Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion | Equitas Health

Mission Statement

The Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion recognizes the benefits of our diverse community and is a champion for advancing an equitable and anti-racist culture. We are committed to building a workforce that reflects the communities we serve. We are committed to cultivating an equitable and anti-racist agency that genuinely embodies our care for all motto with all stakeholders.

Anti-Racism Policy

Equitas Health does not tolerate racism, prejudice, or any other form of discrimination. We believe in the racial equality of our staff and every customer, client, and patient we serve. We will confront and eliminate discrimination, racism, and micro-inequities wherever and whenever they occur.


Where we started

In October 2020, Equitas Health hired our first ever Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Dr. Jasmine Marks. As a department of one, Dr. Marks laid out a strategic plan to support Equitas Health’s renewed commitment to provide an equitable workplace for all employees.

In her first year, Dr. Marks collaborated with Equitas Health’s Racial Advisory Council on Employee Equity Business Resource Group and the Human Resources, Compliance, and Finance departments to ensure the equity of our policies and procedures. These partnerships produced the agency’s first anti-racism policy, addressed bias in the personal appearance policy, and established a supplier diversity policy to support BIPOC-owned businesses.

She also implemented or supported meaningful and ongoing staff development. Through Dr. Marks’ anti-racism education trainings and the staff-led Honest Conversations webinars & anti-racism solidarity spaces, Equitas Health provided over 6,000 hours of training and development.

These gains would not have been possible without you. Your voices, support, and calls for accountability will help to ensure that Equitas Health will continue to know better, do better, and be better for everyone who works here and seeks our services.


Where we are now

Our growth as an organization has allowed the department to expand its strategic vision as the new Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. As the Senior Director of Equity and Education, Dr. Marks and her team will build on this growth with four strategic directions:

Culture & Climate

A commitment to embedding anti-racism and cultural humility in all we do

Organizational Development

Cultivating an organizational culture of learning and continuous strengths-based development

Recruitment, Retention, & Belonging

Improving recruitment processes, building retention interventions, and prioritizing employee wellness & belonging

Health Equity

Centering health equity in our practices


Our Team

Communications Request Form

Contact the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with this easy form

Business Resource Groups (BRGs)

BRGs help us create a more inclusive workplace where people feel valued and supported.

Land Acknowledgement

Equitas Health acknowledges that our offices and clinics were built on sacred and significant homelands of Indigenous Native People.

Senior Director of Equity and Education

Dr. Jasmine C. Marks

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Jasmine C. Marks (She/Her) is an equity and justice practitioner with expertise in aiding organizations and institutions in anti-racist/anti-oppressive transformation. Dr. Marks currently serves as the Senior Director of Equity & Education at Equitas Health, where she leads the Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion and the Equitas Health Institute. Dr. Marks holds over ten years of experience in the DEI field, with her professional experience spanning higher education and non-profit sectors. Her passion for the public good is at the core of Dr. Marks’ work. Daily, she champions equitable access to core human rights, including healthcare and education. Highlights of her work include prioritizing the support and empowerment of minoritized stakeholders, radically transforming organizational culture, cultivating inclusive educational opportunities, and creating equitable policies and practices. Dr. Marks’ commitment to social change permeates every aspect of her life. She is a 2020 YWCA Columbus Leadership for Social Change Program graduate, a 2022 LGBTQ+ Leadership Award recipient, and enjoys working part-time as a DEI consultant. In addition to leading institutional change, Dr. Marks works with folks at the interpersonal and individual levels as a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach. As a Strengths Coach, Dr. Marks helps others shift from deficit-focused personal/professional development to one that is strengths-based. Dr. Marks holds a Doctor of Education in Educational Studies from The Ohio State University and is based in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Marks enjoys reading, singing, and traveling in her spare time.

Associate Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Dominique Shepherd

Originally from Elyria, Ohio, Dominique Shepherd (She/Her) relocated to Columbus, Ohio to pursue her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology at The Ohio State University. Once she graduated, Dominique Shepherd (She/Her) worked as a Certified Pharmacy Technician, while obtaining her Master’s Degree in Public Health from Benedictine University. Dominique has an immense passion for working collaboratively across multiple sectors to help increase health awareness and understand the critical need for intersectionality as it relates to the holistic health outcomes of the communities we serve. She leverages her privilege and education as a means to centering intentionality on marginalized folks in organization-wide diversity, inclusion, and equity programming and education opportunities.

Dominique collaborates with an array of community organizations and activists to increase awareness around the dire necessity to improve health outcomes for vulnerable and underserved populations through transformative justice and improving data availability, coordination, utilization and diffusion of research and evaluation of outcomes. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha and the Delta Omega Honor Society for Public Health. In her spare time, Dominique enjoys exploring new places, reading, spinning, and trying new foods.

