LACDMH’s ARDI Division includes several programs whose direct mission is to increase access and services to underserved, diverse, and historically oppressed communities. The programs and components of the ARDI Division include:
- The Cultural Competency Unit and the Cultural Competency Committee
- United Mental Health Promoters, the expansion to Promotores de Salud Mental and the Spanish Support Groups
- Speakers Bureau
- Language Access services including non-emergent ASL interpretation
In addition to these programs, the ARDI Division also coordinates the annual Cultural Competency Report, the Triannual Review, as well as other diversity, competency and access impact assignments.
We encourage you to explore this site and its associated program pages to learn more about ARDI’s activities, accomplishments, and goals to promote anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion in LACDMH’s programs and operations.
Message from ARDI Division Chief
I am delighted to welcome you to the ARDI Division website to keep you updated and informed about the expansive and exciting agenda of our new program. A summary of history is an important backdrop to all the work being done within LACDMH, L.A. County, the State of California and across the nation. In July 2020, the Board of Supervisors (Board) passed a motion that created the Board’s directed priority known as the L.A. County ARDI Initiative led by Dr. D’Artagnan Scorza as Executive Director of Racial Equity.
A quote from the National Action Committee on the Status of Women Internal Perspectives states; “Anti-racism is the active process of identifying and eliminating racism by changing systems, organizational structures policies and practices, and attitudes so that power and resources are redistributed and shared equitably.”
Meanwhile, at LACDMH, Dr. Rigoberto Rodriguez was brought on board as a consultant to address staff’s growing concerns regarding the increased tensions experienced internally and externally by our staff. Our department continued to witness an alarming increase in race-related violence and unrest resulting from the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others. Dr. Rigoberto Rodriguez led the formation of the Intergroup Dialogues (IDGs) and the subsequent Action Learning Committees (ALCs) which proposed more than 120 staff recommendations provided with the intent to transform the internal and external environment at DMH. Among these recommendations included the formation of the ARDI Staff Advisory Council. The initial membership of the ARDI Staff Advisory Council was appointed by Dr. Sherin and was comprised of the co-leads from the ALCs. Today, the Council has been expanded from 9 to 13 diverse, dedicated, and passionate staff representative members. In addition to the staff council, Dr. Sherin and Mr. Polk hosted a Townhall meeting in April 2021, announcing the Department’s intention to form the new ARDI Division and my appointment as the ARDI Division Chief.
As our department’s ARDI activities continue, I look forward to sharing our progress and accomplishments in this space, as well as additional opportunities for our staff, clients, stakeholders, and County residents to engage with our efforts to promote anti-racism, diversity, inclusivity and equity.
Dr. Jorge Partida del Toro
LACDMH ARDI Division Chief