Longtime Dallas CASA staff member Shashaunda Williams was recently named Dallas CASA’s director of diversity, equity and inclusion, a new position at the agency.

Tell us more about your new role at Dallas CASA.

My new role at Dallas CASA is director of diversity, equity and inclusion, but started with the agency more than 15 years ago as a volunteer supervisor. My new role consists of incorporating quality cultural competence training for staff and volunteers, helping to recruit volunteers and staff from underrepresented groups, helping our faith-based outreach team broaden their partnerships and leading the effort to elevate our All Children, All Families designation, and many more initiatives.

I also work with the broader community on issues of disproportionality and disparities in the child welfare system, reporting directly to Dallas CASA’s CEO.

Why does having a DEI director matter to an agency like Dallas CASA?

A key objective in the agency’s strategic plan is to better demonstrate Dallas CASA’s commitment to diversity at the board, staff and volunteer levels and to address racial disproportionality in the child welfare system.

How have your years at Dallas CASA prepared you for this new role?

I’ve worked with many volunteers, caseworkers, judges, children and families from all backgrounds and walks of life, and that’s been a blessing and a wonderful experience.

Through Dallas CASA, I was also introduced to the Dallas County Disproportionality Committee, where I’ve had the pleasure to serve as vice chair since 2019. Prior to accepting the vice chair appointment, I served many years as a devoted committee member.

What are initiatives or projects at Dallas CASA you’re most proud of?

I am most proud of Dallas CASA’s growth over the years. I am also proud of the partnerships, commitments and all the efforts that CASA has made regarding diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. I am inspired and excited about what’s to come in this role.