Meet the Encompass Community Services Racial Equity Workgroup!

We are proud to report that Encompass formed a Racial Equity Workgroup earlier this year. Our Racial Equity Workgroup (REWG) is a staff-led effort dedicated to cultivating an organizational culture that promotes equitable pay, hiring practices, and thresholds for growth within the agency. We recognize that diversity at all levels of our organization is not only an asset to our agency, but also to the communities we serve. Our REWG is another example of our Encompass values in practice: resiliency, equity, kindness, and compassion.

As we celebrate Juneteenth this month, we would like to shine the spotlight on our Racial Equity Workgroup staff members and the goals and plans for the group in 2023 and beyond. Special thanks for their commitment to our community and a more diverse, inclusive work environment.

Goals for our Encompass Racial Equity Workgroup

If the Workgroup’s goals had to be condensed into a few words, the changes we would like to see for our Encompass community would be: Equality, Equity, Opportunity, Acknowledgment, and Acceptance. We want to see equal opportunities being offered and accessed within our organization and our larger community. Our driving force is to aid in opening doors necessary for our communities to thrive and achieve the goals we may have thought could only be dreams. Specifically, professional and educational opportunities and experiences that can support further development of our skill sets; one step closer to thriving, not just surviving.  

Meet the Racial Equity Workgroup Staff

The REWG is comprised of 7 staff members from across the organization who meet regularly to make a difference. Nati Cabral, serves as the workgroup’s leader and Racial Equity Manager. 


Name: Nati C.
Job Title: Racial Equity Manager

Why did you want to join the REWG at Encompass?
I joined the Racial Equity Workgroup to be part of important conversations around enhancing equitable practices and policies within our agency for our clients and staff.

What are you looking forward to accomplishing as part of this group?
I look forward to continuing to work together to make changes within our organization that make us a more inclusive community of diverse individuals.


pastedGraphic_1.pngName: Jessie P.
Job Title: Development and Communication Coordinator

Why did you want to join the REWG at Encompass?
I admired the work the Racial Equity Workgroup was doing, and I wanted to be a part of it. I think Encompass is a great organization that has the potential to be a leader in Racial Equity in our community. 

What are you looking forward to accomplishing as a part of this group?
I am really looking forward to our group being at the forefront of change. I am excited to see the REWG develop training, become an example for other organizations, and create a more equitable workplace for all.


Name: Christine G.
Job Title: Systems & Data Analyst

Why did you want to join the REWG at Encompass?
I joined to work with like-minded colleagues to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion at the agency and our wider community.

What do you look forward to accomplishing as part of the group?
Upholding the vision and goals of the group.



Name: Erin M.
Job Title: Senior Manager, Adult Behavioral Health Programs Residential

Why did you want to join the REWG at Encompass?
I joined REWG because Racial Equity has been a longstanding fight that I feel is an imperative for me. If there are long standing inequities in our agency, in our communities, and in our Country, then none of us can truly be free.  As Martin Luther King said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere".

What are you looking forward to accomplishing as a part of this group?
As a part of this group, I am looking forward to helping BIPOC Staff with a Mentorship Program that helps them on a career pathway that may include becoming a manager, a Clinician, or other goals they are interested in within the agency. I hope the Kaiser Grant will help us gain funding to support our goals. Also, I would like to see Salary Increases for Bilingual Staff members in our agency.


pastedGraphic_3.pngName: Alexis M.
Job Title: Independent Living Skills Coordinator, Transitional Age Youth Programs





Name: Krista S.
Job Title: Manager, Telos Adult Crisis Residential




The importance of Juneteenth

Juneteenth is more than a holiday. It commemorates the actualization of freedom for enslaved Africans in America, which came over two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Celebrating Juneteenth is a chance for our community to recognize the resiliency of African Americans while also recognizing the challenges and injustices that American racism has subjected the African American community to.

Commemorating and celebrating Juneteenth provides space for us, as a community of allies, to address the transgressions of the past while supporting a brighter future. Juneteenth serves as a reminder to celebrate each other in the present and to utilize your voice to enact change to end racism in our communities.

Ways you can make a difference

As a community of allies, it is our responsibility to be the change we want to see in our communities. Being the change is as simple as remembering and acknowledging the truth of our country’s history of marginalizing specific groups of people. No matter how uncomfortable it is, these historical and even current calamities are occurrences we should never forget or push aside, as denial of the past just leads to its repetition.  

Make sure to mark your calendars each year for our local Santa Cruz Juneteenth events and get plugged in! A great resource is  Plus, check out another great resource page from the Santa Cruz Public Library and suggested reading from Bookshop Santa Cruz: 

Bookshop Santa Cruz:

Santa Cruz Public Library:

While at home, we suggest checking out the educational Netflix documentary: "Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America". 


Thanks for your ongoing support to make our Santa Cruz community a more inclusive place to live. Happy Juneteenth and thank you to our Encompass Racial Equity Workgroup!