re proud to announce our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Initiative. Over the past year, our staff and members worked together to develop a five-year plan including concrete objectives for our internal organization, to support our members in the 58 counties, and to work with our partner organizations and agencies at the state, federal and local level to promote our work and collaborate on new projects. Throughout this Board-approved initiative, we will work to bring a DEI lens to everything we do, from how we approach state policy, to how we support our members to effectively engage with clients and train and empower staff at the county level. We will encourage our county partners to take a similar approach and work on incorporating DEI-informed practices when interacting with clients.

We’re pleased to share our DEI Strategic Plan and Timeline, as well as an inaugural blog post on the initiative from our Executive Director Cathy Senderling-McDonald.

We look forward to working with our county members, and our partners at other county and state agencies, the Legislature and the broader community of advocates to effectuate this plan and be held accountable to it. 

Blog post Cathy Senderling-McDonald

With New Plan, CWDA Deepens Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

As I stepped into the role of CWDA’s Executive Director in January 2021, our state and our county human services agencies were grappling with several interrelated crises.  One was the devastation, fear and human loss of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our county staff were on the front lines, meeting a surge of need and witnessing the devastating impact of the virus on communities long excluded from the basic foundations of health – quality housing, nutrition, preventive care and more. 


CWDA DEI Plan Materials

As we produce additional materials, we will post them here!


CWDA DEI Plan Timeline