Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is important not only for our children's futures, but our own.

As part of our 10-year vision to support healthy and thriving communities, VOA has committed to building a future with more diversity, equity and inclusion 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.

Rhonda Mower

For more information, please contact Rhonda Mower,
Senior Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
Phone: 703-341-5004. rmower@voa.org

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.

Theological Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

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.

graphic of shared power and decision making

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.

National Office DEI Strategy Team

Joe Budzynski

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

headshot of david burch

David Burch

Senior Director, Communications

kristine chong

Kristine Chong

Program Assistant, Shay Moral Injury Center

Jane Cohen

Jane Cohen

Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Aileen Cunningham

Stewardship and Donor Engagement Manager

Clare Ann Fitzgerald

Clare Ann Fitzgerald

Senior Vice President and Counsel for Litigation, Risk Management, and Compliance

Robert Gibson headshot

Robert Gibson

Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer

Nicole Jones, PhD

Nicole Jones, PhD

Senior Vice President, Organizational Development

Rhonda Mower

Rhonda Mower (she/her)

Senior Vice President, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Stephen Samuels

Stephen Samuels

Vice President, Innovation & Impact Investing

Alyssa Thomas (she/her)

Administrative Assistant; COO, National Board, Affiliate Relations

headshot of dodd white

Dodd White

Vice President, Affiliate Services

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