Program Manager of Organizational Development

Shelly Bell

Shelly Bell (She/Her) brings many years of experience in coordinating programs, training, and coaching individuals to success, and has attempted to enfold Diversity, Equity and Inclusion truths, and leverage of her privilege, into all of her efforts. Her background includes facilitating the implementation and coordination of Kinnect’s Ohio Kinship and Adoption Navigator Program in the Central Ohio region, advocacy and training at the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, and leadership in the domestic violence education program for prisoners at the Ohio Reformatory for Women. During her tenure at both Kinnect and the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, Shelly was active in leadership and facilitation roles on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committees. Shelly also coached and trained advocates in Ohio on best practices in serving incarcerated and reentering individuals, and on the alarming racial inequities within the prison and legal system.

Shelly is also a trainer for the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program for the state of Ohio, and a professional writer and editor. She is a Certified Clifton Strengths Coach, is Dare to Lead trained, and holds her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The Ohio State University. Shelly digs spending time in nature, hanging out with her loved ones, binging on random information, reading fantasy romance, and partaking of awesome vegan food.

Program Manager of Culture & Climate

Tea Brown

Tea Brown (they/them/theirs) is a trusted advocate for change within and outside of the organization. They have dedicated time to building authentic connections across the agency, through the RACE BRG and strategic planning work. Tea creates programming focused on helping employees to feel heard, uplifted, educated, and encouraged. Their work is rooted in the ideologies of community care and transformative justice to reinvent a culture of trust and respect. Tea is a parent, writer, and tarot reader in other dimensions of their life.

Program Manager of Retention and Belonging

Alex Frazier

Alex Frazier (they/them/theirs) is a Black, queer, Trans, soft bodied, HIV positive, artist, community organizer, educator and harm reductionist from northeast Ohio. Their work strives towards the liberation of Black queer, Trans, and intersex people from all walks –of- life. Alex is sometimes also knows as Shay, from the dynamic sexual health duo Shay & TK, as well as Rev. Juanita Bind’Em, drag educator extraordinaire.

Alex is a classically trained vocalist, devised theatre artist and proud community college graduate. They spent their early career as a performing arts educator; lending their talents to arts and culture organizations across the state of Ohio like, Cleveland Public Theatre, Karamu House, Cleveland Playhouse, The Greatlakes Science Center, House of Blues Music Forward Foundation, and Columbus Children’s Theatre. In their free time, Alex still writes and directs children’s theatre for youth and community theatres in Cleveland, Ohio

Alex is entering their third year at Equitas Health. They currently serve as the Program Manager of Retention and Belonging in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. During their tenure at Equitas Health, they spearhead projects like The Liberation Health Model Trainings, Whip Smart: An Inclusive Exploration of Consent Culture, Kink, BDSM, and The Ohio Youth Leadership Summit: 2020-2022, as well as participated in community support programming like the Equitas Health’s Racial Justice Funding Grant. They are looking forward to utilizing their lived experience as a multiply marginalized person and community advocate to maximize the transformative and liberatory power of radical and sustaining change throughout the agency.

Alex holds over 10 years of experience as a community organizer, activist, and advocate. Alex was a fellow in the inaugural Ohio Voice: Visons for Ohio Fellowship in 2019. There they committed 18 months to radical community organizing and civil disruption training. Alex is also the creator and co-host of sociopolitical podcast Drag From The Left, a weekly digital series that uses the art of drag to explore identity based issues in society. Alex is also Founder Emeritus of Mx. Juneteenth: A Black and Queer Liberation Celebration, a community event that commemorates the spirit of the Juneteenth holiday by providing a liberatory space that adheres to a Black queer feminist praxis that centers abolition, community, and solidarity with all oppressed communities, and anti-bigotry. Mx. Juneteenth is a space that explicitly promotes an environment of respect, civility, and liberation that is free of harassment and police presence.

Alex’s work as an artist, community organizer and public health advocate has been featured in Scene Magazine, Apartment Therapy, Yahoo Life, Destination Cleveland,,, and The Toledo Blade.


Program Manager of Health Equity

Sara Heuser

Originally from Southern California, Sara Heuser (they/them/theirs and She/Her) earned their Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Arizona State University, with further studies in political science and pre-law. As a first-generation, emancipated youth, Sara earned a Master of Social Work in Community and Social Justice from The Ohio State University with extended recognition in social policy and program development.

Sara brings years of expertise in social policy, analysis, and evaluation of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Their framework aims to create spaces where everyone can feel welcomed, understood, and included.

Outside of her career, Sara enjoys creating art, birdwatching, thrifting, and trying new coffee shops (and is always welcome to suggestions!)

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Link Repository

The resources here are an introduction to common terminology and concepts. We encourage you to use this repository as a launching pad for your continued education on diversity, equity, and inclusion topics.

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Staff Demographic Statistics

Current and two-year data regarding race and ethnicity show that our DEI efforts are yielding results.

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