An Initiative of It's Time Texas
and in Collaboration with The University of Texas System
Racial Equity Consultant
Joyce James began her professional career as a Child Protective Services (CPS) caseworker. She has established an impressive 40-year history in leading and supporting efforts for addressing institutional and structural racism in systems. She has a powerful story of her journey from CPS caseworker to Assistant Commissioner of Texas CPS, Deputy Commissioner of Department of Family Protective Services, and Associate Deputy Executive Commissioner of the Center for Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities (CEDD) and the State Office of Minority Health, at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
CEDD was created in 2010 by HHSC Executive Commissioner Tom Suehs out of recognition of Ms. James’ strong and effective leadership and his desire to expand the Texas Model for Addressing Disproportionality and Disparities (Texas Model) developed under her leadership, to all HHS agencies and programs.
“At the heart of all our programs and services, we’re about people,” Suehs said. “And we want to make sure that every person is treated with respect and dignity. Joyce has been a pioneer in helping improve equity in our protective services programs and we want to put that same focus on all our HHS agencies’.
Senate Bill 501 established the CEDD in law in 2011 and expanded Ms. James duties to include serving as presiding officer of a legislatively created interagency council charged with the responsibility to examine and make recommendations regarding racial inequities, not only in child welfare and other HHSC agencies, but also in education and juvenile justice.
Ms. James developed the Groundwater Analysis for Addressing Racial Inequities. It, along with the Texas Model, serves as the foundation and framework for the technical assistance and support she provides to multiple systems and institutions across the Country. These models have been effective in creating cultural and philosophical shifts that holds systems accountable for undoing institutional and structural racism and improving outcomes for all populations.
Ms. James, through Joyce James Consulting (JJC) provides an array of consulting services, that includes, workshops, data analysis, leadership development and coaching, community engagement, strategies for creating an anti-racist and accountable organizational culture. She leads these efforts with a specific focus on helping systems to “turn the mirror inward’ to examine institutional rather than individual factors of racism as the root causes of racial inequities.
Ms. James is the 2016 recipient of Texans Care for Children” Founders Award” in recognition of her ‘fearless leadership and fierce commitment” to children in Texas. She is 2019 recipient of the “Lifetime Achievement Award” presented by the National Association of Social Workers, Texas.
Ms. James received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letter, in May 2017, from University of Saint Joseph’s in Hartford Connecticut.